Last night I went out to see a movie. I’ve had a lot on my plate and many deadlines, and I just needed some “brain candy” as I call it. Unfortunately, my movie app was wrong, and Oblivion, which I headed out to see, was NOT out until today, despite my app giving me movie times last night. But after driving through a blizzard over ten miles to the theater that my app said was showing it, I decided I might as well see something for my troubles in getting there. The only movie remotely interesting to me that fit with the time I was there was The Host. This is NOT a movie I would have seen, especially since it was written by the creator of the Twilight series, a trilogy I am proud to say I’ve never seen, nor will I ever. (!) LOL However, I watched the trailer for The Host on my iPhone, and it seemed bearable. Driving home again in the blizzard suffering a #fail seemed pointless, and I had an AMC gift card to burn.
This blog post is not a review. I’m not going to say rush out and see it. But it was interesting enough. And I am going to give a few spoilers while not totally wrecking it, if you plan to see it, but I suspect most of my readers are like me – they have no intention of seeing it.
The basic premise is that aliens are taking over the bodies of humans.”We” are the hosts of these aliens. By the time of this film, nearly all humans are inhabited by the aliens, which is obvious by their blue eyes. However, as always, there is a remnant of rebels. The main character is a girl who died in a fall while running from the “Seekers” – aliens out looking for the few remaining humans. She was leading them away from a young boy she loved, the brother of her boyfriend. The aliens healed her and she became one of the hosted humans. However, she is a fighter, and throughout the movie you hear the voice of the original human girl inside the mind of the alien who now lives in the girl’s body. This all sounds gross, and it’s all a little confusing to listen to, but you get used to it. If you’ve ever had a conversation with yourself, it’s not much different.
The alien ends up being convinced by the human girl ‘host’ of the virtues of mankind as she leads her to the boyfriend and the younger boy. Of course, she is greeted with suspicion and believed to be leading other Seekers to find them, but trust is built and in the end, the new “alien girl” decides to give her life to allow the original girl to come back and be with those she loves. The alien, who has lived a thousand years on several planets, states that only now, having met this host and her “family” does she finally have something (someone) worth dying for.
Many times when I speak at camps, and even this past weekend at a boys retreat, I challenge young people to watch for this theme, even (and especially) in secular films. One of the most powerful verses in the Bible says,
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Why is it that, in so many movies, books, poems and love songs, we see that the Ultimate Gift is someone willing to die for another? Here it was once again. An alien, who was once sent to destroy and replace, is now willing to lay down it’s own life to give life and love back to another. It is just a softer version of Terminator 2, where the “terminator” in the end gives his life to save humanity. “No, there is another,” says the robot, after they defeat the T1000, “but I cannot self destruct, you must destroy me.” Remember that? (See also: The Gospel According to Darth Vader)
Over and over you will see this theme, even in those who do not believe, or are not even aware that Someone gave their life for them. Nonbelievers can’t help it. Deep down they want to be loved so much that someone would die for them. Every single person on earth can’t help it. They wonder, “Would anyone love ME that much?” And this theme pops up over and over again in our films.
The answer is a resounding, “Yes!” Some One does, and He already did.
Watch for this in films. Watch for it in books and love songs and poetry. Look for the great themes of the epic story of God to be found throughout modern and ancient literature. They are all there, for the Story of God is written deeply on the hearts of man, even those who do not know His Story (history) or choose not to believe it.
I have a formula of “10 elements of Great Story” that are found in all the great stories and popular films. I won’t blog it, (I don’t want to spread it around too much) but I do share it when I speak at camp or at other in-person events. It is was the basis for my own novel, The Order of the Ancient.
I just thought it was interesting to see the element of sacrifice again in The Host last night. I wish more people would realize Someone died for them, and accept that Gift. If they would, more would be able to live the New Life that is offered as a result.
If you aren’t aware of Who I am speaking of, let me know, and I’ll fill you in.