Stephanie Meyer is not in my wheelhouse when it comes to reading. Somehow, every female character she writes is either passive or annoying and every male character she writes is a stock character of some sort of male ideal. Throw in some saccharine descriptive sentences and groanworthy dialogue and she has achieved her perfect formula for The Host, a sci-fi romance novel about what is perhaps humanity’s last great fight for freedom and the ability to love. For those who are fans of Meyer’s work, The Host has now been turned into a film, courtesy of sci-fi megawriter and director Andrew Niccol.

With Niccol writing and directing The Host for the big screen, Meyer’s novel was in capable hands. The Gattaca and The Truman Show writer could surely add a little snap and pizzaz to an otherwise tiresome endeavor. As it turns out, however, creating a symbiosis between a character living in the real world and a character stuck in that real world character’s head is more difficult than one might think. Some credit is maybe due to Niccol’s giving the concept a shot, but there’s no doubt in my mind that The Host works better in novel format than in film which, depending on your personal outlook, doesn’t mean much.

Following are the ten biggest changes I noticed in my screening of The Host. Feel free to remark on any changes you feel may have been more noticeable. There are many spoilers in The Host book to movie comparison. Do not delve in if you want the film to be a surprise.


Due to time constraints, the film begins with a voiceover narrative explaining the takeover of the hosts. One of the more careful things The Host does is slowly unfold the narrative of the takeover of the Earth through Wanderer’s thoughts and storytelling. However, the film jumps the gun so as to tell a much more personal tale than one of takeover.


Wanderer and Melanie’s relationship is shown through flashbacks and voiceover on Melanie’s end. As noted prior, these are the most unappealing elements of the film. All of the flashback sequences take us out of the action. Plus, the weird seemingly one-sided conversations both make Wanda look like a crazy person and become extremely tedious throughout the film. I’m not sure there was any better way to achieve this odd marrying of two characters, so perhaps this film was doomed from the start.

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