'The Host' - the first truly horrific X-files episode

17 March 2023
"The Host" is the second episode of the second season of The X-Files, which aired on September 23, 1994. The episode is known for being one of the most disturbing and memorable of the series being up there with 'Home'.

The episode starts with a sewage worker getting attacked by a mysterious creature in the sewer system. Mulder and Scully are called in to investigate and they soon discover that the creature is a mutant fluke worm that has grown to a size of six feet long and developed a taste for human flesh.

The creature, nicknamed "Flukeman," is a grotesque creation with slimy, pulsating skin and a gaping maw full of sharp teeth. It's a truly unsettling sight, made even more disturbing by the fact that it's based on a real-life parasite known as the liver fluke. 

the host flukeman xfiles

The investigation leads Mulder and Scully to a group of Russian scientists who were experimenting on the worms, trying to create a biological weapon. The Flukeman was one of their experiments that had somehow escaped into the sewer system.

The tension builds as the Flukeman continues to attack people, and Mulder and Scully must figure out a way to stop it before it can cause any more harm. The episode culminates in a heart-stopping chase scene through the sewer tunnels, as Mulder and the Flukeman face off in a brutal fight.

In a twist ending, it is revealed that the flukeman is not actually dead, but has survived by regenerating its body like a worm or a fluke. The final shot shows the flukeman floating away with his eyes opening. 

"The Host" is an incredibly well-crafted episode that stands out for its high level of tension and horror. The Flukeman is one of the most memorable creatures from the series and has become an iconic image of The X-Files.

In terms of production, the episode was directed by Daniel Sackheim and written by Chris Carter. 

The Flukeman was designed by makeup artist Toby Lindala, who used prosthetics and animatronics to bring the creature to life.

The episode was well-received by audiences, and it remains a fan favorite to this day. It's a testament to the show's ability to create truly horrifying and memorable episodes that leave a lasting impact on viewers.

Here are some trivia & facts about "The Host":

  • The original title of the episode was "Wormboy".
  • The episode's monster was inspired by an actual creature found in New Jersey's Passaic River, which was dubbed the "New Jersey sewage monster" by the media.
  • The production crew faced some challenges in bringing the sewer scenes to life. The water in the sewer set was freezing, and the crew had to use a special dye to color it black to make it look like sewage. Additionally, the scene where the monster attacks the scientist required a lot of special effects work, including a puppet of the creature.
  • The episode was directed by Daniel Sackheim, who had previously directed the season 1 episode "Fire". Sackheim brought a lot of visual flair to the episode, including some interesting camera angles and movements.
  • "The Host" was generally well-received by audiences and critics, who praised the episode's horror elements and the memorable monster. It also helped establish the "monster of the week" format that would become a staple of the series.
  • The episode was directed by Daniel Sackheim and written by Chris Carter, who came up with the idea of the monster after reading about parasitic worms.
  • The design of the Flukeman was based on a cross between a human and a worm, with a long, rubbery body and a gaping, toothy mouth.
  • The scenes involving the Flukeman were shot using a combination of practical effects and CGI, with a stuntman in a rubber suit and a computer-generated tail added in post-production.


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My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

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