Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
Critic Consensus: Employing gritty camerawork and evocative sound effects, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a powerful remake that expands upon themes and ideas only lightly explored in the original.
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Critic Reviews for Invasion of the Body Snatchers
It's interesting to observe how Kaufman and screenwriter W.D. Richter contrive to exploit and refine elements from both Finney's novel and Siegel's film in the new movie version, an unusually imaginative and adroit but also self-conscious remake.
This film wants to have it both ways: to have a more urbane, more "important" scope than the original, and yet retain some of its inexpensive intimacy as well.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers validates the entire concept of remakes.
Set at the intersection of post-Vietnam paranoia and the myopic introspection that became hippiedom's most lasting cultural contribution, the Philip Kaufman-directed Invasion alternates social commentary with impeccably crafted scares.
Audience Reviews for Invasion of the Body Snatchers
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.
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.
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