31 Favorites #27: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

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Well, we're down to the last few days of the 31 Favorites list, and it only seems appropriate that we come full circle and revisit Donald Sutherland's afro. Oh yeah, it's back!

In Invasion of the Body snatchers, a health inspector receives a oddly large number of complaints in which people claim their loved ones don't seem to be themselves. As things in the city get stranger and stranger, the inspector and his small group of friends discover that an extraterrestrial organism is creating "pod people" - emotionless copies of the original person - when they fall asleep. 

This just might be the least purely horror-y horror film on my list of favorites, but don't get confused - it's a terriblyscary film. Like Aliens, it can sit comfortably between the science fiction and horror genres without much effort. And while it's obvious that the film's foundation is rooted in science fiction, I guarantee it is full of horrors - particularly around loss of individuality, the disappearance of personal agency, and the isolating character of large urban centers.

Three Things I Love About It:

  1. The end of this film is one of the most terrifying moments in film history. It definitely delivered a "heart in the throat" moment! Why'd they have to go and do that??!?
  2. While the special effects are a little dated by contemporary standards, they are wonderful for their time. There's plenty of...goo and gelatinous...stuff. Everything is viscous and intimately tactile looking, and there's a particular nastiness to the spider webbed cocoon that the beings build around their victims, and the half-built humans that sometimes emerge from them.
  3. The idea of not being able to go to sleep, because you know if you do that something will attempt to take over your mind, body and soul, is a horrifying thought to me...complete nightmare fuel!
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