Two's Views Film Review
by: Mary Baker & J. C. Adamson

Body Snatchers


Director: Abel Ferrara 
Cast: Gabrielle Anwar, Terry Kinner, Billy Wirth, Reilly Murphy, Meg Tilly 
This is the third version of the Sci-fi piece first made as Invasion of the Body Snatchers in 1956. Aliens from another world like earthpeople's bodies better than their own homely and immobile pods, so they just move in. 


Mary: Why would anyone want to see the film Body Snatchers?

JC: I didn't want to see it, but then I've never been a fan of scare-you-dumb movies. I think old folks like us will want to see it because they remember the 1956 classic, or the 1978 version. Today's kids will want to see it just for the thrills.

Mary: Speak for yourself old person. Scare-you-dumb movies are the foundation of our society. I liked this version of the film because it answered the question of just how the pods snatched the bodies, and when the first version came out I was a mere child and didn't make the connection. I loved the teaser, "They'll kill to be you".

JC: Definitely not for young kids. I can't say I liked the film. It was unrelenting. It spends the first two minutes telling us it's going to scare the pants off us, and the next ninety minutes doing it. If you like sitting in a dark theatre having your pulse continually raised for an hour and a half, Body Snatchers should do it for you. I want a film to do more for me than that.

Mary: It's fun to be scared! There's so much fear in every day life, it's nice once in awhile to vicariously live out the fear. Anyway, this film does more than frighten us. It makes us more aware of our fear. How many of us really listen to our children? You will after you see this film. How many of us are afraid of what could happen to us while we sleep? and so on and so on. One of the best things about being aware of fear is that you can change it once you're aware of it.

JC: I have more fun being aroused, and I didn't even get that pleasure in this flick. This latest Body Snatchers fails to find meaning for its frightfulness. Several characters make brief statements about the essence of humanity, but nothing too deep— wouldn't want to make us think. Beyond that, the movie says nothing about life. It has no political, social, or literary context. It just scared me and sent me home.

Mary: Oh come on, this film says a lot about life. You just didn't like it! One of the things it says is to "Question authority". It also asks us to listen to little kids like Andy (Reilly Murphy) because they know more than we think they know. Teenagers too, may even be instrumental in saving mankind. Marti, played by Gabrielle Anwar, is so typically teenager we want her to live. And, just because you love someone doesn't mean they can't get sick, or die— or be taken over by Aliens.

JC: You're right, I didn't like it. I don't think its message is consequential. It's a formula scare movie, with a built-in docking module at the end for a sequel film, TV series, computer game, or whatever.

All of this genre are better than they were years ago, if only because the technical quality of the special effects is far superior. But, I'd like to have seen the suspense built by better timing, more character development, and even a little more humor.

I wish it had an ending, instead of just stopping. I'm more scared by the idea that Hollywood will never tire of making these things, than I was by Body Snatchers.


© 1996, J. C. Adamson & Mary Baker

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