Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

April 2, 2013

CALLERI: Welcome to the world of friendly parasites in 'The Host'


Niagara Gazette — Meyer and Niccol do seem to have a message, as ludicrous as it may be. They are saying that too much friendliness is a negative because you lose your ability to think for yourself. The goal for Melanie will be to reclaim her humanity. So, does that mean she has to become a bad person? You got me. This is philosophy for unformed minds, which would be the teenagers at whom the novel is aimed.

The cast goes through its lethargic paces without breaking much of a sweat. It includes Saoirse Ronan as Melanie, Jake Abel as Ian, Max Irons as Jared, Diane Kruger as the Seeker, and William Hurt as Jeb. Interestingly, Hurt is in a much better movie about the altering of minds, Ken Russell’s energetic “Altered States” from 1980. Writer-director Niccol’s creative abilities got sidetracked here.

The most interesting thing about “The Host” is that Max Irons is the son of actor Jeremy Irons and actress Sinead Cusack. This makes him the grandson of the legendary theater star Cyril Cusack. In this family, there are a total of nine stage and screen performers of all ages, some with prodigious credits.

This means that after “The Host,” young Irons has nowhere to go but up.

Michael Calleri reviews films for Night and Day. Contact him at

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