There’s no question about the current trend of prequels, sequels, and remakes going on in Hollywood: some are good, some are bad, and some are just plain embarrassing. Accordingly, when The Invasion (technically a remake of a remake) hit theatres, there was an involuntary cringe all around.
However, you can relax, because this remake manages to not only do justice to the original story, but also kicks up the special effects a few notches to make it even more effectively disturbing than before.
Carol Bennell (Nichole Kidman) is a psychiatrist who becomes aware of a contamination of the human race by an alien virus. Once it reaches the bloodstream, the virus can only take over when its host is unlucky enough to fall asleep. This inevitability is an effective tension-builder and the characters are in a run out the clock situation; either find a cure or face extinction.
One relief is that the film jumps right into the suspense, no boring, drawn-out explanation: a space shuttle crashes to earth with intelligent life clinging to the debris; a.k.a. we’re all doomed. The mutating process is just as disgusting, if not more so…this time the “pod people” can wake up and attack mid-transformation covered in slime with faces that resemble the unfortunate victims in The Ring. In keeping with its predecessors, there’s a catch. By showing no emotion, the aliens can be fooled. Helpful hints such as these are revealed by other “fugitive humans” so to speak, who are also on the run.
The secondary characters are nicely cast and include Kidman’s boyfriend Ben Driscoll played by a likeable Daniel Craig, Jackson Bond as Kidman’s son, and Veronica Cartwright who starred in the 1978 version Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
Without giving anything away, this remake faltered only in its quickly resolved ending. The majority of the film is a certified edge of your seat thriller guaranteed to keep you from falling asleep…for more reasons that one.