07 July 2010
Maybe it's that I'm upright for the first time all day and the pain meds are wearing off, meaning I'm in pain, but this film was a little frustrating for me. It just felt too direct and forthcoming for me to find it very scary or thrillery -- though it builds to a decently intense and depressing third act. I may also be thinking of my criticism of A Scanner Darkly, but I really wanted this story to be more subjective in its point of view. Every betrayal is shown to us before it's shown to the characters. I like the idea that the pod people seemed flawed, imperfect and fallible, but they kind of never felt logical to me. Why were they returning to work as health inspectors? Was it just some sort of leftover going-through-the-motions from their human memories (because that's tragic and eerie and interesting; but I never got that idea exactly). Anyway, like Scanner (and maybe this at least was a product of its era of thriller genre tropes) I wanted a more first-person narrative and I got more of a third-person narrative. I did like the ending though, and the alienness of plant people who scream like that (especially Donald Sutherland's ice-cold gaping maw at the end) is wonderfully creepy. So it wasn't bad.
Oh, and what the fuck was up with bearded-man-with-dog's-body, exactly?