Guard your orifices!
The Host may be a CW-style variation of it, but Stephenie Meyer's story of alien Souls invading the Earth follows a long and rich sci-fi tradition: that of militant extraterrestrials violently taking over human bodies. The mechanics of these body intrusions may vary — some implant themselves in the ears, others in the GI tract, others in the womb — but one thing is clear. These aliens really, really want to get up and close and personal with humans, with varying degrees of discomfort for the host.
Stephenie Meyer’s ‘The Host’ Vs. Bong Joon-ho’s ‘The Host’: A Soul/Seoul Connection?
So to help you avoid implantation yourself, we've given you an anatomical breakdown of where exactly you can find each type of invader in a typical human body. Sharpen your scalpels and check out this infographic:
Click on the image above for to get a larger view. And start taking notes from our handy key. Knowledge is your best defense!
1. Brain: Compared to some of these others, the way the Souls take over human bodies in The Host is pretty gentle. Via a surgical slit in the back of the neck, a Soul — a little light-up creature that looks like the plasma balls at a science museum you liked to touch when you were a kid — enters your nervous system and moves toward the neocortex, assuming all cognitive functions and erasing the personality of its host.
2. Nose: Technically, the tiny aliens in Meet Dave have built a spaceship that looks and sounds exactly like a human being (or at least a really awkward Eddie Murphy). They use its eyes as viewports, its mouth as a gangplank, and when they need to make a really rapid exit they get themselves snorted out of its nose. The scary thing, is that they're small enough to invade the noses of actual humans as well. Yeah, you might want to get that lingering sinus infection checked out...
‘The Host’: Let’s Talk About That Ending — SPOILERS
3. Ears: Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalban) used a Ceti Eel to extract information from Commander Chekov (Walter Koenig) and Captain Tyrell (Paul Winfield) in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The eel, a native of barren wasteland Ceti Alpha V, burrows into a human's ear and all the way into his or her brain. Once there, it renders the host completely vulnerable to suggestion. Meaning that Khan could tell Chekov and Tyrell exactly what he'd want them to do, and they would do it no matter what.
4. Mouth: Time-traveling Romulan freighter captain Nero (Eric Bana) in 2009's Star Trek was a kindred spirit of Khan in terms of using alien parasites to bend human prisoners to his will. His Centaurian slug, however, enters its host through the mouth, then tunnels in toward the brain stem. Nero was able to use one to get Capt. Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) to reveal all of Starfleet's defense codes.
5. Chest: The parasitic aliens of LV-423 in Alien begin their takeover of the human body by wrapping their tentacles around a person's head and hugging the face. When it suddenly departs, you think you're free. But actually it's deposited an egg inside you that will incubate in your chest cavity, until suddenly it bursts out when you're chillin' with your space-trucker friends.
6. Womb: Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) had unprotected sex with her lover Charlie (Logan Marshall-Green) while exploring a mysterious alien world. So the possibility of getting pregnant was already very real. But what she didn't realize was that Charlie had been infected with an extraterrestrial virus that was rewriting his genetic code. And so he didn't impregnate her with a human child but with a rapidly growing alien parasite that lodged in her womb. Not many would have the fortitude to perform a C-section on herself to abort this unwanted pregnancy like Dr. Shaw did.
7. Hand: Okay, this isn't really an extraterrestrial parasite, but it is a condition known as "Alien Hand Syndrome," in which a person can't control the actions of their limbs. In the case of Dr. Strangelove that meant his hand kept spontaneously giving the fascist salute, which we suspect may have been a Freudian slip in mime form for the ex-Nazi scientist. Laughs aside, it is a real condition. Think of it like a much more embarrassing version of "restless leg syndrome," if anything can be more embarassing than "restless leg syndrome."
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
[Photo Credit: Hollywood.com Illustration]
From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)33 Child Stars: Where Are They Now? (Celebuzz)
Robert Zemeckis is a blockbuster director at heart. Action has never been an issue for the man behind Back to the Future. When he puts aside the high concept adventures for emotional human stories — think Forrest Gump or Cast Away — he still goes big. His latest Flight continues the trend revolving the story of one man's fight with alcoholism around a terrifying plane crash. Zemeckis expertly crafts his roaring centerpiece and while he finds an agile performer in Denzel Washington the hour-and-a-half of Flight after the shocking moment can't sustain the power. The "big" works. The intimate drowns.
