Invaders from Mars

An updated version of the '50s paranoia classic in which a young boy wakes up in the middle of the night to see a spaceship landing over the hill behind his house. The rest of the film consists of his efforts to make the adults around him believe his story, and his increasing despair as more and more people are taken over by the Martians. The effects are magnificent (the tripod drones and the supreme Martian intelligence are horrific), but whereas the original worked by building up an increasingly black mood, this version relies almost entirely on the special effects; and such limited brooding tension as it has is gratuitously undermined by a string of sequences played purely for laughs. Black is good as the near-hysterical school nurse who becomes the boy's only ally, and forms a lovely double act with her real son (Carson), who is commendable as the poor lad. The lame twist in the original's ending has been retained. Fun, but very silly.

Release details

Duration: 99 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Tobe Hooper
Screenwriter: Dan O'Bannon, Don Jakoby
Cast: Timothy Bottoms
Laraine Newman
Louise Fletcher
Karen Black
James Karen
Bud Cort
Hunter Carson
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