One morning, you notice something odd about your spouse. You can't quite put your finger on it. They look the same, talk the same, even have the same birthmark on their left shoulder. But, something is wrong. Somehow, they are no longer your loved one. There's a certain emptiness to them, void of feeling. They're also going out a lot more, far more than you've known them to. You see them getting into strange cars, meeting random people, and trading odd packages between them, all without saying what they're doing or where they're going. Soon, everyone around you has changed. Whatever's happening is spreading, getting stronger by the minute. And you're next.Invasion of the Body Snatchers
is a series of Sci-Fi Horror
films revolving around an invasion of "pod people" who infiltrate the Earth by replacing humans with duplicates. Originally a 1956 film (which was itself based on a novel
), the concept seems to resonate particularly well with new generations. It has been remade no less than three times since with various changes to the plot.
The films are:
Warner Bros. is currently working on a fifth version
The original film also provided inspiration for the 2005 ABC series Invasion!
Not to be confused with the horror movie The Body Snatcher
These films include examples of:
- Alien Invasion: Sounds like it.
- Assimilation Plot: All of them. Discussed in the 1978 version.
- Bittersweet Ending: The 1956 version, along with the 1993 and 2007 ones.
- Cleanup Crew: The garbage men in the 1978 movie are implied to be this for when the duplicates fail to develop. Garbage trucks are also glimpsed in the '93 version.
- Cassandra Truth
- Evil Twin: Kinda. The pod people are exact physical and mental duplicates of the originals, but are coldly logical and driven to ensure their species survives by converting all of humanity.
- Infant Immortality: Averted multiple times in different versions, as children are either shown having already been replaced or about to be. One notable example comes from the '93 version with Marti's younger brother.
- Informed Attribute: The supposedly emotionless pod people aren't always so emotionless.
- In the final scene, Matthew sees a group of school children who are behaving just like regular school children.
- That's because they *are* regular school children. Listen carefully and you'll hear them complain about having to take a nap. They're unknowingly about to be converted into pods.
- Forest Whitaker's co-workers are angry or giggling over how they can't be beat.
- Invisible Aliens: The pod people, technically. Their original alien forms are protoplasmic — they're sapient germs in the 2007 version — and they take over people by absorbing their memories, forming perfect replicas of the bodies, and destroying the originals, so they seamlessly step into the original's life.
- Kill All Humans: And replace them with lookalikes.
- Never Sleep Again: The Pod People can only replace you when you sleep.
- Replicant Snatching: The entire premise of the series.
- Stepford Suburbia: What happens to society as the pod people take over. There's no fighting, fuss, crime, or problems... but there's no laughter, smiling, or human warmth, either. The pod people, once in control, are like zombies of the old-school Voodoo style: fleshy automatons that just robotically do their tasks without any individual thought or drives.
- Vampiric Draining: While not explicit, it is implied that in order to copy a living being, the Pods take something fundamental and necessary from the original, as after duplication, the original disintegrates into dust.
- This is more explained in the novel than the movies. Maybe they didn't explain it in the movies because a lack of explanation seemed more terrifying although the explanation in the book is in some ways even worse. In the book, it's explained that there is a constantly changing energy field that holds different types of matter together. As at the most basic level, all matter is the same and it's the arrangement of subatomic particles that creates different matter, this field is explained to be the blueprint and glue that holds an item together. It's further explained that this field in living things is transferable and is the easiest to transfer when a subject is asleep. So basically when the subject falls asleep, the pods copy the memories and minds of the person and take the subjects personal energy field that makes them a unique living creature and without that field holding the original together, they just become a disconnected mass of atoms and molecules. While this explanation may ruin the mystique of the duplication process is also makes it sound like the pods are stealing your soul and placing it into an unfeeling shell.
- We Are Everywhere: How the films work; because the pods show up all over, by the time anyone has figured out what's going on, there are pod people in all sorts of positions, from lowly street people to police officers, phone operators, doctors, psychiatrists, everywhere. And of course, the pods in authority can get even more people converted before they realise what's happening, so their numbers just keep growing, and growing...
- Twist Ending: The 1978 (Matthew was transformed) and 2007 (the alien virus is curable) remakes.