“I’ve lived in this city all my life, but somehow today I felt everything had changed — people were different.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Peary also laments the loss of political subtext so prevalent in Siegel’s film, but this doesn’t really matter: a world in which everyone you know suddenly becomes “somebody else” is a scary enough premise to exist on its own. Finally, Peary complains that Kaufman places too much emphasis on “special effects and snazzy visuals”, but I disagree; other than the subtle yet effectively creepy opening sequences of spidery alien wisps growing into tiny flowers:
… special effects don’t make an appearance in the film until almost halfway through — at which point they’re used judiciously and to good effect. With that said, Kaufman’s version does run a bit too long, and I could have done without the subplot involving Sutherland’s crush on the married Adams:
Nonetheless, this remains a surprisingly effective remake, and is well worth watching on its own merits.
Note: Watch for several notable cameos: Don Siegel — director of the original …Body Snatchers — appears as a “replaced” taxi driver; Robert Duvall is shown in the very beginning as a creepy priest on a swing:
… and the original movie’s star, Kevin McCarthy, reappears as a man running wildly through the streets.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: