I think that by now it's three great films in a row, if I include this last movie I've seen. And I have to confess, I expected a lot more of the campy side of the genre in this project. I don't know, some of the names sound so campy, like Braindead (which was) and I Walked with a Zombie (which wasn't), but I guess that that's the beauty of it all, right? But today I watched, or should I say finally watched, the movie "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". True, it was the 1978 remake, but I haven't seen the original also (yeah, I know, shame on me). Anyway, let me just say that I was amazed.
To those who are like I was, this is a movie about a deputy health inspector of San Francisco who finds (with the help of one of his workers, and some accidents…) that some creature from space has come to Earth and it starts to spread in the city, creating duplicates of the townspeople. A lot of conformity and paranoia ensues. I didn't do it justice here, but honestly I didn't want to. You just have to watch it yourself.
The movie is great, and one truly becomes paranoid at a certain point (quite early, I must say), and some of the moments are just heartbreaking or utterly terrifying. But the first part of the movie is the most effective part of it, if you ask me.
You see, in the first part, all we have is a few crazy people, and the lead heroine, telling us that something is amiss (we also have a little feeling ourselves that something is amiss, but they pretty much dispute anything like that in the first hour of the film). We slowly begin to understand that there's something bigger in here, something far more horrifying than we thought, and the sense of conspiracy grows. We get the most effective fear of all- that the world itself is evil. As the film goes on, we start to get some info about how and what are those things that do the body-snatching job.
And that's the problem of the film. It shows us the monster, and it will ever be far less terrifying than what we have thought about. True, it gave us hope and then smashed it in the last scene of the film, but even so, it was less effective because at this stage we knew how those aliens work.
And that's a mistake that we can avoid in our games. In horror games, if you don't have to show and explain the monster- just don't! And if you have to explain it? It might be wiser to change the monster to something that you don't have to explain, that you don't have to describe. Because glimpses of something bad, just like we had in the first half of the movie, will be far scarier than any monster we can create ourselves, far more dread-inducing than what our players can devise. Because no one knows how to scare someone else than that someone and this person only needs some glimpses to get the engines to start rolling and to scare himself/herself.
And that's it for today. How about you? Have you watched this film? What did you think about it? And what did you learn from it?