Sunday, October 14, 2007

THE INVASION - more botch job than B-movie

THE INVASION is an embarassing remake of THE BODYSNATCHERS horror movies that so brilliantly captured the paranoia and moral decrepitude of the McCarthy witch-hunt and the Watergate disaster. This remake has the alien invasion take the form of a virus that is spread my vomit, turning its victims into pod-people. The German director, Oliver Hirschbiegel, created the outstanding Hitler bunker movie, DER UNTERGANG, so we can presume that the blame for this fiasco lies with newbie Dave Kajganich, who failed to translate this paranoia tale into a decade of rendition and starts of CCTV. (Seriously, what could have been easier?) The nearest this movie gets to a political sub-text is its weakly subversive proposition that a society of pod-people would be safer and more peaceful. It never gets sophisticated enough to examine whether it is worth sacrificing moral agency to secure safety. Blame also lies with the studio, who commissioned the guys behind the MATRIX and V for VENDETTA to re-shoot swathes of material. What we end up with is more botch-job that artistic whole. THE INVASION should have gone straight to video. Presumably it only got released because the strength of the big-name cast will partially recoup the costs of this fiasco. The public deserves better.

THE INVASION has already been released in the US, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, India, Taiwan, New Zealand, Singapore, Greece, South Korea, Mexico, Argentina, Slovakia, Italy and the UK. It opens later in October in France, Germany, Brazil, Norway, Japan, Belgium, the Netherlands, Iceland and Spain. It opens in Portugal, Estonia, Egypt, Russia, Slovenia, Lithuania in November 2007 and in Australia on February 28th 2008.


  1. Why is there a need to remake this film seemingly every decade. Admittedly, the Donald Sutherland version is my favourite, but still. This is what, like the 3rd remake? (Does the Abel Ferrara one count?).

    On a side note, have you seen the trailer for new Coen Bros. film, No Country For Old Men yet?

  2. Well, there's the original Mike Finney version which I like because it's so creepy. I mean, nothing bad ever happens on screen - no gore, no death - but it totally freaked me out when I watched it. The score is especially good. I guess most people do think the 70s' Sutherland version is the best. I think I relate to it more because it's got an urban setting and I love flicks that do the whole urban paranoia thing (esp. the opening scenes in 28 days later). The Able Ferarra version must count surely? I like it coz it's very austere, and terrifying, but in a more graphic way than the original.

    I really don't mind remakes so long as they add something to the genre. And I think there will always be remakes of Body Snatchers because the story is such a good morality tale against the dangers of mindless conformity.

    What I DO object to is piss-poor film-making.

    (P.S. Haven't seen the Coen Bros ad. Didn't like their last two films....)

  3. "What I DO object to is piss-poor film-making."

    Doesn't everyone. Oh wait.... Matt.

    I didn't fancy the last few Coen brothers films either, but this looks totally different from all their previous works, except maybe Miller's Crossing and Blood Simple. You should have a look.

  4. Matt is a connoisseur of piss-poor film-making, but the movies he watches are so bad they're good, which in entirely different to the so bad, they're bad category....

    As for No Country, maybe it'll be the surprise film at the London Film Fest. Other than that, I'll have to wait till January. I LOVE Miller's Crossing, so that's a good sign...