Body Snatchers: The Invasion Continues
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The pod people are back! Aliens take over human bodies and souls in this hard-hitting remake of the classic tale starring Meg Tilly, Gabrielle Anwar and Forest Whitaker. Year: 1993 Director: Abel Ferrara Starring: Gabrielle Anwar, Meg Tilly, Forest Whitaker
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Set on a military base, "Body Snatchers" is notably different from other versions of the story in more ways than one. Because of its isolated (and often one-note) locale, the plot feels slightly claustrophobic and, at a breezy 87 minutes, a little half-baked as well. A change in pace, this version of the story concerns an EPA agent (Terry Kinney) and his family, who are stationed at the aformentioned base. Naturally, an alien life-form has slowly crept in, turning his already dysfunctional family against one another. Meg Tilly plays his wife, who is given perhaps the film's most interesting dialogue (it's all about that chilling "Where you gonna go?" speech). Teen daughter Gabrielle Anwar, meanwhile, mashes up with a few locals, which happens to include a walking cliche gen-Xer played by Christine Elise. This piece of the plot doesn't really add up to much and only distracts from the tightly-wound story. Maybe they were trying to play to a younger audience? At any rate, it doesn't really do the film any favors as, aside from the always-game Elise and charming Anwar, the other teens/youngsters are almost as cold and lifeless as the husks left in the aliens' wake.
In spite of its flaws, the film is really quite basic in a charming way yet it's all over seemingly just as it starts to gain momentum. Abel Ferrara's direction is, erm, able. With the look of a Tony Scott or even an early Michael Bay production, his film is perhaps the most stylized of all the "Snatcher" films and most definitely a product of the '90s. The special effects are the true star here, with some truly grotesque stuff including the birth of the "pod people." None of this improves on the 1978 version, which is arguably the best adaptation thus far, but as a keyhole, glimpse into a small story taking place within a larger event type film (think "10 Cloverfield Lane"), it works quite well. If you find this one languishing on a shelf, collecting dust, it's certainly worth snatching up.
Overall, this is a middle of the road horror/sci-fi