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Alive and richly done, with some great performances!
secondtake9 October 2010
Invasion of the Body Snatcher (1978)

The original 1950s version of this movie is such a favorite of mine, I hesitated to watch this one. But fear not. This is great, too. It's got the same theme, but very richly and creatively rendered, some superb photography, great night stuff, and most importantly, great acting by the key 3 or 4 people.

Director Philip Kaufman works sporadically as director and writer (he hit it big with "Raiders of the Lost Ark") and he clearly has a unique and somewhat fearless vision that remains rooted in Hollywood sensibilities. That is, this is no independent film, yet it's creative.

And it's scary. Between the development of fear over the actual biological invasion, and the old fashioned chase and hide sequences, this is a tense movie. But yet it's convincing, given the realistic, nuanced acting by the main couple, Donald Sutherland (as a Health Department official) and Brooke Adams (as a lab analyst in the same department). Of course, what happens isn't believable at all, somehow, but it's so close to feasible, and in fact so close to what we live with already (some people without feelings, out for themselves, part of a conspiracy, etc.), it isn't hard to pull it off.

Cinematographer Michael Chapman is about as good as it gets in the Hollywood vein, polished and with amazing, varied lighting (he also did "Raging Bull," "The Fugitive," and "Taxi Driver," for starters). So this movie works on every level. The one thing it isn't, of course, is original, but as a remake, we have to take it for how it handles it, 1970s style. Impressive.
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Filmed nightmare
Mr. Book.7 April 2000
I first saw this film in a movie theater at midnight, as part of an October horror-movie festival. I almost didn't go; I had always had this movie figured as another stupid Hollywood remake of a great film from the past, and thought they were probably only showing it instead of the original because of that weird, vague prejudice against black and white movies that still for some reason permeates this country, even though the novelty of color wore off about forty years ago. But I figured what the hell, it wouldn't hurt to check it out, and when will I get a chance to see any of these movies in a theater again? So I went, and was almost immediately sucked in by the mind-bending direction and the terrific acting. But not only that; it was after midnight, remember, and I was getting sleepy, and I found myself in that kind of hypnotized, pseudo-dreaming state you can get into when you're watching a movie really late at night. I was really into the movie, mind you, but it was like a dream, I wasn't wholly conscious. And just as I was at my most out-of-it, as I was almost technically asleep, the movie hit me with that last shot, you know the one I mean, and jolted me wide awake like a bucket of ice water. It was just like waking up from a nightmare. I thought I was gonna start crying. I haven't been that freaked out by a movie since I was a little kid. As the end credits rolled and the house lights came up, I heard some other people in the theater talking about what a stupid movie it was, man, was that a waste of money, I'm glad it was only three-fifty, and it was a really surreal moment; I've just had one of the most horrifying moments of my waking life, and they're talking about how silly it was (although, truthfully, they may have been a little shaken up themselves and just covering for it, I dunno). A week or so later I was talking about it with my dad, who had seen it when it came out, and I mentioned the ending, and he did a dead-on mimic of the last shot, and I said "God! Don't do that!" I was STILL shaken up by this movie.

There aren't a lot of movies that even try to be frightening--most horror movies (and novels and so on) actually have other concerns: being funny, or shocking, or gory, or surprising, or bizarre, or whatever--and even fewer actually pull it off, actually scare you. Man, does this one pull it off.
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Excellent remake of the 1950s paranoid classic. ALMOST as good as the original.
Infofreak25 April 2003
The original 'Invasion Of The Body Snatchers' is one of my favourite thrillers of all time, and a very hard movie to top. I'm always sceptical about remakes of classic horror and SF films, but this version by Philip Kaufman is much better than one would expect, and ALMOST as good as the original. I still think Don Siegel's version is the best because it really evokes small town life in middle America, and that makes the horror and suspense all the more effective. Kaufman transplants the setting to San Francisco and the big city location means it loses its sense of intimacy and community, and instead has more of an alienated urban feel to it. But it's still an excellent movie, and along with Cronenberg's 'The Fly' and Carpenter's 'The Thing' the most successful remake of a 1950s horror classic to date. What really helps this movie is the cast. Donald Sutherland, one of the 1970s most interesting and intelligent actors, is excellent in the main role, played by Kevin McCarthy in the first film. And the lovely Brooke Adams ('Days Of Heaven', 'The Dead Zone', 'The Unborn') is first rate as the main female lead, her role being much more substantial than Dan Wynter's in the original. I've had a major crush on Adams ever since I first saw this movie. She is beautiful but goofy and I really thought she was going to be a major star. The supporting cast is excellent, led by the wonderful Jeff Goldblum and 'Alien's Veronica Cartwright, and of course Leonard Nimoy, in his most memorable non-Trek role. Also keep an eye out for cameos by the star and director of the original version (Kevin McCarthy and Don 'Dirty Harry' Siegel), and a very brief but eerie one by Robert Duvall! 'Invasion Of The Body Snatchers' is a superb example of how to remake a horror classic, and is one of the creepiest and most nerve-wracking thrillers of the 1970s. I highly recommend it and the original 'Body Snatchers', they are two of the scariest movies ever made!
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One of the very best alien invasion still is!
Boba_Fett113817 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
You gotta love the '70's! It was really the golden age of cinema. '70's movies were real, gritty, they had a sense of realism, had an unusual and often revolutionary style of movie-making. Many of the best movies ever made are from the '70's. Not sure if "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" classifies as one of THE best movies ever but it certainly is one of the very best alien invasion movies ever made and therefor remains still one of the very best movies out of its genre.

