Amidst a bunch of mediocre-to-abysmal blockbusters, the in-flight entertainment system on my Delta flight had on offer a movie I had never heard of: The Host.
Figuring that a movie about body-snatching aliens could not possibly be that bad (or rather: no matter how bad, would have to be somewhat entertaining), I ended up subjecting myself to what turned out to be 90 tedious minutes of some of the worst moviemaking I have ever seen, only made bearable by occasional bits of unintentional hilarity through sheer ineptitude. I belatedly gave up somewhere around the two-third mark.
All along, I could not quite put my finger on it, but there was something vaguely familiar in the movie’s over-simplistic linear plot, incredibly dull treatment of otherwise time-tested genre tropes, barely-defined one-dimensional characters and empty dialogs masquerading as profundity… not to mention the obvious (though badly muddled) religious undertones. Despite having never heard of that movie until then, it felt as if I may have watched it before.
And then today, while browsing Detroit airport’s equally indigent Travel Bookstore, I happened upon the book that apparently inspired that abortion of a movie. And it all made sense.
Just in case the author’s name alone may not have been enough, a big sticker above it proclaimed, in big gaudy gold letters: “By the author of the Twilight™ series“.