An American village is visited by some unknown life form which leaves the women of the village pregnant. Nine months later, the babies are born, and they all look normal, but it doesn't take the "parents" long to realize that the kids are not human or humane. Written by
The film was shot in western Marin County, California. Director John Carpenter had a house in Inverness for several years, so the location was essentially his second home at that time (as the director puts it, "his own backyard"). However, the locals were not happy to see the film crew in the area so they made the shoot very difficult by harassment and vandalism. Carpenter tells that while they were filming, for example, a sound take, a neighbor would start mowing his lawn or start up a chainsaw until he was paid to stop. Some of the people even tried to break into the equipment trucks. The whole experience essentially soured Carpenter on living in the area, where several scenes of his earlier film The Fog (1980) were also filmed. See more »
When the eye doctor mistakenly uses the wrong substance instead of eye drops, the girl's eyes remain shut but she still screams in pain as if something is burning her eyes. See more »
Dr. Alan Chaffee:
[walks into the barn where the children are]
Another man is dead. Why do you hate us so much, Mara?
It isn't a matter of hate. It is a biological obligation.
You are thinking of what happened to the others. Then our actions shouldn't surprise you. We have to survive no matter what the cost; we are the only ones left now.
Dr. Alan Chaffee:
I don't see why we can't reach an understanding. Why can't we just live together?
If we coexist, we shall dominate you. That is inevitable. Eventually you will try ...
[...] See more »
If you haven't seen the original 1960 film, or read Whyndham's 'The Midwhich Cuckoos', then you might possibly like Carpenter's remake. It has degrees of suspense, and passable acting (perhaps most surprisingly by Christopher Reeve in his last performance prior to his paralysis), but these qualities are inconsistent throughout the film and it frequently falls flat.
If you've seen the original film then avoid this one, especially if you have read Whyndam's novel too, you will only come away from the experience with a sense of disappointment and feel cheated of the time you invested in watching it. This film lacks many things that the original had - great and consistent acting, tension, and suspense to name but three.
There seems to have been a conscious effort to add gore and violence, and that decision is perhaps the main reason this film fails so miserably compared to the original. The gratuitously graphic nature of the violence directly detracts from the suspense and tension so evident in the original. Whereas in another carpenter remake 'The Thing' the effects and violence enhanced the sense of dread, here they are responsible for destroying it.
There are other reasons that this film is quite dire, one of them being the narrative compromises made to attempt a recreation of the visual style of the original film e.g. the children all wear matching clothes which, in the original, was logical since in England children do indeed wear school uniforms. However Carpenter's US town sees the children uniformly garbed with no reason, other than to draw attention to their uniformity in a massively clumsy and illogical visual device.
Take my advice, watch the original and avoid this. It's one strictly for carpenter fanatics, not people who are simply fans of his work.
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