The realism turns out to be a perfect combination with the horror and science-fiction elements in the movie. It makes the movie haunting and makes us really feel with all of the characters. Their fear becomes sensible and their actions understandable. Nothing 'big' or 'impressive' is ever shown and very little is explained in the movie. The movie and how the events unravel are totally told from the main characters view point. None of the main characters are 'heroes' and instead they are just normal every day persons. Those two elements are the main reason why this movie is so realistic and haunting to watch. It also is the reason why alien invasion movies made present day fail to impress ("Independence Day", Spielberg's "War of the Worlds") They are all told 'big', with special effects and lots of violence with big name actors in them. They are made for entertainment and most of them surely also work well as entertainment, especially in my opinion "Independence Day" which I, unlike many others, find to be a very entertaining and good movie to watch. Those movies are surely good and entertaining enough and its not the cast or crews fault that those recent movies fail to impress the general audience, it's just that those movies were made in the wrong decade and it misses the '70's touch that makes the movies so gritty, raw and realistic to watch.

"Invasion of the Body Snatchers" is told slow and things happen in a low pace. Since nothing is really explained as the movie unravels, you never really fully understand what is happening and why. It gives the movie an almost paranoid kind of atmosphere, which helps to make this movie more of an horror movie than a science-fiction movie, even though the story itself is obviously fictional. The story to be honest is quite far fetched and perhaps even ridicules at moments but due to the realistic and slow way it is told, none of this matters. It helps to make this movie one of the most haunting ones ever created, also due to its unforgettable haunting ending that is one of the very best out of cinema history, it really is!

The typical unusual '70's cinematography is from Michael Chapman. Leave it up to Chapman to give a movie a realistic look and feeling. ("Taxi Driver", "Raging Bull", "The Fugitive")

The cast of the movie is great. Like every good genre movie from the '70's, it has Donald Sutherland in the main lead. He plays an average, not perfect guy, which again adds to the realism and our involvement with the character. Other fine roles are being played by Veronica Cartwright, Leonard Nimoy and Jeff Goldblum in one of his first really big role.

"Invasion of the Body Snatchers" is way more than just another average, unlikely alien invasion movie. It's brilliantly told, crafted, acted, thoughtful, haunting and realistic. '70's film-making at its very best and it makes this movie still one of the very best out of its genre.

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Eerie, Suspenseful & 'Classy' Horror/Sci-Fi Effort
ccthemovieman-125 November 2006
This is a solid horror/sci-fi story with good production values. Those values include outstanding direction by Philip Kaufman, camera-work by Michael Chapman and acting. The cast of main characters was comprised of Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Leonard Nimoy, Jeff Goldblum and Veronica Cartwright. Of the group, Sutherland had the most lines and was the most impressive. All of it added up to a pretty classy film, a lot more than you'd except reading the movie title.

There was some profanity and nudity so maybe it wasn't totally classy, but the profanity was light and the nudity was a few shots of Adams' breasts.

The movie clicked because it built up the suspense beautifully, and proved you don't need a lot of violence and gore to scare the viewer. Too bad modern filmmakers of horror films can't seem to understand that. In fact the scariest thing of the movie - and it WAS scary - might have been the eerie noises emanating from the "re-born" humans.

The photography is good and I loved the facial closeups and interesting camera angles. The film is a visual treat. The original film in 1956 is a good one but it's generally conceded this re-make is superior. The star of that first film, by the way - Kevin McCarthy, makes a cameo appearance in here. That was a nice touch.
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One of the Few Good Remakes- A Sci-Fi Classic
starlit-sky21 January 2011
Invasion of the Body Snatchers is the remake of 1956 movie by the same title and considered to be, by many fans, to be the definitive and the best version of the story.

The movie begins with images of plasmas from an alien world floating out into space towards planet earth. Then the rain comes and we see an odd organism growing on plants' leafs. Before too long, people start to act strange, they group and exchange plants, they act indifferent to their surroundings, they are emotionless, almost robotic. A group of characters who are not affected soon find themselves a minority in a world that is changing rapidly.

One of the greatest appeals of this movie is its socio-political resonance. It can be interpreted as a state of minority versus majority, us versus them and individualism versus social conformity. It shows how we try to turn the others into a version of ourselves because we can't tolerate the otherness. And maybe this is a universal common trait of all beings whether alien or human. Even though the commentary is about humans, it is actually alien organism that takes over human bodies (snatches human bodies - hence body snatchers).

