Remake Vs Original: Invasion Of The Body Snatchers Part 2
By: Justin Hopkins
Welcome back to the second part of our Remake Vs Original of the Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. As I said in the first part, there were too many to do in one round, and the winner would go on to face the next remake, which after a grueling decision, the winner was 1978 Remake. Which will now go head-to-head with the 1993 Body Snatchers. After some thought, have to make one more slight change. Normally, would do a full review of each, but since I have already done the review of 1978. Would just be me copy and pasting. So, this will just be an in depth look at the 1993 version and then announce the winner at the end. If you want to see my review of the ’78. Please check out part one, from March 31. Thank you and with that. Let’s dive back into 1993 and check out Body Snatchers shall we.
Body Snatchers 1993
The movie starts with a bit of narration from the main character, teenager Marti. That she has been on the road for a few months, with her Dad, Brother, and Step-Mom, due to her Dad being apart of the EPA, and doing tests of chemicals on military bases. When they stop at the gas station. She is confronted by a soldier in the bathroom. Warning her that they are out there. That they get you in your sleep, and to run while she can. When she gets her Dad and a group goes to inspect. He is gone. When she gets to the base, after learning about there being two bedrooms, leaves before an argument could start. Walking along the gate, and notices something strange, but before realizing what it was. Is swarmed by a group of Military Police, but before anything happens. A woman shows up, and gets her out. Turning out to be Jenn, the General’s Daughter. Who befriends the young Marti. Later that night, we see a lot of the soldiers coming off as very aggressive. Breaking in and taking people against their will. The next day, we go to the Steve talking to General Platt. Who is not happy about having him there, and send a team with him to expedite the process and get rid of them faster. During his tests, Major Collins comes to him. Asking if the chemicals in question could alter someone’s psychological state. Having a number of soldiers who are in crisis. Struggling with people’s identity and afraid to sleep. Meanwhile, we go to the daycare center. Where all the kids have drawn the exact same picture, except for Andy. Who notices right away that something is wrong, and flees the daycare. Picked up by Tim and taken back home. After a little flirting. Suggesting meeting some time at the bar, Top Gun. Which she goes to later that night with Jen. Just beginning to chat with Tim, when a group of MPs enter. One of which was the same soldier who confronted her in the bathroom. Only, this one was a lot more disturbed. After a brief altercation. He leaves, and they go for a walk. Telling him about her Mother dying when she was 7, and as they share a kiss. Transition to a bubbling ground, and a group of soldiers pulling pods out of the water and I’ll leave it there for the moment.
The story is still an intriguing one despite it being another remake in the same tale. Just a simple tale, that while they didn’t make many changes. Was still just as captivating as ever. Due to the horrific, unnerving paranoia that it creates. They don’t get that option right away. They really leaned into the fact we knew and you can somewhat tell who was a pod person and not, but gets a little harder as I went further along. Really nailing it with Jen. It was an interesting direction going with Marti as the lead. Due to her not having a front row seat to the actual events like they had with Matthew and Miles before him. To a point, it did work out pretty well. The additions of the toxic chemicals being lethal gave it away to set up the ending was a nice touch as well. They needed to find a way to be different and felt they did a solid job with what they did.
The setting was perfect as well. Really felt that they were trapped on the base. Creating an isolated feeling and with the soldier’s regular regiment. Unsure if they are pod people or just going about their regular tasks, but they really hit a homerun with the motel scene towards the end. It was great to see how they totally took control of the situation and how they were overpowering the people after they had the number advantage. The special effects were great as the bodies were crumbling to dust. Speaking of, loved how much more aggressive the Pod People were in this movie. They are not bothering to put on a charade of pretending, and the little tests were almost amusing. From the guy telling Tim he slept with his Girlfriend to try and get an emotional reaction, and Jen using Marti’s love of her brother to crack her at the end. All of which were great.
While there wasn’t much in the way of blood. I did love the special effects they used here. The effects of the pods with the strands, covering the body, and we get an inside view of the pods, of the parasites swarming together and putting an embryo, then fetus, and finally the body. Loved the process they utilized here. Literally sucking the life from their victim and turning them into dust. Even giving them the ability to talk during the final stages. Making for a a great scene at the motel. It was different than what we seen and kind of like it more here.
This is where things start to taking a downward turn, and that is with the cast. Now, they all did as well as they could, and at times, each had some great moments. Gabrielle Anwar was alright, but great when she was shifting into the Pod Person and attempting to talk Tim out of it. Meg Tilly was kind of just a background character, but her where will you go speech was amazing, and has the best scream out of everyone from these movies. Forest Whitaker had a great speech when confronted by the General and a group of Pod People. Christine Elise was fun as Jenn, when she was on screen that is.
While this movie is great and fun at times. It’s biggest issue is it’s mere 88 minute run time. They didn’t have nearly enough time to build an emotional connection with the characters. We needed to see more of Marti and Steve and Carol. To build the turmoil brewing within the family before the main issue arose. They had an interesting idea with Step Mom and the idea of her Mother being replaced, but no time to make that a thing. You don’t get enough time to care about Tim at all and how do you cast the likes of R. Lee Ermey and limit his talking time. Huge missed opportunity. I really want to give this an A. Really did like this movie, but runtime and missed opportunities to build characters hurt it a little too much. Final Grade: B+
Winner: Invasion Of The Body Snatchers 1978
Body Snatchers gave it a fair fight. Had it been longer. May have even pushed it a bit closer, but as is. Not quite enough to topple the classic that came before it. Would still strongly suggest checking it out if you haven’t. As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank You For Reading.