Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

Is it a crafty satire of all-American consumerist conformity or a conservative parable about the creeping evils of Commie infiltration? It’s the open-endedness of Siegel’s masterful adaptation of Jack Finney’s bone-chilling novel about shape-shifting pod people which makes it so durable – it really is all things to all people. But none of this would mean a thing if it wasn’t also a massively entertaining and propulsive watch: sure, the whole stiff-collar, white-picket-fence ’50s thing looks a little creaky nowadays, particularly when the pipe-smoking boffins get involved, but that only adds to the otherworldliness of Siegel’s vision. Then, of course, there’s that dynamite ending, one of the bleakest in horror, and bold as hell for the time. TH
Dir Don Siegel (Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter)

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