Stephenie Meyer's two babies - which is better?
The invasion of earth by a parasitic alien race is rudely interrupted when one human refuses to succumb to the 'Soul' possessing her.
As interspecies war rages, can love and the human spirit really conquer all?
Boy meets girl, boy falls in love, boy eventually impregnates girl with his vampire spawn forcing him to 'save her life' by turning her into one of his own during childbirth.
Boy and girl defeat the evil vampires determined to destroy their peaceful existence and live happily ever after.
General critical opinion of The Twilight Saga aside, it would seem churlish to ignore the box office success of the franchise.
Clearly, this is a story that appeals to many.
That said, the somewhat more sophisticated tone and themes of The Host give it the edge.
Plus, you know, bonus points for having no dead-eyed, CGI impregnated-by-angry-vampire-sex babies.
The Host: 1, Twilight: 0
Saoirse Ronan has the tough job of taking on a split personality for The Host - Melanie, the strong, volatile human host; and Wanda, the ironically more gentle alien that takes over her body.
Of course, being so different, it takes the two a while to bond and find a common goal.
But the important thing is that they do so whilst simultaneously looking hot and making us like both of them.
In portraying the perpetually conflicted Bella Swan, Kristen Stewart became the envy of tweens everywhere.
But, crucially, she also gave them hope. Hope that all average girls could bag themselves a beautiful boyfriend who sparkles in the sunlight.
Unfortunately, the character's only discernible personality traits are incredible self-control, a penchant for danger and the ability to whine incessantly.
They might have an unfair advantage, what with there being two of them, but whichever way you judge it both willful Melanie and kind-hearted Wanda kick Bella's ass when it comes to this competition, for their sense of self worth alone.
The Host: 2, Twilight: 0
Max Irons (son of Jeremy, fact fans) plays Jared Howe, Melanie's lover before events (and aliens) conspired to replace his missus with somebody new.
Understandably, Jared's boyish charms have since been somewhat quashed by bitterness and anger issues. He's only human, after all.
Brooding, deadly and really, really intense, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) fits the mold of every vampire ever.
Except, of course, that he feels bad about killing people and does his best to repress the bloodlust by munching on mountain lions and avoiding people - until he meets Bella, that is, and learns to crack a smile.
Sexy, protective and kind of a douche on occasion, there's not a lot that separates this pair.
In fact, they're kind of the same person - except that Jared doesn't sparkle in the sunlight, and probably never heard of Debussy.
That said, we doubt Howe is going to take Edward Cullen's place on teenage walls anytime soon.
The Host: 2, Twilight: 1
Meet Ian O'Shea (Jake Abel), resistance fighter, dreamboat, and bona fide Soul hater.
Kind and strong, Ian is everything anybody could want in a man.
But when he finds himself feeling the warm and fuzzies towards Wanda it doesn't please Jared at all, for obvious reasons.
for him than most. Of course, his habit of transforming into a giant, hairy canine and whispering cheesy sweet nothings in Quileute might put some people off.
Whilst Ian admittedly has more facets to his personality, there's no denying the sheer loveability of Jacob Black.
We always wanted a dog.
The Host: 2, Twilight: 2
Kyle O'Shea (Boyd Holbrook) might be Ian's brother, but the two don't always see eye-to-eye - especially when it comes to Wanda.
Stubborn, and with a fierce hatred for the beings who killed his one true love, Kyle's vendetta against the Souls has no limits - which means nothing good for our heroine.
Flame-haired Victoria's (Rachelle Lefevre / Bryce Dallas Howard) quest for vengeance after the Cullens killed her mate, James, was enacted on an epic scale in which she created a coven of newborn vampires to wipe out the family and destroy Bella in the process.
The lesson? Never cross a redhead.
Whilst Kyle is undoubtedly dangerous, he's got nothing on Twilight 's venomous vixen.
The Host: 2, Twilight: 3
Malevolence simply drips from every pore of The Seeker (Diane Kruger) - heck, even her name is creepy.
Unlike other Souls, she is prone to human traits including irritability, anger, emotional outbursts, stubbornness - which obviously makes her evil.
The threat she presents to the human resistance, however, isn't particularly amusing.
While The Volturi are a collective of problematic vamps, it is undoubtedly the badly bewigged Michael Sheen's Aro who presents the biggest problem to Twilight 's heroes.
A power-hungry psychopath, he's a souless monster whose fear of losing his leadership of vampire society motivates his vendetta against the Cullens.
Sheen's wonderfully creepy performance aside, he is ultimately little more than a watered-down, hackneyed horror villain - albeit one whose habit of sticking out his tongue makes the skin crawl like no other.
Woman-on-a-mission, The Seeker, therefore wins this round.
The Host: 3, Twilight: 3
Every resistance needs a leader, and in this case that duty falls to Melanie's uncle, Jeb Stryder (William Hurt), an eccentric old coot who spent years constructing an elaborate hideout in caves beneath the Arizona desert in case of alien invasion.
Crazy, but sensible. Significant others in Jeb's gang include Mel's brother Jamie (Chandler Canterbury) and requisite medicine man with a drinking problem, Doc (Scott Lawrence).
