Date Released: Dec 12, 2008
Date Watched: July 7, 2014
Why Now? Scott Derrickson’s new film Deliver Us From Evil came out recently so I thought I’d give his version of the 1951 sci-fi classic a gander. Who doesn’t love Keanu right?
Why not then? I used to have this thing where I refused to watch remakes cause I thought it was blasphemy, but as I get older and wiser, I realized that a low budget sci-fi paranoia film from the 50s could maybe do with a remake! There is no way they could even be a bit similar, right?
- Super horrible CGI
- Keanu playing the most convincing alien-in-a-human’s-body ever
- A very 2008 version of invasion paranoia but with a whole lotta end-of-Bush-era infused optimism
- A bad rendition of a very important sci-fi (which was one of the first 50s sci-fi’s I ever saw)
What I actually got:
- My love for alien Keanu was elevated from besties to pure unconditional love. Someone somewhere said “hey, Keanu Reeves looks like an alien and has no expression; let’s cast him as an alien. Wouldn’t that be funny?” It isn’t funny, it’s pure movie magic
- I was right about the end-of-Bush-era infused optimism. This version starts out with classic invasion paranoia but instead of the Cold War era invasion anxiety that ran through the original, this version is all about environment anxiety. I found this super interesting because sci-fi and horror are genres that act as cultural barometers and this film reflects 2008’s eco-anxiety and cravings for change perfectly. The difference between the original and this one is the optimistic ending. This version is about change (literally there’s a line “but we can change!”) and it works in the end
- So many people I didn’t expect in this movie! Kathy Bates? John Cleese? Jon Hamm? James Hong? and little ol’ Jaden Smith? Someone thought this movie was going to do very well
- A very lukewarm attempt at a new wave sci-fi. What I mean is, a lot of talk about the earth, machines and the government as the enemy, a twist on the nuclear family and a lady gov official
One night stand or second date potential? I would love to watch the original and this version back-to-back even though you might never know these movies were made with almost the same screenplay. I just like the concept of aliens arriving and saying “yo, you had your chance humans. You blew it; you gotta go”. Keanu gets a second date.