The movie also questions how much we should sacrifice to achieve harmony in society. Should we preserve our individuality at risk of conflicting with other members of the society, or should we just join the majority, think like others, walk like others and talk like others do? Like all great science fiction movies, the story is social commentary on the state of the world. This is probably the reason why there are so many versions of this movie. And most recently in 2007, another version was made called "The Invasion" starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig.
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Close enough to get a cigar, but not as good as the original
BrandtSponseller9 February 2005
Shortly after Elizabeth Driscoll (Brooke Adams) discovers a strange plant in her San Francisco-area yard that she cannot identify, her boyfriend begins acting strangely--he looks the same, but Elizabeth swears he's a different person. Before long, more and more people are claiming the same thing about their friends and relatives. Just what is going on? Although not quite as good as the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), this remake is very interesting and well worth a watch. Some things it does better than the original, although slightly more is not done as well. But it is full or intriguing ideas, some beautiful cinematography, and quite a few quirky charms.

One oddity about this film is that it seems to assume that very few people will watch who aren't already familiar with the original. Scripter W.D. Richter and director Philip Kaufman give away the "twist" immediately, and there are a number of statements from characters in this film (such as the first time we hear the advice to not fall asleep) that only make sense if one already knows from Don Siegel's original just why they shouldn't fall asleep. For this reason, I strongly recommend that anyone interested in this film who hasn't seen it yet should make sure they watch the original first.

The opening shots, which firmly set this remake into sci-fi territory, are a great idea, even if the execution is somewhat questionable. I'm not sure that Kaufman's "art gel" works, and the way it moves through space, as if blown by trade winds, is slightly hokey. But I'm willing to forgive a misstep if it's in service of a great idea, and especially if the misstep is the result of budgetary limitations.

Early in the film, the major asset is the cinematography. There is an excellent, slow tracking shot down a hallway, where we only see our main character by way of her feet and a slight reflection in a window. There are a lot of great "tilted" shots. There are a lot of subtle lighting effects to set mood, and a just as many subtle instances of symbolism for the horrors to come.

The cast, featuring Adams, Donald Sutherland, Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Nimoy and Veronica Cartwright, is an interesting combination of stars who tend to give idiosyncratic performances. Kaufman exploits the collection of personalities well, although occasionally gives us odd "everyone talk at once" scenes which can verge on the brink of annoying. Although I'm not usually the biggest fan of Goldblum (in some roles, such as The Fly, I like him, in some roles he tends to irritate me), I noted an odd similarity between him in this film and an actor and performance I'm much more fond of--David Duchovny and his X-Files character Fox Mulder.

Speaking of that, there is a strong X-Files vibe to this film overall. Whereas the original Invasion had thinly veiled subtexts of fear and doubts of "The Other"--whether politically-rooted (the common analysis is that the original Invasion was a subtext for U.S. fears of communism), religiously-rooted (some see it as a parable about cults, or religions in general) or simply about personal identity (in a philosophical sense of "Who am I/are you?" "What makes one oneself?"), Kaufman's take has stronger subtexts of encroaching mental illness--fear of losing one's mind and a generalized, "clinical" paranoia.

Given that difference, it's perhaps odd that there are so many similarities between the two films. The character structure and relationships are largely the same, with some mostly insignificant differences, including slightly different occupations. There are many scenes taken almost verbatim from the original film, often only with differences of setting, but staged the same, with similar scenarios and occasionally identical dialogue. There is even a wonderful moment where Kevin McCarthy, star of the original film, comes running down the street, screaming that we're all doomed.

A number of quirky moments push the value of Kaufman's film up a notch. These are sprinkled throughout the film, but some highlights are a Robert Duvall cameo as a priest inexplicably on a swingset next to toddlers, the "mud bath" parlor, a brief spurt of marvelous, Zappa-sounding avant-garde classical as we witness a chase down a staircase, and a greenhouse in a shipping yard, through which Elizabeth eventually strolls naked, casually walking by employees. The "creature" effects may be better here than in the original, but they are not more effective for that.

But overall, this is a great film. Just make sure you don't miss the superior original.
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gridoon14 August 2000
The story we have here, filmed once before in 1956 (I haven't seen that version) and once again later, in 1994, is so strong and thought-provoking that even a just-adequate film based on it would be quite effective. This 1978 remake goes beyond "just-adequate", though. It's a creepy, scary chiller, and also one of the most intellectual films of this genre I've ever seen. Maybe it lags in a few places, but excellent performances, methodical direction and a LITERALLY chilling finale make it first-class entertainment. (***)
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An effective remake showing how horror should be done
Condemned-Soul26 February 2019
Good, contemporary horror films are scarce. Only a handful of exceptions avoid the bin containing wasted efforts; those horrors that are too often comprised of tired clichés and cheap, ineffective scare tactics, denying them any chance of lingering in the memory and opening the doorway for a slew of pointless sequels of varying crassness. It's easier to search for old classics from the 70s/80s for worthy genre entries. Ones that come to mind are The Thing, The Omen, The Wicker Man, Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street, plus others, for their ability to be equally shocking, subversive and entertaining. Perhaps a less viewed horror - yet with a well-known title - is 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' (1978 remake), a profoundly disturbing tale of alien possession that knows how to scare its audience without trying too hard.

