By Roger Moore
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Stephenie Meyer made her fortune by packing three hormonal teens into a love triangle. So it’s understandable that she’d be a little reluctant to stray too far from her “Twilight” formula for success with “The Host.” The new movie opens Friday.
“This isn’t a love triangle,” she protests, laughing. “This is a love square,” a quadrangle, with four parties involved. And “The Host” isn’t about vampires, werewolves and the pretty young thing torn between them. It’s about an alien inhabiting a young woman’s mind, sharing it with her “host.” And the two hot young guys competing for her/their affection and loyalty.
Whatever variations on a theme “The Host” presents, it’s a hit on the page. And now it is a “high-stakes, high-concept” (Entertainment Weekly) sci-fi film starring Saoirse Ronan as Melanie, the human who hosts “Wanderer,” one of a legion of aliens, collectively known as “The Soul,” who have taken over Earth by implanting themselves into human bodies and eliminating war, hunger and strife of all kinds.
“I started out with the idea that everybody SAYS they want world peace, but what would be the price of that? The loss of the individual? The loss of free will, of privacy? Those things make us who we are, and is world peace WORTH that?”
Meyer, whose Mormon background works its way into her sci-fi/ fantasy romance fiction, doesn’t necessarily see “The Host” as an indirect reference to Mormon teachings, of Lucifer’s desire to remake the world without free will. But it gives her pause.
“The Soul, in this story, do a pretty good job of making the world a better place,” she explains.