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Film / Invasion of the Body Snatchers

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Poster for the 1978 version, which summarizes the alleged advantages of a new world.

One morning, you notice something odd about your spouse. You can't quite put your finger on it— they look the same, they talk the same, they 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, a 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 swapping 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 movies revolving around extraterrestrial "pod people" who infiltrate the Earth by replacing humans with duplicates. Originally a 1956 film (itself based on a novel), the concept seems to resonate particularly well with new generations, as it has been remade no less than three times since, albeit with various changes to the plot.

The films are:

In 2017 it was announced that Warner Bros. was working on a fifth version.

The original film also provided inspiration for the 2005 ABC series Invasion.

Not to be confused with The Body Snatcher, or Pod People.

These films include examples of:

  • Alien Invasion: Sounds like it. But unlike others not seen...
  • 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.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The one, the only, the legendary pod scream that's used to loudly announce to all pods that an unconverted has been found. If you hear the pod scream, all hell is about to break loose.
  • 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 and Replace: Kill All Humans and replace them with lookalikes.
  • Never Sleep Again: The Pod People can only replace you when you sleep.
  • Never Trust a Title: The term "Body Snatcher" implies a Puppeteer Parasite, but the aliens in this franchise in fact practice Kill and Replace instead. Except in the 2007 film, which ironically is the only one without "Body Snatchers" in the title.
  • Replicant Snatching: The entire premise of the series.
  • Twist Ending: The 1978 (Matthew was transformed) and 2007 (the alien virus is curable) remakes.
  • Starfish Aliens: In their natural state, the pod people resemble little blobs of transparent protoplasm, or an intelligent virus in the 2007 version. Either way their physiology and abilities do make them pretty otherworldly.
  • Uncanny Valley: The duplicates look like, sound like, act like and have all the memories of the original, but their close relatives know something is wrong. This is featured quite heavily in the 1978 version as well with numerous characters believing (correctly) their spouses/lovers/etc are fakes.
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • World of Silence: 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 simply do their tasks without any individual thought or drives.

Alternative Title(s): The Body Snatchers