Don’t show emotion. This plot trick is not as kick-ass as a pair of lizard-spying X-ray specs, the sort strapped to the righteous face of Roddy Piper in the confirmed Detour classic They Live, 1988’s own remix of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. But it keeps Nicole Kidman alive long enough to start piecing together and outwitting those citizens contaminated by the evil galactic spore brought to Earth by the fiery crash of a space shuttle on the Eastern Seaboard.
The trailer’s initial shots of everyday people suddenly convulsing mysteriously are eerily realistic, and more than a little inspired by our collective paranoia over what unknown horrors may befall us at any second. (Use the horrifyingly real opening sequence to 2004’s Dawn of the Dead remake as precedent for this increasing media trend.)
Eventually, Kidman is witnessing a mass transformation of the human race into lizard/alien beings hell bent on taking over our planet. People begin standing in line to “Take The Next Step” while the government and authorities ask everyone to remain calm; our girl Nicole isn’t buying it, and by the end of the clip she’s kicking ass all over town. The lizards and/or the government want her son, but she lets everyone know the hard way that it’s not going to happen. (Cue Kidman bashing some dude’s skull in with a fire extinguisher.) “You won’t feel a thing,” we’re told as the credits roll, and again there’s the specter of a fear we can’t even name being somehow responsible for our bitter end. Invasion was dogged by reports of re-shoots and other production squabbles, so we’ll have to see about the outcome. But from where we’re standing (showing no emotion), the shit has promise.
— Martin Stett