Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
Director: Philip Kaufman
Starring: Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Nimoy
Currently on Rotten Tomatoes’ Top 100 Horror Movie List
I vaguely recall watching this movie when I was much younger and I remember being overcome with the same feeling. Overwhelming disinterest.
Don’t worry. I can already hear you booing and hissing from here.
Listen, I love the concept. I find the idea very interesting, but this is one of those movies that didn’t translate very well for me. If you read my previous review of The Exorcist, I go into how some movies, as wonderful as they may be, just don’t translate without a sense of nostalgia attached to it. Invasion of the Body Snatchers is by far the opposite end of that for me.
Donald Sutherland has always been an amazing actor; Brooke Adams was a bit touch and go for me; and Jeff Goldblum is stalking me on this project, I swear. I expect him to pop up again soon. So, the acting wasn’t the issue. The story was a bit erratic, I felt, but I tried to chalk that up to writing about hysteria. It isn’t easy to convey hysteria properly, as it most often comes off as confusion or idiocy.
Of course, the old nature of the movie combined with the special effects and the fact that I wasn’t alive in the 70s made it harder to relate to their ‘daily life.’ None of these factors helped me. In fact, I consider them all great hindrances.
So, here is where I am going to confuse you. It wasn’t a bad movie. I liked it. I didn’t love it; I won’t rave about it; but I liked it. There are several moments that were very worthy of undivided attention and I rather agreed with the ending and applaud the character, Matthew Bennell (Sutherland), for his response to the situation. Many of you may not agree with that, but, honestly, what more could he have done?
It’s on the list for a reason, so I recommend you watch it and form your own opinion. It was a tad heart-breaking seeing Leonard Nimoy appear on the screen, but also oddly wonderful.
Moral of the story? How well do you know your friends and family? Could you tell if they’ve been taken over by pod people?