i’ve seen all four of the films that are cut from the cloth of the original finney novel and this is probably the most intellectually stimulating of them. the 78 version had the best ending, the 56 version gets points for being the first and being the most tightly directed of them all. the 93 version by abel ferrara is the worst of the bunch.
this one is directed by german-born oliver hirschbiegel who directed das experiment and the downfall. and even though i haven’t seen the downfall i can safely say that all three of these films are at least in part about the psychology of humans in groups. group-think is attacked consistently in “invasion” and “das experiment,” and i would assume “downfall” (which is about the fall of the nazi empire) as well. in the invasion the individual and personal choice are upheld in spite of the many negative manifestations such as conflict (iraq war), corruption, and unhappiness. it essentially puts forth that liberty and individuality should be preserved in spite of promises of safety and peace. this ties in perfectly with the current domestic and international climate; and this is exactly what i like so much about this series of remakes: each one highlights the issues and fears of the time in its own novel way.
some people aren’t calling this a remake of the 56 version in the same sense that the 78 and 93 versions are. i’m not really sure why. it has similarities in the story (falling asleep makes the transformation take root, they all follow a man and woman, police/military play a critical role in the spreading of the disease, etc.) and the telling thereof (begins at the end, etc.). one should note, though, that the first two took place in california, the third was on a military base (in alabama i think), and this one was placed in d.c….perfect for the themes addressed.Watched in theater