One night, young David McLean sees a spaceship crash into a nearby sandpit. His father goes to investigate, but comes back changed. Where once he was cheerful and affectionate, he's now sullen and snarlingly rude. Others fall into the sandpit and begin acting like him: cold, ill-tempered and conspiratorial. David knows that aliens are taking over the bodies of humans, but he'll soon discover there have been far more of these terrible thefts than he could have imagined. The young doom-monger finds some serious help in a lady doctor and a brilliant astronomer. Soon they meet the aliens: green creatures with insect-like eyes. These beings prove to be slaves to their leader: a large, silent head with ceaselessly shifting eyes and two tentacles on either side, each of which branches off into three smaller tentacles. It's up to the redoubtable earth trio to stop its evil plans.
Still a Thriller after ALL-these-YRS.!?!
... Even though I 1st. saw this classic Sci-Fi flick in black-&-white on TV in the mid/late 1950's, it STILL shines bright as-the-ORIGINAL! Coupled with a decent cast-&-creepy score (oh, that weird chorus of "ah'ers,") this movie would freak-out-ANY child (or adult) with half-a-brain! - & SKIP the REMAKE, which was God AWFUL! Hollywood should LEARN-their-LESSON! DON'T fool-with-redo's. Can you IMAGINE seeing this film on a twin bill with another Sc-Fi classic "This Island Earth," which ALSO can stand the test-of-TIME! Drive-an impressionable kid TOTALLY nuts! LOL!!! ... SO, cook up some hot popcorn, grab a Diet Coke, turn-off ALL the lights, turn of your damn cell phones-&-ENJOY!!!
Seminal 50's Sci-Fi from a child's perspective. Great!
Don't be fooled by anyone who dismisses Invaders from Mars as a piece of retrograde schlock.
There may be a visible zipper or two on the monster suits and their weapons will look a little Dr. Seussy compared to a Trekkie phaser, but this movie has a lot to offer, including a completely unique child-driven story line. I can't think of another movie that so successfully captures the terror at the heart of every child's fear that their parents may not be who they say they are; that no one believes them because they're children (how many abused children have been fobbed off by well-meaning adults who should have listened?), or that they're entitled a a perfect, loving father and mother (the nurse and the astronomer), not the ones they've been born to.
Compared to so many of today's Sci-Fi disasters that are long on money and short on everything else, Invaders from Mars relies on atmosphere and expressionist angles, nightmarish sets that are just a little too big, too stark, too skewed (the Police Station is a perfect example).
And instead of Mars Attacks' little green gremlins that take such glee in splattering and fricassing everything in site; the Martians in IoM are insidious; relying on one human to lure another into a sinister sand pit (a metaphor for the threat of communism or the tactics of the House UnAmerican Activities hearings?).
How many future 'alien abductees,' sci-fi plotters and X-files authors have used the conventions here? Tiny implants inserted at the back of the neck. Friends turned into traitorous zombies. Humans kidnapped and set out on slab tables for experimentation? Alien tunnels spread like netting beneath the placid surface of the world's oblivious Earthlings. A hero with the truth that no one will listen to? And how many film makers, even now, would have the skill and the nerve to save the boy, start the ordeal all over again, and make it work? Because, as we all know, the monsters in the closet come back as soon as the light goes out again.
The Scariest Movie I've Ever Seen
I saw this movie as a young boy every year and I had nightmares virtually every time. It's surprising my parents let me watch it every year. What made it such a hair-raising story is that it was told through the eyes of a small boy. This worked well in "The Day the Earth Stood Still" and it worked even better here. In this one, an alien spacecraft buries itself behind the boy's house and one by one takes control of the town people beginning with the boy's father- a terrifying transformation at that. Everyone who walks out into the area along the path doesn't come back the same. As the alien's control spreads, the boy tries to find unaffected adults who will believe him and try to stop these transformations. Eventually he has to confront them too, and from a child's perspective, it is a real life nightmare. It is a riveting and terrifying tale, ripe with suspense and terror. Events and twists abound. Acting is totally believable. Images are realistic, believable and abundant. If you haven't seen this one yet, you really should, but don't watch it at night, especially if you're young.
Eerie classic Sci-Fi
First saw this as an 8 yr. old. Mom dropped me off at one theater showing a 2 western matinée. When she drove off, I went around the corner to the theater showing Invaders from Mars. Scared the (well you know) out of me. Literally had to have the hall light on for a year. Checked my closet floor too! The four scariest aspects of this movie were 1. The thought that your parents could be other than those rocks of Gibralter you always counted on them being 2. That creepy choral music. 3. The surreal aspects(notice the bare, stark police station) and 4. The nightmare quality of running and not being able to escape. Having watched it again recently,I enjoyed it as much as I did 57 years ago. Great flick!
Remember watching as a kid.. Still a great watch.. Especially now
Finally found it again
This movie has run through my mind a lot in the past few years. Couldn't remember title, but that's what Google searches are for. What I vividly remembered are the sand pit and the probe in the back of the neck...scared the crap out of me when I saw it on TV around 1960 or so and it still rocks. Now that I've seen it again, maybe thoughts of it will get out of my head. Though scary, it's one of two 1950s era movies that I'll always treasure, the other being the original Day the Earth Stood Still. More than worth the time to watch it.
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