If you’re heading to shamelessly rip-off from the classic most of us possess seen, at least make this interesting. Andy Newbery ’s “The Host” licks off of two horror films many might recognize, Alfred Hitchcock ’s “Psycho” and to a lesser degree, Eli Roth ’s “Hostel. ” However, the particular unholy mix of the 2 did not pack enough uncertainty to keep this viewer speculating or vary enough for me personally to stop thinking about typically the parallels. For a tale associated with mystery and intrigue, “The Host” provided neither.
Our lackluster origins start with a couple within London at the end regarding their affair. Heartbroken and discouraged, Robert ( Mike Beckingham ) returns to their am employed at a bank and requires off an off-the-books deposit involving several a lot of cash to try his luck in a shady upscale gambling place. After his streak of poor luck continues, he’s forced upon a mysterious errand to Amsterdam with a briefcase marked having a Chinese gang sign. Robert discovers more trouble ahead when this individual meets Vera ( Maryam Hassouni ), another dubious character with a secret nasty hobby. When Robert goes lacking, it’s as much as his brother, Sam ( Dougie Poynter ), to discover what happened in order to him. Usually, I’m a little bit less forthcoming about spoilers inside reviews, but the plot factors are extremely well-known, I feel that will I must mention them.
In case you’re already spotting the commonalities, there are numerous. From the Saul Bass-inspired opening credits, the movie carefully follows the trajectory of “Psycho” with a queasy addition connected with a stereotypical Chinese drug smuggling subplot shoehorned in for a few reason— like copyrights. “The Host” even goes so far because to lose the main personality about a one-third of this way in to the movie, something Hitchcock did in “Psycho” that surprised audiences in 1960. But this particular is 2020, so even often the most casual of horror followers could likely connect both videos.
On a basic level, “The Host” functions as a gender-swapped adaptation of “Psycho. ” Robert is essentially Jeremy Leigh ’s character, Marion, and Vera is really a rich dame fatale reboot of Anthony Perkins ’ Grettle Bates, right down to your business where she takes Robert in as an unexpected visitor and foretells the corpse with a dead parent. Her negative habit of chopping up visitors shares some similarities to the exact Dutch businessman of “Hostel, ” including the commentary on exactly how the rich get away along with murder and wanton cruelty. When the references weren’t clear sufficient, her basement morgue shares the very same grimy shade of eco-friendly and blinking fluorescent lights since some of the “ Saw ” movies. “The Host” only briefly veers in to torture and gore before coming back to the “Psycho”-inspired mystery.
Typically the issue is not so a lot that Newbery so closely remnants some of his favorite filmmakers. It is which he doesn’t do a really good job of creating the materials his own. A number for the scenes feel flat, plus the images of cinematographer Oona Menges look like an unremarkable TV movie, like when a new trip to a police station appears as though only one cop will be seated within an empty room. The script shares three screenwriters— Finola Geraghty, Brendan Bishop in addition to Laurence Lamers— yet the conversation and plot seem like it’s nevertheless in the draft stages. Presently there are some obvious coincidences and even plot holes that made myself groan, like how one about the characters knew just exactly where to look for the ground-up bodies of victims, taking away any chance of suspense. The forged seems like they’re still throughout rehearsal, figuring out the ranges and natural rhythms, require are usually the takes Newbery chooses to maintain in the movie. This is usually especially painful in moments such as a relative of Vera is definitely shown a photo of a corpse she’s kept in the main house and he reacts together with the energy of someone looking at the weather.
For this film to surprise you, you nearly need to have never observed a horror movie before. You will find simply not enough thrills around “The Host” to offset the pedestrian missteps. It’s fine in case a filmmaker wants to spend homage to their creative inspirations— directors as varied as Mel Brooks , Quentin Tarantino and even John De Palma have got made careers out of referring to other filmmakers— but at several point, a movie has to be able to stand outside the shadows of their influences. The Host” never will.