The first remake of the paranoid infiltration classic moves the setting for the invasion from a small town to the city of San Fransisco and starts as Matthew Bennell notices that several of his friends are complaining that their close relatives are in some way different. When questioned later they themselves seem changed as they deny everything or make lame excuses. As the invaders increase in number they become more open and Bennell, who has by now witnessed an attempted "replacement" realises that he and his friends must escape or suffer the same fate. But who can he trust to help him and who has already been snatched? Written by
Mark Thompson <email@example.com>
The story we have here, filmed once before in 1956 (I haven't seen that version) and once again later, in 1994, is so strong and thought-provoking that even a just-adequate film based on it would be quite effective. This 1978 remake goes beyond "just-adequate", though. It's a creepy, scary chiller, and also one of the most intellectual films of this genre I've ever seen. Maybe it lags in a few places, but excellent performances, methodical direction and a LITERALLY chilling finale make it first-class entertainment. (***)
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