31 Horror Movies I Own #15: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
I’ve seen all the versions of Invasion of the Body Snatchers—the original 1956 version, 1993’s Body Snatchers, 1994’s The Puppet Masters, 2007’s The Invasion (HORRIBLE)—and the 1978 version directed by Philip Kaufman is THE BEST.
I’m not just sayin’ that because of my raging crush on Jeff Goldblum either (even though he’s totally one of the best parts). From the lighting to the special F/X, the whole feel of this film is creepy and wrong, which starts it off on exactly the right foot.
It’s never really explained, but some kind of alien life rains down on planet earth, inhabits the plant life, and starts winding itself around people and creating emotionless, alien imposters.
This is one that actually scares me on a personal level: think about what would happen if everyone around you started acting differently—effectively, your husband or your wife just ISN’T your husband or our your wife anymore, and no one believed you.
A small group of people figure out (including some of my favorite actors ever: Donald Sutherland and Veronica Cartwright) what’s happening, and band together to try to keep themselves safe. The problem is that eventually the aliens outnumber the humans, so there’s no hope for escape.
One of the best moments for me is when Jeff Goldblum’s character, Jack, decides to distract the hoards of aliens coming for the group by running down the street and yelling, “Come and get me, you POD BASTARDS!” It’s a perfect place to break up the tension and terror with some humor, and it doesn’t at all diminish the devastatingly hopeless ending.
This is a beautifully shot horror film, with tons of atmosphere and tension that pulls you right into the screen. A classic favorite of mine, I re-watch this frequently and it’s still just as scary with every viewing.