Do not trust anyone. Do not show emotion. Do not fall asleep.
Director: Oliver Hirchbiegel
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig
We are long overdue a remake of the classic Sci-Fi flick Invasion of the Body Snatchers. This time Oliver Hirchbiegel (Downfall, The Experiment) takes the helm. Bit of trivia for you, the studio didn’t like his ending so they drafted in the Wachowski brothers and James McTeigue (The Matrix Trilogy) to rewrite and direct respectively. A fun game to play is trying to pinpoint where Hirchbiegel ends and McTrigue begins.
Not one to watch before bedtime. Trust me. Watch with bated breath as Carol Bennel (Kidman) and Ben Driscoll (Craig) run from the aliens who turn people into creepy, emotionless drones. The ‘pod people’ are significantly minus pods in this version. Instead they infect people by spitting in their mouths. Then when you slip into REM sleep, you are surrounded by a sticky chrysalis which covers your entire body. You then emerge a beautiful butterfly, looking exactly as you did before, but devoid of human feeling. Told you it wasn’t pleasant.
Jackson Bond plays Kidman’s son, who appears to be the solution to the spread of the alien beings, and a sweetie he is too. Looks like he just stepped out of the Haley Joel Osment mould. Kidman herself makes a good job of her role as concerned mother, and Daniel Craig is nothing short of dashing as the very British love interest.
Camerawork is in places scarily disorientating, dragging you breathlessly through Carol’s mental state as she desperately tries to stay awake throughout the film. In previous versions the aliens got you by attaching pod-like devices to you while you sleep. Hirchbiegel’s version has none of these clumpy props and is all the better for it. The result is a far more intimate and frightening experience for the viewer. Giant pods are ridiculous; disease spread via bodily fluids is a very present threat.
Much is made of the aliens’ intentions with the human race. Apparently it’s all for our own good. If we work like robots there is no war, no murder, no rape. Everything is perfect. It’s all a bit Stepford Wives, but what is really disturbing is that after a while, the argument starts to sound quite convincing...
Screenings of this film:
|2007/2008 Spring Term – (35mm)|