Invasion of the Body Snatchers Reviews
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.
*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.
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.
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.
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.