Saturday, May 30, 2015

Double Decker: Alien (1979) and Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1956)

Hello, Bloggers, after having seen two classic alien features, I figured I'd provide reviews of them for you folks. Before I did a Triple Crown of reviews, but for this one, I will do a double feature or Double Decker if you will. These two films are the 1979 film Alien and the original Invasion Of The Body Snatchers.

                                             Alien (1979):
         Alien is a rather claustrophobic horror film that manages to weave in various horror elements as it is a creature feature involving a body count with body horror added in while it solves the problem of the haunted house as it has the main characters trapped in a spaceship. The genius of its scares is not just the creature itself, but how director Ridley Scott incorporates simple techniques like dark corners, the sound of a heart beating when danger approaches, and the horror of suggestion as a lot of the victims are killed off-screen. I also liked the creature designs of the different aliens and how they are all practically designed as I have made it known that I prefer practical over CGI effects.

    There is also quite a sense of humanity present, meaning you care about the characters that are given distinct personalities. The performances by the cast are also astounding especially Sigourney Weaver as the main and now iconic heroine Ripley. So overall, Alien is an essential classic that features terrific performances, precise direction, and is bound to frighten, whether you are a fan of creature features or haunted house films as this offers the best of both worlds.

Grade: A+
                     Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1956):
        Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a timeless classic that still captures the era it was filmed in as the antagonistic "pod people" taking over the inhabitants of a small town turning them into mindless drones was served as an allegory for communism and McCarthyism due to the film's main protagonists trying to fight the pod people or "take a stance against the communists" so to speak. But its horror elements lie in its subtlety. When you notice the change in the behavior of some of the citizens in the small town, that creates an uneasy feeling. I also loved the design of the "pod people". One of my favorite scenes in the film is the one in the greenhouse where the main characters see the pod people coming out of their shells and forming into human duplicates. The effects looked very real and if I were to remake this film, I would do something similar to what they did here. So, Invasion of the Body Snatchers proves just how less is more. Its thematic material captures the horrors of its era that might still be relevant today and what the effects lack in grand scope, they make up for in authenticity.

Grade: A