Invasion of the Body Snatchers Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ October 25, 2011
This remake of the classic 1956 Don Siegel film is maybe the best remake of all time. With the greatest sound design I have ever heard, the audio track adds a whole other level of tension to this great film. The screams of the body snatchers will forever be in the back of my mind.
Super Reviewer
May 27, 2011
Far and away the best of the four Body Snatchers films - and I say this without even having seen 2008's The Invasion, because seriously? All three incarnations have been strong in their own right and encompass a pretty broad variety of aesthetics and production codes. Where the original was goofy, overtly serious B-movie science fiction, and Abel Ferrara's 90s treatment was a sort of fall from innocence tale laden with sinister plant tentacles, this is by far the most adult of the explorations. Touching briefly but penetratingly on groupthink in academic thought, psychology, and human relationships, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is always smart but never wordy. Furthermore, the performances are excellent across the board and the movie itself looks fantastic. It's a shame that Philip Kaufman's career has been somewhat spare (and inconsistent, judging by IMDB's assessment of his work), because based on this alone the man can put together a hell of a visually meaningful composition. This is a truly threatening sci-fi horror film, and though its age is showing in certain regards, some of the images remain horrifying. A classic of the genre.
Super Reviewer
½ August 30, 2011
Alien invasion films are always fun to watch, whether you're looking at the political and societal aspects, or just love watching the protagonist stop the world from ending, there's usually something for everybody. This particular sci-fi remake of the 1956 original takes it's steady time to develop a very a suspenseful plot and interesting characters, who we actually care for throughout. What makes it especially terrifying is that nothing is actually explained, and we're left to be as puzzled as the main characters of scientist Elizabeth and health inspector Matthew, piecing together the facts though muddled by the police, a psychiatrist played by Leonard Nimoy, and mobs of people running around San Francisco after any uninfected that are left. There is very little music in the film which leads to a realistic buildup, the realism of an alien invasion exemplified by the particular case of Elizabeth's live-in boyfriend, Geoffrey, who becomes a pod person right under her nose. As the investigation unfolds, there is a mass epidemic but because of the extent of the infiltration there is no hope for intervention from law enforcement, the government, or army. There is only a long wait until they capture, kill, and reanimate you to become one of their people. The saddest part of all is that they are only doing this because their own planet was destroyed, shown in the opening credits, strangely shot to look like a high school science class film strip. Besides the heroes' perilous investigation, there is also a tension between them, obviously sexual from Sutherland's vulnerable and yet standoffish performance. It's very well done, especially for a remake, and makes me want to see the original all the more.
Super Reviewer
July 2, 2007
This is probably one of the most disturbing PG rated horror movies that I have ever seen, and one of the best remakes of an old classic. This movie is basically about the world being taken over by alien pods that replicate people, and then their clones become emotionless drones. A small group of survivors now must band together and stop them before they too become infected. There is one major factor that makes this movie so good and that's the way that it was written; in my opinion, remakes now a days don't have this kind of writing. This movie had a great cast of characters with excellent performances and a great theme that goes with the story. But, I cannot stress the fact that it is one of the best remake of its kind.

The acting in this movie was very well done and performed by top notch actors and actresses. This movie had two great performances by Brooke Adams, who plays Elizabeth, and Veronica Carthwright, who plays Nancy. They both did outstanding job acting extremely paranoid and overall scared, which I think heightens the emotional intensity of this film; something that the clones in the film obviously don't have. There are outstanding performances by Donald Sutherland, who plays Matthew, and Jeff Goldblum, who plays Jack, whose somber yet paranoid performances encourage the overall theme of the movie. There is a good supporting cast by Leonard Nimoy, who plays Dr. David Kibner, and Art Hindle, who plays Dr. Geoffrey. There performances give this movie that extra bone chilling kick that makes this film so good. It's just an overall great performance by all the actors and actresses.
There are alot of disturbing undertones and scenes that the original movie could not accomplish, because of it's time, and those scenes are the "larval" stages of the clones, the slow build up of how the clones eventually take over everybody and just the way that the pods take over people. It's hard to explain, but the clones aren't just people running around taking over people, they are well organized, intelligent, systematic and horrifyingly emotionless. There screams haven't change that much, but in this reworking they are more of a horrible air raid siren. When you watch it, you'll notice that the clones and the progression of the alien take over is vastly different from the original and has a flavor to it that makes this movie raw, so to speak.

Like the first movie, the central theme of this film is paranoia; however there is not allegory for real live events that would have caused this theme to work. However, what this movie does accomplish that the original one did not do is provide metaphors for what the world is experiencing. Case in point, there is a scene in which Sutherland is driving down a city block and we see a POV shot with a cracked window; this shows how the world we see is about to be shattered by the newly arrived guests. There are plenty of paranoia scenes, mostly dealing with Elizabeth and Mathew, but the one sequence that shows Mathew's paranoia is when he is calling all the emergency agencies and they all refuse him while his vision is blurred with paranoia. There is plenty of third-characters that heighten this theme even more than the main characters and secondary characters. A good example is when an old man jumps on Sutherland's car and screams about how "they" are taking over the world. This old man is played by none other than Kevin McCarthy from the original movie.

