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Invasion of the Body Snatchers

I’ve heard about this 1956 sci-fi horror film a thousand times since I was a kid but didn’t watch it till just the other day. Directed by Don Siegel, noir in style, and starring Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter, it’s considered a classic scary picture. For the first ten minutes or so the plot felt silly to me, but then the premise settles in, and the affairs driving the storyline start to work in some light touch of a way that has a frightful effect. And this approach is fitting considering that, when all’s said and done, the body-snatching monsters are just an invasive species of plant.

Best bits:

1. Pods in the greenhouse crack open one by one and foamy daikon-colored bodies start unfurling out. 2. Hiding from the mob under loose planks in the abandoned mine. 3. Dr. Bennell, at the end of the film, tries to convince the authorities in another town that the invasion is real, and that he’s not psychotic—he who at the start of the film believed his patients must be suffering from Capgras syndrome.


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