Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) was a great sci-fi thriller film, about a doctor who learns that his town is being overrun by ‘clones’ of the townspeople. The film was directed by Don Siegel, and stars Kevin McCarthy as Dr. Miles J. Bennell, and Dana Wynter as Becky Driscoll. This was by far my favorite version of the film, although I did enjoy the (1978) version as well. The Invasion (2007) was watchable just because of the actors, Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig. If anyone but Nicole Kidman would have played the lead role as Carol Bennell, I probably wouldn’t have survived the 99 minute run-time.

What i particularly loved about the film was its decision to use black and white opposed to color in the making of the film. The black and white texture truly added a certain horror oriented essence to the film. If the film was made in color rather than black and white it would not have had such a vast dramatic effect on me. This is evident in the scene where Dr. Bennell witnesses his “pod” morphing into an exact replica of himself, which he then chooses to destroy. The “pod” transformation was a gruesome one, not because of blood and gory gruesomeness like that of a Saw-esque film would have featured, but because of its element of curiosity. The film shows you as much of the transformation as it should, while the black and white effect adds an extra punch. Black and white adds a blur effect, perfect for horror films. It adds suspicion due to the dark lighting, and its ominous feel leaves you on the edge of your seat.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the original that is, made the Sci-Fi genre proud. It not only had its share of suspense and thrills, but it also had a psychological aspect to it that made it so utterly enjoyable. The first few minutes and last few minutes of the film were a great addition in that it added extra suspense to the movie. Will the doctor believe him? Will anyone believe him? Can we really discern crazy from sane? All great questions and observations that the film and Don Siegel explored so well.

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