Overall, this movie is one of the best remakes ever; I really cannot stress that enough. This remake had things that remakes now a days don't have and that's a well crafted plot, great performances and a hard hitting central theme. This movie's plot structure pays tribute and respects to the original 50s classic. This is one of those few cases were the remakes is equal are better to its predecessor. I would strongly recommend this movie to any horror fan as well as any beginning horror fanatic. Those who are a fan of the original and cult classics would enjoy this too; ultimately I think any kind of horror fan should see this movie because it is very memorable. As for me, this is a movie that I can watch again and again because it's just very well made.
Super Reviewer
September 6, 2010
Although it is a remake of a classic sci-fi film from the 50s, it has an excellent cast, and they really bring the story to life. Overall, it's a good movie, but I'd rather watch the original any day.
Super Reviewer
January 7, 2009
One of the very, very few remakes that rival the original production. A good film in it's own right but still falls a little short of the 1956 classic.

*NOTE: Several terrific scenes worth noting, including an homage to the original (with Kevin McCarthy) and a 'swinging' priest cameo that looks suspiciously like Robert Duvall.
Super Reviewer
August 12, 2007
Jack Finney's science fiction novel has been made numerous times and in the first two attempts the filmmakers succeded by showing us a fantastical story but grounded in reality. If the first one was made like a straight up film-noir, with a screenplay by the pulp writer Geoffrey Homes, author of "out of the past"?; this version was made to look almost like an Alan Pakula political conspiracy thriller. It holds up pretty well comparing it to the original and even goes beyond it with a darker and unforgettably chilling finale. Philip Kaufman is indeed an interesting filmmaker.
Super Reviewer
June 9, 2010
Invasion Of The Body Snatchers is a prime example of a terrific remake. The story is solid, the film steadily builds up to it's climax, it has terrific actors (Donald Sutherland, Jeff Goldblum, Brooke Adams) Invasion is a superbly crafted film and effectively mixes Sci Fi with Horror. In Invasion there are some truly terrifying and startling scenes as Aliens quietly take over San Francisco. The film has a terrific atmosphere, and is truly tense. There are many elements that stand out from the original film and in many ways is totally different, as the story is reinvented in a whole new way. Invasion Of The Body Snatchers overall is a solidly build Sci Fi Horror film that shouldn't be missed as a terrific film from start to finish, plus the climax is unforgettable.
Super Reviewer
½ November 15, 2006
Donald Sutherland stars as a public health inspector who is initially sceptical of his friend's claims that people are being "changed", but soon discovers a widespread conspiracy to replace the entire population. One of those rarest of the rare examples of a remake that surpasses the original, it dispenses with the anti-communist allegory of the 50s version and concentrates on outright horror; in fact because of the appearance of Kevin McCarthy from the original film it can be argued that this is more an unofficial sequel than a remake. The effects bear up quite well (with the unfortunate exception of the dog-with-a-mask-on!), the pod people "birth" scene being particularly unsettling and reminiscent of Cronenberg's favourite subject of corruption of the flesh. It has a tense, oppressive atmosphere that is added to by an eerie soundtrack and the entire concept of being surrounded by a hostile force that cannot be seen or fought which can overwhelm you when you fall asleep (something that is of course, inevitable) is extremely powerful. The build up is incredibly intense and creepy, with an aura of paranoia that is almost palpable and it is an indictment of the industry today that remake of the remake The Invasion (ironically, an empty, soulless copy itself) chose to skip over this part of the film to concentrate on the by the numbers chase sequences towards the end which are far, far less interesting. Not to mention completely ignoring one of the best endings ever filmed. It's a great slice of 70s sci-fi horror that's not without its faults, but the overall effect has rarely been matched in an overcrowded genre and the haunting final shot will stay with you long after the film has finished.
Super Reviewer
December 13, 2009
I enjoyed the Remake
Super Reviewer
November 16, 2009
Such a great concept and this incarnation is definitely the best. Along with The Thing, it proved that not all remakes are bad. Sometimes they can outshine their predecessor. These remakes also gave fuel for the eventual Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Halloween remakes. The cast was outstanding and worked amazingly well together. Donald Sutherland's weird sense of humor complimented Jeff Goldblum's frantic behavior quite nicely. I also loved Brooke Adams, she's such an underrated actress. The plot flows so well and is so dynamic, it's impossible to not get completely sucked in. The hysteria element is so powerfully frightening that there is no need for jumps or scares.
Super Reviewer
April 3, 2009
One cannot deny it: Veronica Cartwright is the queen of horror. She and the entire cast of this film are wonderful and really carry the weight of this film. I wish that it was a little quicker to get going but once it did it was relentless. Jeff Goldblum's role was a little reminiscent of him in The Fly, but the dread of being surrounded by the enemy doesn't come trhough quicte as acutely as other imaginings of this film. The image of the open-mouthed, hissing/screeching pod person is indeed iconic and was ground-breaking, and you can see its influence in countless subsequent horror films.
Super Reviewer
½ November 2, 2008
"Get some sleep"

In San Francisco, a group of people discover the human race is being replaced one by one, with clones devoid of emotion.

