Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

This is a movie that needs little introduction. Our heroes run around a city on the verge of paranoid insanity as one by one everyone but them is taken over by pod people. Can they turn the tide, or does the control wielded by the pod people reach higher than they could ever imagine.

Widely regarded as one of most successful (in every sense of the word) remakes ever filmed, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a fantastic movie, moody paranoia choking every single frame. It hails from a time when film makers were not afraid to take their time in setting up beautiful shots and had no problem with their cameras lingering on those shots for as long as it took for you to appreciate them. Every character in this movie is interesting in one way or another and even nearly thirty years later they do not strike you as stereotypes or living cliches. Even Jeff Goldblum's character is only mildly annoying, which says a lot.

Although overly long, the pace is perfect and the movie zips by with a dark urgency. The invasion is slow to start but once it does the movie simply does not let up and you even get some really great slimy pod guy effects. The best part of the movie, however, is that is refuses to pander to the audience. Where lesser movies would stop the film for a second to let the gravity sink in, and then maybe play a soundtrack cue to tell you to feel anxious or upset, Invasion of the Body Snatchers just keeps moving. The characters react realistically and there is none of the melodrama that infects much of the genre when it tries to turn in a more dramatic direction.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a fantastic thriller. Why not make it a night and watch it with John Carpenter's The Thing to see two completely different approaches to remaking classic sci-fi/horror movies, both effective in their own way?

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