They Live (1988) Poster

(1988)

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  • One day an ordinary-type fellow discovers quite by accident (?) that the earth is in the process of being taken over by other worldly beings that you cannot see without the special help of a specially constructed every-day item. No one believes him unless they can see it for themselves and the movie takes off on that theme. The story itself is fascinating and John Carpenter delivers it well. What will they do? What can they do? How? The movie reveals by watching. Get to it! Edit

  • They Live is based on a short story called Eight O' Clock in the Morning by Ray Nelson. Edit

Spoilers

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The FAQ items below may give away important plot points.

  • The aliens are attempting to conquer and subjugate the human race, perhaps turning our planet into a colony. Like most invading aliens of movies of this type, they are likely here to plunder our planet's natural resources. There's a brief moment where the Bearded Man in the pirate signal of the resistance says that CO2 emissions have increased and that the invaders are changing Earth's atmosphere to make it like their own.

    And there's the signal that they broadcast that tricks humans into believing the aliens are human in appearance so they can live among us without being detected.

    What's unique about their efforts is that the aliens are taking their time: they'd rather subjugate humans by creating more extremely poor people instead of waging an outright war to decimate us quickly. Carpenter himself has stated that the story's primary theme is a critique of Reagan-era America where the greed of the ultra-rich made them more wealthy and powerful at the expense of the middle and poor classes. Edit

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