The plot: spores from outer space begin duplicating the human race one by one, perfectly copying every detail except for being entirely devoid of emotion. It's a straightforward story that commences immediately with the main threat beginning its quiet invasion. It's up to a few survivors - led by Donald Sutherland's health inspector and his female colleague - to evade a chilling fate, while trying to figure out a way to stop something seemingly unconquerable. Who will survive? Will anyone survive? How can the remaining humans win? Questions like these haunt the runtime, and 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' is so effective because it feels strangely plausible. The narrative funnels you down an increasingly claustrophobic path with no outlet, no room to breathe, then snares you into an ending you won't soon forget. It's an inevitable conclusion, but it's a no less intimidating final image just because it had to happen; a chilling kicker that touches primal fears of isolation and the unknown. Co-starring Jeff Goldblum, Brooke Adams and Leonard Nimoy, everyone does a commendable job of conveying panic, distrust and anxiety.

Director Phillip Kaufman employs gritty camerawork that further manipulates viewers emotions: low angle shots, tremulous zooms, lingering wide shots... these techniques all contribute to the unfolding chaos - the unbeatable alien menace - and ramping up the dread that becomes overwhelming halfway through when survival is paramount but improbable. It's not your typical alien invasion, but the stealthy attack is all the creepier for it, as these plant lifeforms take over family and friends with reckless biological instinct. Seeing people as emotionless automatons is a flesh-crawling prospect, and the screams they illicit when discovering and chasing a survivor owes a lot to the eerie sound design which consistently complements each chilling image.

Overall, 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' succeeds on very simple ingredients. It digs under the skin, coils tighter and tighter as proceedings play out, and relies on paranoia to generate its terror without needing violence and gore. Combined with strong direction, impressive practical effects (for the time) and a nerve-wracking sound design, this is true horror in its simplest form; a terrific blend of sci-fi and horror planting its roots deep for an unsettling experience modern genre efforts should try emulating.

Score - 8.5/10
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Excellent take on a brilliant story
The_Void8 February 2005
Phillip Kaufman's adaptation of Jack Finney's classic novel had a lot to live up to after the classic 1956 take on it - and I think it lived up to expectations. Though not as great as the more politically orientated original, Kaufman's film is still a lesson in suspense and the central story has lost none of the intrigue that it captured in the original. The story follows an alien life form that has come from outer space and taken residence here on earth. Not content with living in sibilance with humans, the aliens become 'body snatchers' and make duplications of people while they're sleeping. These duplicates take the original host's place and are everything their originals were, only all forms of emotion vanish. Our story takes focus on Martin and Elizabeth, two workers at the US Health Department. After taking home a supposedly new type of flower, Elizabeth finds her boyfriend acting strangely and later discovers that she's not the only one with relatives who aren't quite themselves...