Washington stars as Whip Whitaker a reckless airline pilot who balances his days flying jumbo jets with picking up women snorting lines of cocaine and drinking himself to sleep. Although drunk for the flight that will change his life forever that's not the reason the plane goes down — in fact it may be the reason he thinks up his savvy landing solution in the first place. Writer John Gatins follows Whitaker into the aftermath madness: an investigation of what really happened during the flight Whitaker's battle to cap his addictions and budding relationships that if nurtured could save his life.
Zemeckis tops his own plane crash in Cast Away with the heart-pounding tailspin sequence (if you've ever been scared of flying before Flight will push into phobia territory). In the few scenes after the literal destruction Washington is able to convey an equal amount of power in the moments of mental destruction. Whitaker is obviously crushed by the events the bottle silently calling for him in every down moment. Flight strives for that level of introspection throughout eventually pairing Washington with equally distraught junkie Nicole (Kelly Reilly). Their relationship is barely fleshed out with the script time and time again resorting to obvious over-the-top depictions of substance abuse (a la Nic Cage's Leaving Las Vegas) and the bickering that follows. Washington's Whitaker hits is lowest point early sitting there until the climax of the film.
Sharing screentime with the intimate tale is the surprisingly comical attempt by the pilot's airline union buddy (Bruce Greenwood) and the company lawyer (Don Cheadle) to get Whitaker into shape. Prepping him for inquisitions looking into evidence from the wreckage and calling upon Whitaker's dealer Harling (John Goodman) to jump start their "hero" when the time is right the two men do everything they can to keep any blame being placed upon Whitaker by the National Transportation Safety Board investigators. The thread doesn't feel relevant to Whitaker's plight and in turn feels like unnecessary baggage that pads the runtime.
Everything in Fight shoots for the skies — and on purpose. The music is constantly swelling the photography glossy and unnatural and rarely do we breach Washington's wild exterior for a sense of what Whitaker's really grappling with. For Zemeckis Flight is still a spectacle film with Washington's ability to emote as the magical special effect. Instead of using it sparingly he once again goes big. Too big.
Promotion for The Master the latest film from Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights There Will Be Blood) has emphasized a unique technical fact: It is the first narrative film in 16 years to have been shot on 70mm film. The large format utilized in movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey Far and Away and Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet makes promises of an epically scaled experience. That's not exactly the case for The Master. The movie is grand but the stunning photography serves to amplify an intense intimacy between Anderson's two leads. Sparring on screen are Philip Seymour Hoffman as the magnetic cult leader Lancaster Dodd and Joaquin Phoenix as Freddie Quell a mentally ill war vet who can't control his carnal instincts. Anderson fills the widest frame imaginable with the electricity that sparks between the two. The Master may not be filled with scenic vistas or sweeping action but it's nothing less than jaw-dropping.
In the early 1950s Freddie finds himself displaced from the world. He can't hold a job — mostly because he keeps sleeping with his female coworkers and beating up irritable customers — he's plagued by his drinking problem and the one girl he's ever loved is half his age. Post-war little is working out. Driven by bipolar tendencies Freddie stows away on a party yacht headed to New York and drinks himself to sleep. When he awakens he meets Lancaster Dodd aka The Master leader of a religious group dubbed "The Cause." Dodd immediately takes to Freddie — he's a feral dog ready to be trained. Dodd is more than willing to domesticate him.
If you're looking for the definitive film on the history of Scientology The Master isn't your film. Anderson does detail a bit of the inner-workings of Dodd's group — they listen to tapes of The Master's soothing voice preach the good word and Dodd "processes" his followers helping them explore their spiritual histories through exploration of their past lives — but the meat of the story is Freddie's journey. The man's mind is stretched paper thin instinct pulling him one way Dodd's seductive promises pulling him in another. Phoenix is appropriately off-kilter his snarled lip and dumb grin the centerpiece of his dazzling performance.
Hoffman makes for a worthy foil turning Dodd into a powerful father figure with everything figured out. When he's entertaining the masses Dodd dances with a fun-loving swagger. When he's "processing " Dodd is hushed and never misses a beat. But when he's crossed Dodd erupts with unimaginable force. The only person who can really pick him apart is his wife Peggy a self-aware puppetmaster of the entire operation. Anderson compliments his actors with each scene each setting each camera angle. Every choice feels ultra-specific and intended. The director plays the action close up on his actors faces — as Dodd burrows his way into Freddie's mind we're there.