Between the Cullen clan, the Quileute wolf pack, Bella's high school classmates, her human family and her CGI baby, Twilight has a much bigger cast of characters - many more of whom we get to know properly.
Of course, there are many more books/films (some might say too many).
Having come to know and love Twilight' s extended and extremely attractive contingent over the years, how could we not choose them? Shallow? Us? Never.
The Host: 3, Twilight: 4
None. Nada. Not a thing. Being an advanced race the aliens have superior technology, of course, but there's not a mind reader or fire breather among them. Most disappointing.
From the usual supernatural prowess of vampires and werewolves to additional gifts including seeing the future, elemental manipulation and several different versions of mind control, Twilight is a veritable superpowerpalooza.
There's no contest really - is there?
The Host: 3, Twilight: 5
We all love to see spaceships and battles and big action set pieces in alien invasion movies.
Unfortunately, The Host doesn’t quite deliver on this front. Instead, it focuses on feelings.
Aside from a bit of fisticuffs here and there, you’re much more likely to see quite a bit of crying and lots of angst-ridden dialogue.
If there’s one thing Twilight had in spades, it was crying and angst-ridden dialogue. But, it also gave good fight scene.
From the innovative filming techniques used to capture the vamps’ superhuman speed in Eclipse, to that controversial closing cop-out in Breaking Dawn Part II , Twilight delivered.
For the simple fact of its existence, the action in Twilight pips The Host to the post.
The Host: 3, Twilight: 6
Being set in a dystopian future, one might have thought that Earth’s remaining humans would be humping left right and centre.
Concerns about the continuation of their own race aside, living in an underground cave must become unbelievably boring after a while.
Meyer’s story, though, is chaste. Longing looks, meaningful smiles, meeting of skin and a bit of enthusiastic snogging is as exciting as it gets.
Despite the questionable ‘sex is bad’ undertones in Twilight , these movies were all about sexual tension – regardless of the nonexistent chemistry between the leads.
Lots of heavy breathing, near-meeting of lips and torturous self-denial eventually gave way to passionate love making for Bella and Edward on their wedding night – with disastrous consequences that nearly killed the bride.
In the end, though, Breaking Dawn Part 2 gave us what we’d been waiting for… in tasteful soft focus, of course.
Let’s face it, having been made for an audience burgeoning on pubescence, neither of these movies were ever going to give us graphic or gratuitous rumpy pumpy. Therefore, it’s an even draw.
The Host: 4, Twilight: 7
The Uncomfortable Bit
It might extol the virtues of tolerance, forgiveness and understanding, but The Host frequently and conveniently jumps the morality shark on several occasions in order to *spoiler warning* give the characters a happy ending.
Several of them, in fact, seem to get over their issues or be forgiven for their actions far too easily.
Where do we start? A ‘perfect’ hero who borders on possessive and controlling, a heroine who is in large part happy to be possessed and controlled, the aforementioned graphic and violent consequences of sex and – here’s the best bit – the whole thing where an adult male prone to unnecessary nudity ‘imprints’ on a child.
None of the above are good lessons for the film’s target audience, surely?
Ultimately, we’re talking about light entertainment, so far be it from us to take either of these fictional worlds too seriously.
But nevertheless, this is a serious competition dammit – so we’re refusing to reward either contender points for making us squirm and cringe. You read that right, people – nil points.
The Host: 4, Twilight: 7
Erm… dunno, really. It doesn’t matter what you look like, it’s what’s inside that counts? The aliens are coming, pack up your things and head for the nearest bunker?
Parasitic aliens have feelings, too? Nope. Not a clue.
Sex is bad. Oh, we’ve covered that. Vampires make brilliant boyfriends? No? In that case it’s got to be that love conquers all.
To be honest, we could live without morality being shoved down our throats, so yay for The Host .
The Host: 5, Twilight: 7
Caves. Yeah. But these caves are in the Arizona desert. If promo footage is anything to go by, with cinematographer Roberto Schaefer in charge of making them look good, they’ll look darn pretty.
Forks, Washington doesn’t exactly sound like a magical place, but over five films various chaps gave that rainy corner of the States a charm of its own.
We might jest, but Uncle Jeb’s caves serve a greater purpose than simply looking good.
As Wanda is held captive while the humans decide what to do with her, a tense situation is made even more urgent by the claustrophobic atmosphere they provide.
If The Host were any other film, we’d liken it to a psychological thriller at this point. But it’s not, so we won’t.
The Host: 6, Twilight: 7
On paper, The Host has all box office success boxes checked – it’s science fiction, the genre a la mode, with loads of soppy romance and already has a huge following as Meyer’s book sales can attest to. How could it not win?
The worldwide box office success of The Twilight Saga is just the tip of the sparkly iceberg. The series has its own conventions. Plural.
The films have made stars of the cast – whether deservedly or not.
Fans have gone so far as to mark themselves forever with graphic representations of R-Patz and devoted fanfic has even spawned another, far worse franchise in 50 Shades Of Grey .
Unfortunately, but inevitably, this is really no contest…
The Host: 6, Twilight: 8
For fans of Meyer and braindead supernatural romance, this needn’t be a contest at all. And there’s even potential for The Host to sway Twi-haters – they are, after all, very different stories. But when it comes to this competition, the facts are clear – the original can’t be beaten.