If you have not read the book or seen the movie, be warned that this review contains spoilers.
Friday morning, I went to see the Host with two of my friends. I had read the book (the German version) a few years back and was anticipating this movie. I had followed the casting process before and was not completely happy with the outcome, but I still wanted to see how they had portrayed the story. I enjoyed the book very much (even though I was very reserved, considering it is the author of that bloody twilight series), so I hoped for a good movie.
The cinema was empty, since we were there around noon. We were watching the subtitles version, which bothered me slightly at the beginning, but faded into the background after a while.
My overall impression was very positive; they stuck to most of the story and changed only a few details (as far as I could tell, I have to reread the book to be certain), but I felt that some depth was missing. The movie seemed a bit rushed, even though it is about two hours long. The relationships between the characters seemed shallow and not too convincing, especially between Wanda and Ian. In the book, I was completely taken by it – in the movie, it felt awkward. I was a bit disappointed.
Of course, I realize that in a book, you have more time to explain all that happens on a deeper level, but still. There were a few other details that didn’t quite fit. The seekers have shiny transportation. Meaning: silver cars, motorcycles, trucks and helicopters. That’s fine, but they are not only shiny, but they are also self-cleaning: you can drive them through the desert and they are spotless afterwards. Amazing, right? Mum, Dad, I want such a car, too!
I liked the way they portrayed the souls. Those little wormlike thinks with their tentacles. That’s pretty much how I imagined it. I was, however, not pleased with Wanda in the end. She was supposed to be blond! Why did they change that to brunette? It makes no sense! That really disappointed me.
Cinematography and all that was fine, they had some lovely landscape shots in there and the cave system was beautifully done. So all in all, I enjoyed the movie, but it will not be my favourite. It didn’t move me as much as the book did, but it is a movie that you can watch while slouching on the sofa.
Unfortunately, my friend mentioned a certain Stargate story that is very, very close to this one and was published quite a long time before the Host. That made the whole book and movie kind of lame. Who likes people who just copy? I don’t. I still like the book, but I don’t see it as a creative piece of art anymore.