This is the ninth film I have watched in "My Letterboxd Season Challenge 2023-24", "A 33 week long challenge where the goal each week is to watch a previously unseen feature length film from a specified category." This is the 9th annual challenge, and my fifth time participating (previous years can be found at "2019-20", "2020-21", "2021-22", and "2022-23"). Week 9 is called "Horror Revival Week":
Some of the best horror movies of all time are remakes, like The Thing or The Fly, but in general remakes get a bad rap due to failures like Psycho or Poltergeist. In recent years we've seen different methods of revival with long-awaited reboots/sequels like Halloween, Candyman, and Scream. This week we'll find out if these stories deserve a second life, or if they belong back in the grave.
This week's challenge is to watch a horror remake, reboot, reheat, etc. Use this list for inspiration.
Apparently we need a new Body Snatchers movie every two decades. The first, and still classic, was Invasion of the Body Snatchers, directed by Don Siegel in 1956, a few years after Jack Finney's novel was published. It was something of a Red Scare movie, with the pod people standing in for Commies. Philip Kaufman's 1978 remake fits in with other paranoia films of the 70s, with New Age undertones. I'm not sure where Abel Ferrara's 1993 movie fits into all of this, although the foregrounding of a female character marks a difference, as does the setting (not a small town like the '56 version, or San Francisco in '78, but instead an Army base).
What matters more than anything else is that Ferrara delivers on the horror. The acting is solid, the gore level is expectedly higher than before, and the dystopian attitudes of the earlier films remains. To say that this is the third-best Body Snatchers movie is not to say it's bad. (I haven't seen the 2007 version, with an impressive cast led by Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, which was mostly trashed by critics.)