Everyone’s trying to hop on the gravy train that Twilight set in motion, with movies like Beautiful Creatures (read our review) cashing in on the supernatural coming of age/romance craze; not to mention, those erotic fan-fiction-turned published books making their way to the big screen (e.g. Fifty Shades of Grey and Beautiful Bastard). Meanwhile, Open Road Films hopes the adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s sci-fi novel, The Host, proves as massive a draw as her vampire literature/films.
Curiously, the Host trailer premiering today (Valentine’s Day, at the time of writing this) places less emphasis on the love story aspects. Instead, the new promo focuses on the futuristic war between humanity and invading parasitic aliens – and how our protagonist, Melanie Stryder (Saoirse Ronan) becomes an important piece in the metaphorical chess game.
The Host begs comparison to titles such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers and the book/TV series Animorphs, but stands apart because it takes place after the aliens (which insert themselves into humans’ brains) have all but taken complete control of Earth. Similar to writer/director Andrew Niccol’s last film, In Time, the story is about how love between two people – Melanie and her boyfriend Jared Howe (Max Irons) – inspires them to aid the dwindling human resistance, even after Melanie is captured and infected with an alien that sympathizes with her ‘host.’
One thing the new Host trailer (and every other preview so far) neglects to mention is the plot also involves a love triangle, though not quite in the vein of Twilight or The Hunger Games. Here, the twist is a young man named Ian (Jake Abel) falls in love with Melanie’s alien “Soul”, named Wanderer, even as the human rebellion leader and Melanie’s uncle (William Hurt) realizes his niece is being used by an alien called The Seeker (Diane Kruger) to locate and enslave the last free humans.
Check out the character posters for The Host (via IMP):
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Complaints about Meyer’s writing aside, there are a number of intriguing concepts and ideas nestled within her sci-fi love story. There are occasions where Niccol has failed to successfully juggle all the components of his big-concept films – be it the story/character elements, socio-political overtones, or well-executed action – but when he does, the results are something to admire (see: Gattaca). Between a cast that includes heavyweight performers like Ronan and Hurt, with Niccol running the whole thing, there’s reason to think The Host might turn out well. At the least, the trailers aren’t gunning solely for the Twilight crowd.
The Host opens in theaters on March 29th, 2013.