Director: Philip Kaufman
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Nimoy, Veronica Cartwright, Art Hindle
Philip Kaufman's sinister remake of the 1956 alien takeover flick Invasion Of The Body Snatchers is all about pacing. As the '78 film opens, the threat begins in quiet, almost beautiful fashion, with odd-looking vegetation sprouting from the ground and pods quaintly resting in bushes. And then, gradually, characters' demeanors start altering, paranoia sinks in, and Body Snatchers stacks up the dread all the way into one of the more haunting, gut-punching final shots of all time.
Kaufman's film sustains tension with a vice grip on the viewer's nerves, keeping identities unsure (Who's still human and who's become one of the pod people?) and never shying away from freaky images, such as the sight of one major character struggling to murder the pod version of himself.
Invasion Of The Body Snatchers is doubly impressive; it both improves upon the '56 film and Jack Finney's literary source material with a scarier disposition and more layered character development. So when that we're-all-fucked ending hits, it's a death blow to the senses.