There was a film called the “Invasion Of The Body Snatcher” which I remember watching in my childhood. The scares of that film are still fresh in my memory. More so is one scene where the humans are being forcefully converted by the already converted aliens. They are rounded up and each is being given a package. As the protagonist and his companion stand in the queue they see a bizarre sight of a half man-half dog possibly, purposefully put there to extract emotions from the men so that they could be traced. This scene still remains etched in my memory primarily because of the way it unfolds and the shock value that it has to it.
The Invasion is a film which follows the already discussed film but neither has the shock value nor the exasperating thrills that made its predecessor such a rousing success. The Story revolves around a single mom, Carol (Nicole Kidman) who lives happily with her child. A space exploration brings back on earth a life form which starts affecting the humans. Their DNA is being altered while they are in their sleep. The first to be affected is her ex-husband. She leaves her child with her ex-husband as a routine visit. However as she makes way through her day to day work, she realizes that something sinister was afoot.
She makes her way to her husband’s house to save her child from the disease but her husband is already infected and he in turns infects her. Now she must stop herself from falling into sleep if she is to stop the organism from taking over her senses. Strangely enough, her son is immune to the disease and after she locates him, the two make a run for a facility where still normal humans are holding strong. The mother son duo is supposed to be helped by a doctor, Ben (Daniel Craig) who is on his way to rescue them. The duo need to stay awake and away from the transformed before help reaches them. That however proves to be a difficult task as the whole town is seemingly over run by the transformed.
The film is simply not tense enough to make you stand up and take notice. There is a strange calmness to its protagonist which tells you that she knows that she will make it till the end, which further drains the film out of any fear factor whatsoever. This is the kind of film which relies heavily on the scares and the fear factor and once it is deprived of that, the narrative sinks. The action also lacks the exhilarating nature that should have been a trademark of a film like this. There is ample drama that is on show here. The Craig-Kidman chemistry could have been given some more time. However, Kidman’s chemistry with her son works well and is a saving grace at many junctures for the film.
The film even though not an official remake of “The Invasion Of The Body Snatchers” borrows heavily from it. It could have tried to be a tad more imaginative. With all the modern technologies and a meatier budget at its disposal, it had the option to be so and as a matter of fact, could have afforded to take a few more risks. However that is not the case and the film pays the price for its deficiencies. Nicole Kidman is devilishly charming and has a soothing presence on screen but that’s not what we were looking for in this film. It could have done with a little more chaos and a little more exhilaration which is sorely lacking. Craig doesn’t have a role long enough to make an impact. But he glitters in whatever little he has to play.
Overall, The Invasion falls short of what it set out to be in the first place. It shows flashes of brilliance here and there but they are few and far apart for the film to make the necessary impact. This one is good concept gone awry. With some more novelty, some more action and a lot more tension, this film could very easily turn out to be one of the better horror films but that’s clearly not the case here. Watch it only if you have nothing else to do.