This film works because of a constant sense of paranoia. In the 1950's, this was tied in with the then 'reds under the beds' idea of communism spreading through capitalist America. This film seems to have dispensed with that idea, which gives way to more opportunity for sci-fi horror, which is more than welcome in my opinion. The special effects on display are bold and lavish, and therefore exciting to watch. They are a little hokey, but still not bad at all - the parts where you see the alien duplicate forming are fantastically gruesome, and also rather frightening. The whole idea of the film is frightening, even in spite of the fact that it ever happening is very unlikely. The idea that an alien race can take over almost an entire city in one night, and without anyone realising it, is not one that I'd like to have if I was a paranoid conspiracy theorist! Then there's the notion that they'll get you if you sleep as it's like one man in the film says..."gotta sleep sometime". Invasion of the Body Snatchers is also notable for featuring a great cast, which not only includes the excellent Donald Sutherland and the beautiful Brooke Adams, but also Jeff Goldblum (in his first of two successfully good remakes) and Leonard Nimoy, a.k.a. Captain Spock from Star Trek. Also watch out for cameos from original Invasion of the Body Snatchers director Don Siegel and said film's star.
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More logical and exacting than the original
Agent108 August 2002
While some contend the original was a better version, I still prefer this one. Donald Sutherland, Jeff Goldblum and Leonard Nimoy was excellent, providing more logic and insight to the film where the original failed to accomplish. Sure, it was tougher to make a secret invasion of a large city seem more believable, but the more believable and rational appeal of this film puts it heads and tales above the rest. Also, the fact that it is a little more drawn out and conceptualized, it makes for a better night of movie making than the original.
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Awesome and chilling Sci-Fi movie
ngoldmann1 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This remake of the great story of the original is definitely worth a lot of recognition. It keeps the original story line and stays quite close to it but adding a few great things such as the ending. It stays very thrilling and exciting throughout the whole movie. It may seem a little old fashioned when watching it nowadays but the tension makes up for that. The only thing that seems a little strange is when he tries to destroy the factory and it seems like he succeeds doing so because it appears a little exaggerated in my opinion. Still I personally love the dark ending, you really wouldn't expect it and to me it's the most powerful possibility for ending this movie. So if you're in for some chilling tension and enjoy movies like Alien this is just right for you.
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Pop Culture Thoughts
popculturethoughts15 December 2018
A rare remake that manages to outdo its original, Philip Kaufman's tense, unsettling thriller is a masterpiece of paranoia unto its own. Donald Sutherland and Brooke Adams share remarkable chemistry, which makes their familiarity feel all the more important as the movie's titular invasion quickly gets under way. Jeff Goldblum and Veronica Cartwright are tremendous in effective supporting performances, and the judicious use of practical special effects is the right choice for the movie's slow-burn tone. It's worth watching for the classic, unsettling ending alone.
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"It Was Like The Whole City Had Changed, Overnight!"...
azathothpwiggins3 September 2018
INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1978) opens w/ the release of alien spores into space, from some unknown planet. Back on Earth, life goes on as usual. Department of Health scientist, Elizabeth Driscoll (Brooke Adams- SHOCK WAVES, THE DEAD ZONE) has discovered an unknown plant living parasitically on a plant in her garden. She soon notices her boyfriend acting strangely. So odd is his behavior, she tells her health inspector boss, Matthew Bennell (Donald Sutherland). Furthermore, Elizabeth seems to see conspiratorial behavior between her boyfriend and groups of strangers. Matthew doesn't take her concerns seriously, until he starts noticing some oddities himself. As the dark reality grows harder to ignore, a small group of Bennell's friends gather together, including Jack and Nancy Bellicec (Jeff Goldblum and Veronica Cartwright), and pop psychologist, Dr. David Kibner (Leonard Nimoy). When Elizabeth is nearly "replaced", it becomes clear that the titular invasion is underway, and the survival of the human race is at stake. This remake of the 1956 original is more than just the usual cheeezey update. Enlarging the scope to cover the city of San Francisco, it's bigger and far more paranoid. In fact the overall, increasing atmosphere of dread is palpable, slowly turning the city into a nightmare world of suspicion and ultimate doom. A sci-fi / horror masterpiece, packed w/ classic scenes like the "backyard-transformation", "man-dog", and "final-scream" sequences. Belongs on everyone's creep-shelf... EXTRA POINTS FOR: The tremendous practical effects!...
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A remarkable science fiction tale that still stuns, baffles, and chills.
punchxix14 January 2019
On top of being an engrossing conspiracy thriller in step with the gritty urban tales of the time, the Invasion of the Body Snatchers is also a genuinely creepy film which slyly suggests there is something sinister beneath the surface.
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I Was Pleasantly Surprised.....and Scared!
gab-1471218 October 2017
I have never been a fan of horror movies or remakes because they are usually not good. But when done right, they can be special movies. Invasion of the Body Snatchers happens to be both a remake and a horror movie, so I had my doubts. Luckily, this is a really good movie. This film is based off the 1956 film of the same name, and I hear it is a good movie. So when a remake at least equals the quality of the original, then that means you did something right. Most people seem to agree that this movie equals the same horror tone as the original, but it passes it in terms of conception. There are many themes this movie expanded on. Such themes include paranoia, the idea of dehumanization whether it's mentally or quite literally in the case of this movie. You could also talk about the idea of the lack of trust of people in an increasing complicated world. The original had roots in communism as the 1950's were known for paranoia as the Cold War escalated. You could easily see the transfer of those ideas in this film. Paranoia is rampant as these invisible alien creatures take over human bodies and minds. These ideas really created the tension and horror that the movie needed.

This science-fiction remake is sent in the city of San Francisco, California. One day, Elizabeth Driscoll (Brooke Adams) complains to her good friend Matthew Bennell (Donald Sutherland) that her husband has been acting very strange. Bennell originally dismisses the thought as marital problems. But when more people start complaining, he becomes increasingly concerned. When writer Jack Bellicec (Jeff Goldblum) and his wife Nancy (Veronica Cartwright) uncover a mutated corpse, Bennell realizes that the world has been taken over by an unseen force. Now it's up to him to beat the clock before the whole city turns into mutants.

The film does have a good cast, and they all turned in solid performances. Donald Sutherland is a great actor, and he showed himself some range here. Brooke Adams made a name for herself earlier in 1978 with Days of Heaven, and she turns in another good performance. Jeff Goldblum is an amazing actor as you will see in future movies, but he is really good in one of his earlier roles in this film. One of the best performances in the film comes from the amazing Leonard Nimoy. You might know him from his iconic role as Spock in the original Star Trek television series. He is usually typecast as similar characters in his movies, but this role as Dr. David Kibner gives him something fresh, something different. He plays more of a villainous character, and it's a welcome sight.

