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Film / Body Snatchers

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The second remake of the sci-fi classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956). For the other remakes, go here.

Directed by Abel Ferrara and starring a young Gabrielle Anwar, Terry Kinney, Forest Whitaker, Meg Tilly, Billy Wirth and R. Lee Ermey, Body Snatchers (1993) is a gender flipped (and teenage) version set on a U.S. Army base in Alabama. More character-focused than the earlier versions — significantly, the heroine's stepmother is one of the first to be duplicated, and the family dynamic plays a big part in the movie. The film also got some mileage from its military setting and the fact that the protagonist herself was already somewhat detached from the community.

The 1993 film provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Title Change: The title was shortened from the original film's Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
  • Ambiguous Ending: The surviving characters are about to land at another military base, after bombing the pod convoy and knocking out the original base, but the "Where you gonna go" line is repeated for the audience—suggesting the pod people have already taken that base over. Marti's narration also notes how a person can only stay awake for so long—possibly suggesting she and Tim are resigned to being replaced.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Upon realizing that aliens have been replacing people in town, the main character Steve tells his wife Carol "We have to go!" She replies "Go where?" The main character initially thinks she doesn't understand the situation but, when she elaborates, he realizes she had already been replaced
    Carol: Steve, this is important. Go where? That's right, go where? What happened in your room... Are you listening? What happened in your room is not an isolated incident. It is something that is happening everywhere. So, where you gonna go? Where you gonna run? Where you gonna hide? Nowhere, 'cause there's no one like you left.
  • Assimilation Plot: The alien duplicates are emotionless and all of an identical mentality, as seen when the other kids in Andy's class all draw the same picture. However, they do not share a psychic Hive Mind, which makes it possible for humans to trick them by acting like they've been replaced.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: A group of aliens corner the already crazed Major Collins in his office and try to talk him into accepting them. He ultimately shoots himself in the head.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Tim being a helicopter pilot turns out to be useful in eluding the aliens.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Steve turns out to have been replaced at some point between the second act and the climax when the plot focused on his children sneaking around the base. This is revealed when he gets shot and dies at the climax and it follows Marti for the rest of the film.
  • Fan Disservice: Two female characters are shown being replaced by beautiful, nude dopplegangers; but it's hard to be turned on when one original becomes a dessicated husk and the other is having her orifices invaded by pod tendrils.
  • Good Stepmother: Marti and Carol appear to get along relatively well as fictional step-relatives go before the latter is killed and replaced by the aliens, besides the predictable teen rebellion on Marti's part towards both her parental figures. While there's tension due to Marti missing her mom, she can't claim that Carol isn't a nice person.
  • Hope Spot: At the end, Marti's reunion with her half-brother, Andy. Turns out that he was replaced when he disappeared and she discovers this the hard way.
  • I Never Told You My Name: Steve finds a near-hysterical Collins on the phone, trying to contact someone at the Pentagon to warn what's happened. The operator tells him by name that all lines are busy and to simply wait. Collins instantly invokes the trope as he realizes the lines are compromised.
  • Informed Attribute: The supposedly emotionless pod people aren't always so emotionless—Forest Whitaker's co-workers are angry or giggling over how they can't be beat.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: Subverted. Andy appears to invoke this trope late in the film when joining with the other survivors, only to be revealed as a pod person. The trope is obliterated when the duplicate Andy is hurled out of a helicopter several hundred feet in the air, pointing at the survivors as he lets out the pod person scream all the way down to the ground.
  • Kill and Replace: When the pods finish transforming into duplicates of the sleeping people they've gotten their tentacles around, the latter disintegrate.
  • Missing Mom: Marti's biological mother died when she was seven.
  • Neverending Terror: After the heroes mange to pull off a Death from Above Roaring Rampage of Revenge on the pod convoys and go to what they think is a safe place, the heroine/Narrator thinks that maybe they are too late to stop the invasion. And eventually they will be too tired to fight off sleep...
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Marti and her Love Interest escape in a helicopter, which they later use to bomb a truck convoy carrying pods. Marti's narration makes it clear she's acting out of hate over what happened to her family.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Besides his good looks, what draws Marti to Tim when they first meet is that he's kind to her little half-brother.
  • You Are Too Late: Invoked by one of the first pod people:
    "Where you gonna go, where you gonna run, where you gonna hide? Nowhere... 'cause there's no one like you left."