Invasion of the Body Snatchers

What’s the best remake of all time? The Thing or Invasion of the Body Snatchers? The answer: It doesn’t matter because they are both freakin’ awesome. I know. I know. Horror fans take pleasure in arguing over things that don’t matter. Just look at any genre themed list. Ever.  When are we going to get our sh*t together and act like rational human beings? It’s not just us though, I have on good authority comic book/fantasy nerds are even worse. But their chicks are super-hot. They like to dress up and let you live out your pre-pubescent dreams of totally boning Princess Zelda one night and Peach the next. And when you are doing it, they think it’s cool when you say stuff like, “I’m about to level up!” I kid. I kid. Not really.

Switching gears rapidly, let’s talk about pod people, The Donald, Spock, and The Fly for a bit. This review is about their movie after all. There is no getting around this movie’s greatness. First, a quick plot overview: Alien stuff floats to earth, takes over people, turns them into emotionless clones, scrappy humans band together to fight off the evil, some fall in love, and some die.

The cast alone is a virtual horn of plenty of fine thespians: Donald Sutherland, Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Nimoy, Brooke Adams and a few sweet cameos (Robert Duvall, Kevin McCarthy). Outside of the amazing cast, director Phillip Kaufman does his best work as a director by a mile. Kaufman delivers a slow-burning introduction to the film that allows the audience time to build up those strangest of all emotions. What are they called again? Oh yeah, feelings. Actual feelings for characters in a horror movie. By gads, what a concept!

By the time the action gets rolling – and it does in a big way – you understand the characters and their motivations. In particular, Matthew (Sutherland) and Elizabeth’s (Adams) gradual transition from friends to lovers. The chemistry is spot on. Something Sutherland has always excelled in with his various movie partners. Everyone else for the most part delivers spot on roles, but I especially enjoyed Leonard Nimoy. Could there be a more perfect person for a movie where no one knows who is human and who is an emotionless slave to the alien life force?

The film is deeply unsettling throughout. The tension and paranoia constantly escalates (along with the body count) and forces the characters into taking and sometimes making larger and larger mistakes. It’s the kind of film that will have you on the edge of your seat. You are never in the know – just along for the ride with stars. Pray they make the right choices.

Of course, no legendary horror movie is complete without an ending that leaves viewers awestruck. Invasion of the Body Snatchers does just that. I give this film my highest recommendation, but don’t forget to watch the original flick – it’s just as good.

Rating: 9/10

Snore Factor: ZZ (Early on it may cause you to drowse)

IMDB 1978


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