The production design adds to the horror elements. The look of the movie is creepy and sometimes downright scary. The pods where humans are transformed are wonderfully scary. When the movie shows how these humans are transformed is the ultimate prize when it comes to being scared. Any fan of horror would appreciate this.

Overall, I really enjoyed the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers much to my surprise and delight. It succeeds in giving me the creeps, but in such intelligent ways. It's a thematic film touching on concepts of paranoia-which was a very popular concept considering what was going on in the world at the time. So remember if you see any pods nearby, well lets hope it is not an invisible alien making you its next prey. After all, I became a little paranoid for a few days after I saw the movie.

My Grade: B+
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Eerie, creepy and dreary horror sci-fi.
OllieSuave-0078 October 2017
An eerie and creepy horror sci-fi movie of space aliens who invade Earth, particularly San Francisco, to make duplicate of humans' bodies and develop their new race in human form - with no emotions. The protagonists (Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Nancy Cartright) try to escape the aliens and find a solution to stop them. But, with them multiplying rapidly, it might be near impossible.

Great acting and some dark moments. A fast-paced plot, with the problem and suspense starting almost immediately as the movie begins, grabbing your attention. A doom and gloom-feel movie for a dreary time.

Grade B
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As Good If Not Better Than The Original Because of the Characters and razor-sharp Dialogue
classicalsteve15 August 2010
Let me start out by saying that I am very fond of the original movie of 1956. But the biggest difference between the two films is the handling of the characters and the use of camera angles that ring of film noir. The characters of the 1956 offering are just a little bit generic. Dr Miles Bennell is an "ordinary" doctor in an ordinary town. Handsome and amiable, he does seem a bit "typical". The two couples that become the main focus are a little bit less defined, which was true of B-movie horror/SF flicks of the 1940's and 1950's in which the horror of the plot trumped character development. By the 1970's, horror had to some degree become more mainstream, and character development became nearly as important as the shock value in some of the higher-budgeted offerings. "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Exorcist" come to mind.

The four characters of the 1978 film are quite distinctive individuals. Matthew Bennell (played by Donald Sutherland and essentially the equivalent character to Miles Bennell) is a bureaucratic FDA inspector who gets his car windshield smashed when he tags a restaurant for sub-standard quality. His best friend is Elizabeth Driscoll (Brook Adams) who is a fun-loving woman with a rye sense of humor and married to a sports fanatic.

Both of the Jack Bellicec characters are writers, although in the 1978 offering, Jeff Goldblum's take on the role is as a very frustrated writer/poet who is jealous of the likes of Dr. David Kibner (Leonard Nimoy), pop-psychologist, writer and lecturer. Jack attends one of Kibner's lectures and book-signings. Nimoy plays his character to the hilt, acting like he has the answer to all people's problems. Goldblum at one point says "His ideas are garbage. Pure garbage." response: "How can you say that about a man like Kibner?" Goldblum: "Not a man like Kibner. I'm saying it about Kibner." We never find out what the character wrote about in the 1956 offering. Nancy Bellicec played by the incomparable Veronica Cartwright in the newer offering becomes a much more important character than in the 1956 film. She's the one, not Bennell, who realizes how to fool the "snatched" people by exhibiting no emotions. She has one of the best lines when she says "Well why not a space flower? Why do we always expect metal ships?

Their lives start to fall apart when Elizabeth Driscoll claims her husband Geoffrey is not her husband. Before he is snatched, he is an amiable guy who enjoys watching sports events with headphones to hear the announcers. After he's snatched, all he watches on the television is a video of a stop-watch, as if for him life has stopped, and he's just marking time. She recounts to Sutherland how she followed him and that he was meeting all these strange people. Sutherland encounters others with similar dilemmas, particularly an older Asian couple who own a Laundromat. The older man claims "she not my wife." The build-up in the 1978 offering is a little slower and more deliberate.

Jack's wife, Nancy Bellicec (Cartwright), discovers a duplicate body of Jack in a back room of their mud bath. At first the body seems to have almost no detail. But gradually it begins to look like Goldblum. Is there any connection with this body and this epidemic of people claiming that their loved ones are not their loved ones? In a particularly brilliant if not disturbing sequence, Bennell tries to call some of his contacts in the US government. The camera angles work well to literally dizzying affect as Bennell begins to realize the snatchers have infiltrated the government.

An incredible take on Jack Finney's original novel about the horror of losing one's identity to an emotionless collective, sort of akin to what it would be like to have to spend eternity with either Jehovah Witnesses or Beaurocrats! You are no longer you but simply a clone among the collective, a terrifying thought.
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Respectable remake, but not as good as original
dcshanno20 October 2004
The original 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' is one of my favorites. There were so many films from the 1950s that involved an alien threat menacing small town Americana, but 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' was one of the few standouts because it took what it was doing seriously. Not another in a long series of man-in-a-rubber-suit movies, its tactics were more psychological. We, like Dr. Bennell, are uncertain what's going on or even if there actually *is* anything going on until its too late. Then the walls close in on the doctor and Becky, and nowhere is safe, there is nowhere to hide. Added to this is the film's ambiguous subtext, and you end up with a movie that really is much better than it should be.

