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The Invasion

‘The Invasion’ is a 2007 science fiction film starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig. It is the fourth film adaptation of the 1955 novel ‘The Body Snatchers’ by Jack Finney, following the 1956 film ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ directed by Don Siegel, the 1978 remake also titled ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ directed by Philip Kaufman, and 1993's Body Snatchers directed by Abel Ferrara. It’s also similar in theme to the teen horror made in 1998, ‘The Faculty.’

The main plot is basically the same as in any of the ‘Body Snatcher’ movies – aliens have come to earth, this time in the form of an illness, the illness then takes over the human body while it sleeps, and turns the host into a soulless, unemotional replicant of the person they were.

Psychiatrist, Carol Bennell (Nicole Kidman) takes the lead role, in first identifying that something is very wrong in Washington, DC, and asking her scientist friend, Ben Driscoll (Daniel Craig) to help her identify a strange matter she has found forming on her son. This then quickly spirals in a race for Carol to find her son, who she has left with his father, save him, and get them out of the city, all the while being unable to fall asleep because of the infection, to which her son is immune.

This is different to the other takes on ‘The Body Snatchers’, and even though it had many negative reviews, it isn’t bad. Nothing, in my opinion, is going to top the 1978 remake, titled ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers.’ ‘The Invasion’ seems to know this though, and even makes a few post-modern nods to the movie, the main one being the inclusion of Veronica Cartwright (Alien, Witches of Eastwick) as Wendy Lenk (the first person to bring to Kidman’s attention that her husband isn’t acting like her husband.) Veronica Cartwright played a fantastic role as the last survivor, Nancy Bellicec, in the 1978 version.

The cast in general is strong, led by the more than capable, Nicole Kidman – who is always brilliant, and must be one of the most talented actresses at the top of her game in Hollywood. Kidman basically carries the movie, knowing exactly how to play it, terrified, but unable to show it (as the aliens show no emotion.) Daniel Craig is good in his role, although there’s not really much to make of it.

The movie brings up, more directly than in the other movies, whether or not human emotion, is a good or bad thing? For example, we are shown via the media in the movie, about the war in Iraq, violence and rape. As soon as the ‘pod people’ start taking over, with there lack of emotion and unspoken bond with each other, the war stops, as does any violence and hatred etc. This social question is the main point of the movie and of Jack Finney’s novel – with him asking just how humane is humanity?

The movie, although unoriginal if you’ve seen the other takes on the novel, is well done. There is a lot of action and tension, and audiences unfamiliar with the other movies should enjoy it greatly. It doesn’t drive in the true horror of what is occurring, as the 1978 version did, but it makes for enjoyable, gripping, viewing.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Steven Casey Murray. All rights reserved.
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