Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Our first film in this unit was the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers made in 1956, an utter classic in portraying an otherworldly invasion, set in the troubled times of 1950s suburban America with communism and prospects of the Cold War ever looming.

The story and pacing was brilliant in settling an uncanny atmosphere in an otherwise normal neighbourhood, before building up to a tension filled finale of horror and escape. Opening with a foreboding prelude of Miles' madness, we become ever more concerned with the narrative of Miles' tale as events unfold with the most peculiar effect.

Invaders grown from pods, it is left unknown as to the exactness of how these lifeless corpses grow and take over the human form they possess, or even their intention of doing so other than to simply exist. It is this ambiguity that further drives the tension and drama in the narrative as one fears an enemy they cannot understand, appearing familiar in appearance yet fundamentally different, something completely uncanny.

Lacking a certain human quality, the characters feel great unease of their suspected neighbours and even loved ones, effectively creating a great sense of isolation as you can 'trust no one' - much to the lurking fear of 1950s America of a hidden yet ominous threat. Constantly on the run knowing they cannot rest, the odds are against our heroes as they turn one by one into the very thing which they most fear - lifeless, devoid of emotion and inhuman to the very core.

I really enjoyed the film becoming absorbed in the tonality of the film, desperately hoping for our heroes to prevail and get away from the masses to warn the rest of humanity. Even the ending is left unclear in an unsettling way as we can only wonder if the warning is delivered in time. A true classic that definitely stands the test of time, of an unwavering and most unsettling ominous invasion.


tutorphil said...

nice screen grabs, Leo - IOTBS is such lean, mean little movie - and the scene in the greenhouse is wonderfully creepy; if you get the chance to see the remakes, you'll see that the theme doesn't age...




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