While I don't think the remake was bad necessarily, I don't think there's anything remarkable about it either. It was good for what it was, but it lacked any real suspense because it began by revealing the threat and then rushed to get that threat underway. Setting the film in a large city was a mistake. One of the strengths of the original was the confusion and horror the characters felt as they slowly watched the people around them, the people they had grown up with and known so well, become strangers. That element's lost when you set the movie in a place where nearly everyone is a stranger to begin with, where you wouldn't know if the person walking down the street is different today than they had been the day before. I also think the third act is overly long and drags out.

Kudos to the man-faced dog, though. That was great.
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They Get You When You Sleep
claudio_carvalho9 November 2008
The employee of the Department of Public Health Elizabeth Driscoll (Brooke Adams) tells his friend and coworker, the field investigator Matthew Bennell (Donald Sutherland), that her boyfriend Dr. Geoffrey Howell (Art Hindle) is not the same person, having a different behavior. Matthew suggests Elizabeth to pay a visit to his friend, the renowned Dr. David Kibner (Leonard Nimoy). They meet him in a lecture and he tries to convince her that she has some emotional problem with Geoffrey, while Elizabeth notes that other people are having the same complaint. When Matthew's friends Nancy (Veronica Cartwright) and Jack Bellicec (Jeff Goldblum) find a clone of Jack in their medical mud business, they call Matthew and he immediately seeks out Elizabeth. He breaks in her house and finds a clone of her. The quartet discovers that people are being replaced by exact emotionless replicas using plants that get them when they sleep.

Don Siegel's" Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1956) is one of the best and most scary sci-fi ever. This remake is also great, with an update of the original story with stunning special effects for a 1978 movie. Further, it is a tribute to Don Siegel and Kevin McCarthy, with their cameo. My vote is eight.

"Title (Brazil): "Os Invasores de Corpos" ("The Bodies Invaders")
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Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a rare example of how remakes equal their originals.
TheMovieDiorama24 February 2018
Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a rare example of how remakes equal their originals. Now, having never seen the 50s original and only seeing the modern remake 'The Invasion', I was sceptical about the acclaim this received. How many times can the same novel be adapted and still be enthralling as the source material? Turns out several times. This was incredibly eerie and edgy for its time. A health inspector and his colleague are in the midst of a gradual alien invasion where the rest of society start to act differently than before. The epitome of portraying totalitarianism (I've always wanted to use that word in a review!) and how easily manipulated society can be at conforming to new regimes. It's a timeless and always relevant story that seamlessly blends sci-fi with politics. Creating true order from falsified order. The inability of the freedom to act, the relinquishment of feeling...just the loyal obedience to the "bigger picture". That being a flourishing gelatinous alien race taking over planets by duplicating their hosts once they fall to sleep. It plays out like a classic sci-fi, but the horror elements crop up occasionally. The first five minutes were surreal and entrancing, it reeled me in immediately. The slow revelatory build up during the first two acts were extremely well paced. The survival instincts in the third act kicked in and then executed one of the best twist endings in the history of cinema. Sutherland performed very naturally, his character was very lifelike in terms of the actions he took. Adams was slightly over the top and sporadically annoyed me as she stated the obvious consistently. Nice small roles from Nimoy and Goldblum also. Kaufman's gritty and experimental camerawork really was the stand out. His technique has resulted in a film that has aged impeccably well. Oh, and the evocative sound effects that range from screams to synthesised sci-fi noises were deliciously haunting. The screenplay feels derivative in certain aspects, as it tries too hard to detail character development. All I know is, I now need to watch the original!
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Donald Sutherland and Brooke Adams discover their friends are being taking over by cold human-duplicates
ma-cortes14 November 2011
This is the second adaptation , still very scary and eerie , about vintage novel deals with San Francisco residents who are being replaced by duplicates hatched from weird pods . It creates an altering the human behaviour in the new invaders. Meanwhile a doctor (top-notch Donald Sutherland) must protect his helper ( significant role for Brooke Adams) and soon aware that pods from outer space are duplicating and replacing everyone there . The doctor may hold the means to avoid the extraterrestrial invasion . The mysterious epidemic from outer space is spread her friends (Art Hindle, Jeff Goldblum , Leonard Nimoy) and San Francisco people , everybody are being take over by emotionless , cold behaving . The mysterious seeds from outer space are growing and destroying San Francisco Bay Area at an alarming attack.

This scary Sci-Fi displays a tense screenplay based on Jack Finney novel titled ¨Body snatchers¨ that can be considered truly disturbing . Packs suspense, chills , thrills, spectacular scenes and pretty turns and twists . Good performances from Donald Sutherland and Veronica Cartwight who subsequently acted in the last version , besides important cameo role by Kevin McCarthy , Donald Siegel and can be glimpsed Robert Duvall . Appropriately rare and frightening musical score by Denny Zeitlin at his last soundtrack . Very good cinematography by the magnificent cameraman John A Alonzo . The motion picture is professionally directed by Philip Kauffman , with great originality in spite of being a remake .

