Wednesday, May 7, 2014

"The Host" (2013)

At our most recent monthly film evening used to introduce and discuss spiritual issues, “The Host” was shown. It is a bit of a silly story based on a book by the author of the “Twilight” books, and isn’t really worth recommending. That being said, it had an interesting premise that illuminates some aspects of the Biblical world-view.

In “The Host” aliens have invaded and overtaken Earth. They are non-corporal beings, and have inhabited the bodies of humans, overtaking them while retaining access to the memories of the hosts they inhabit. Some humans remain, but they are on the run and in hiding, because when found they will be converted. Once you are overtaken, you are gone. Your spirit is killed, I guess. In all of this process, the world has become a perfect place with no war, violence, crime or hatred. The aliens are really good people. It just sucks for any humans, because they are either dead or being hunted. In this story, one human doesn’t die in the process of being inhabited, and the struggle between the two wills in her body make up the basis of the (rather cheesy and unfulfilling plot.)

Plot and story weaknesses aside, the metaphor here is great.

For one thing, it shows the way Will is vital to a spiritual, individual being. Without choice we are simply robots or animals. People may ask, why did God even allow for the potential of sin in the first place? We see here that without choice there is no individuality. God wanted people to choose Him and His way freely. When they didn’t, they became slaves to their own sin nature.

That sin nature and the “struggle with the flesh” is illustrated in the way our main character’s body has been taken over by another will. She is no longer free to do what she wants, and at best is fighting against the other will. When people return to God and accept His forgiveness, it is not a case of becoming a slave to God, but a free will choice that frees them from the slavery to sin nature. They choose to be human the way God intended and continue to choose to do things the natural, God designed way. Never through coercion, but rather as an act of free will that is only possible when free from sin.

Finally, the perfect world under alien control is a good metaphor for man-made, religious attempts to better humanity. Unlike God’s free-will plan, religion tries to force people into being good. It may be effective, but it robs us of our God intended humanity. If that were really what God wanted, it would be understandable why people would reject it the way the humans in this story reject the alien invasion. And, it is understandable that people who only understand God through religions chose to reject that picture of Him. It is, after all, a false representation.

All that being said, don’t seek this film out. It isn’t that good. However, if you know a fan of the movie or book you can point out these ideas to help them sort of see what a Biblical idea of God and humanity is all about.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, it's not that great a movie, though the ideas are really interesting. I read the book not too long ago and understood what my husband meant after he read it--he said it was a decent 300-page book crammed into 600 pages. Neat ideas, execution not so great.


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