The 1978 re-imagining of 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' is a classic in its own right. It's a brilliant example of how Hollywood could, on occasion during the Cold War, portray and reflect on the fears and anxieties of the American consciousness. The invaders could've been aliens or creatures from another realm; it didn't really matter. The force that takes over personifies America's fear of invasion from an intelligent and unrelenting hostile force. The aliens themselves could almost be an allegory for an enemy that America didn't really understand and therefore feared, namely, the Soviet regime. Throughout the film there are many scenes which give a clear indication of the deeply-set paranoia which was prevalent at the time.

The score composed for this movie is excellent at conveying the fears, anxieties and paranoia of the characters. There are moments where the music almost becomes alien itself; an innovative use of synthesizers screeches erratically, changing pitch and speed according to the level of anxiety on-screen. It's especially poignant during the scenes which show the Invaders 'snatching' people.. The acting is, by most, excellent. There are a few scenes which are a little 'hammy' by our standards today, but for the most part Sutherland, Goldblum et al, do a fantastic job at conveying their frustration, anxiety and terror when they begin to realise the sheer magnitude of what's happening to the world around them. The cinematography is very well done with regards to the frenetic chase sequences, and frenzied emotionally-driven conversations. The most impressive and memorable sequences are the scenes involving the 'body snatchers'. The only film I can compare the alien visuals to is perhaps the 1982 remake of 'The Thing', where puppetry and cosmetics are unseen; only other-worldly and horrifying visuals prevail on-screen. Overall I'd say that this film is an excellent reflection of Cold War anxiety, and it translates the somewhat convoluted and laughably over-the-top plot of the original movie, into a movie which provokes fear and contemplation.

The 1978 re-imagining of 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' is a must-see for anyone who enjoys intelligent, tense and thought-provoking thrillers.
Super Reviewer
½ December 6, 2006
Dr. David Kibner: Elizabeth, could you please tell me, in your opinion, what is going on?
Elizabeth Driscoll: People are being duplicated. And once it happens to you, you're part of this... thing. It almost happened to me!

A great update of the classic sci-fi novel, that has very good special effects that hold up today, without depending on them to hold the movie together.

Donald Sutherland and Brooke Adams star as a couple of health inspectors living in San Francisco during the 70s. Oh...and alien life forms are also slowly entering into the population.

The movie builds itself slowly by introducing the sudden change in behavior of certain characters, before changing into a creepy chase movie.

Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright, and Leonard Nimoy also star as a few people who get involved in the struggle to figure out is happening to the people.

The movie is very good in establishing its atmosphere, remaining focused on the characters, and keeping its pace.

Sutherland in particular is very good at maintaining an optimistic outlook on things, despite how increasingly hopeless things become. Sutherland has always been the kind of guy who you wouldn't think would lose his cool to easily, so when he does, you know bad things are gonna happen.

This is a very good alien invasion movie, with subtle chills, and ways to keep you guessing.

Jack: There's nothing to be afraid of. They were right. It's painless. It's good. Come. Sleep. Matthew.
Super Reviewer
May 24, 2007
A good remake, but it doesn't deliver anything more than the original, and loses something in the transition to a large-scale city like San Francisco. The plot wanders a bit aimlessly at points, and transforms the Macarthyite paranoia into a grating 1970's thriller which, instead of being atmospherically threatening, becomes randomly and acutely dangerous. with too many arbitrarily applied moments of tension and payoffs.

Still, for better or worse, it's star-studded cast, despite jockeying for screen time, gives an excellent performance, and the special effects at least make the random moments of tension rather satisfying and enjoyable to watch.
Super Reviewer
August 23, 2007
Definitive version.
Super Reviewer
½ April 19, 2007
Love me some early Goldblum
Super Reviewer
½ July 11, 2007
A 70's classic invasion picture, in weird and rainy San Francisco, where the plant-like organisms are using the moisture to spread their dangerous seed. The reproduction process was creepy and grotesque. The movie built a lot of paranoia. I thought the humans had a chance, but the aliens were many steps ahead of them. The mud sauna scene would've been weird without body snatchers. The hobo and his dog got really messed up by the aliens. The shrieking pod people are freaky things indeed; burn them all.
Super Reviewer
½ June 9, 2007
Excellent remake of a classic sci-fi/horror film. The ending knocked my socks off!
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