Other versions about this known story are the following : the classic adaptation which emerged as a cinema classic directed by Donald Siegel(1956) with Kevin McCarthy , Carolyn Jones and Dana Wynter, concerning about mysterious seeds duplicating people , it has emerged as a cinema classic that brings astonishing nightmares ; and inferior rendition in which the horror is diminished by Abel Ferrara(1994) that takes place in a military base with Forrest Whitaker , Meg Tilly, Terry Kenney and Gabriella Anwar. Lately recent version that results to be the least satisfactory titled ¨Invasion¨ with Daniel Craig, Nicole Kidman , Jeffrey Wrhight and directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel . Rating : Better than average . Worthwhile watching .
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A Hip, Stylized, Reworking of a Timeless Classic
jamhorner24 February 2008
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 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.

As I said before, this movie is one of the best remakes ever, mainly because of the well-crafted writing and the plot structure that gives respects to the original movie. Because of the writing, there were a lot 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 he is 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.
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One of the Best Remakes on Record!!!
zardoz-1325 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
"The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid" director Philip Kaufman fashioned a genuinely sinister remake of the classic Don Siegel chiller "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1956) that boasts everything an inspired remake requires to eclipse the hallowed original. Kaufman's Technicolor rehash changes the setting from the rural California town of Santa Mira in the middle 1950s to the sprawling metropolis of San Francisco during late 1970s. Scenarist W.D. Richter garnered an Oscar nomination for his adaptation of author Jack Finney's novel "the Body Snatchers" written in 1955. In other words, Kaufman's film is not a strict remake because he didn't replicate the Siegel film shot-for-shot any more than Richter duplicated the dialogue and action. The Kevin McCarthy & Dana Wynter relationship in the Siegel film differs from the quasi-adulterous relationship between Deputy Department of Public Health Inspector Matthew Bennell (Donald Sutherland) and his colleague Elizabeth Driscoll (Brooke Adams) who has stumbled upon a unique flower that she cannot identify. Mind you, they never have any time for coitus, but she is cheating on her boyfriend, Geoffrey Howell. Everything begins to go south when Geoffrey exhibits unusual behavior, and Elizabeth suddenly believes that he is an impostor. Nevertheless, this outstanding science fiction remake ties itself to the original because the hysterical character that McCarthy played shows up during a traffic sequence. He is warning the world that all is not well and that 'they are coming for us.' As if this homage to the original didn't constitute something unusual for a remake produced twenty-two years later, the casting of the original director—Don Siegel—in a bit part amounts to a blessing of sorts for Kaufman's film. Indeed, Richter integrates the narrative from one film into another, despite the obvious fact that the McCarthy character couldn't have been on the lam that long. Since Kaufman and Richter refused to confine themselves to a remake in the strictest sense of the meaning, they have fleshed out the narrative considerably and provided visual exposition about the evil alien spores that migrate from a distant planet through space to settle on the Earth. Early sequences depict how the alien spores--referred to as spider webs--permeated the Earth. Indeed, Kaufman and Richter have developed the narrative in greater depth than the Allied Artists' original without sacrificing a shred of subtlety. The first-rate cast, headed by the incomparable Donald Sutherland of "M.A.S.H." fame, includes "Star Trek's" Leonard Nimoy, Jeff Goldblum, and Brooke Adams. Literally, Kaufman and Richter have taken the Siegel classic and given it a new lease on life with their elaborate, often thrilling, art-house version that plumbs the subject matter for far more. A metaphor for the changing world that appears early on during the action is the cracked windshield of our protagonist's car. Like everything else in "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," this symbolism doesn't get in the way of the action. Of course, the surprise ending is fantastic!
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She Was Correct! (This time.)
cro2515 June 2014
This is my favorite sci-fi/horror hybrid movie.

I agree with Pauline Kael who said it is "The best science fiction movie ever made." It's flawless. Donald Sutherland has never been better. Jeff Goldblum was allowed to be as unhinged as possible. Brooke Adams is absolutely lovely. Cute as a button, and those eyes! How she does that 'trick" with rolling her eyes is a mystery to me. And Veronica Cartwright was as loony as she was in "Alien." She's terrific. It's creepy, which is much more effective than "scary." Yet when it wants to, it can scare the pants off you. (Think of the banjo player and his dog.) There's little things that require repeat viewings; such as all the garbage trucks, or people behind translucent glass doors simply watching as Sutherland and Adams talk in a hallway. The weird floor polisher, who just happens to be Michael Chapman, the film's cinematographer. Its cameos are so clever, they're brilliant. Kevin McCarthy screaming "You're next!" obviously recalls the later-added bumpers from the original. And Don Seigel even plays an odd cab driver! I love it. I like Philip Kaufman's other movies, but he never made another film as perfect as this. To paraphrase Ms. Kael, it's as close to perfect as a movie can get.
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