The Invasion (film)

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The Invasion
The Invasion film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byOliver Hirschbiegel
Written byDavid Kajganich
Based onThe Body Snatchers
by Jack Finney
Produced byJoel Silver
CinematographyRainer Klausmann
Edited byJoel Negron
Hans Funck
Music byJohn Ottman
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • August 17, 2007 (2007-08-17)
Running time
99 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$65–80 million[1][2]
Box office$40.2 million[2]

The Invasion is a 2007 American science fiction horror film directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, with additional scenes written by The Wachowskis and directed by James McTeigue,[1] and starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig. The plot follows a psychiatrist (Kidman) in Washington, D.C. who finds those around her turning into emotionless beings shortly after a major space shuttle crash.

Development of the film began in 2004. Warner Bros. hired David Kajganich to write what was intended to be a remake of the 1956 film Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but Kajganich crafted a different story as an original conception and to reflect contemporary times. Principal photography began in September 2005. The film was released on August 17, 2007, and grossed $40.2 million against a $65–80 million budget.

The Invasion is the fourth film adaptation of the 1955 novel The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney, following Don Siegel's 1956 film, Philip Kaufman's 1978 film, and Abel Ferrara's 1993 Body Snatchers.


After a Space Shuttle crashes on Earth, a fungus-like alien lifeform is discovered on the remaining parts scattered widely over the United States. Once people are infected by the organism, and REM sleep occurs, the organism takes control. One of the first people infected is Tucker Kaufman, a CDC director investigating the crash.

Tucker's ex-wife, psychiatrist Carol Bennell, begins to feel something is amiss when people seem to have "changed". Her patient, Wendy Lenk (played by Veronica Cartwright, who appeared in the 1978 film version as Nancy Bellicec), describes how her husband "is not (her) husband", and one of Carol's son's friends acts detached and emotionless.

At a neighborhood Halloween party, Carol's son Oliver finds an unusual patch of "skin" on a partier, which is initially believed to be costume makeup. Carol speculates that the skin may be connected to reports of a fast-spreading flu. Carol takes the sample to her doctor friend Ben Driscoll to have it analyzed. Carol and Oliver later witness a car accident where a troubled woman is killed. Carol approaches the crash scene to give a witness statement, but an emotionless cop takes down her plates and orders her back to her car. Afterwards, Carol drops Oliver off at Tucker's house for the weekend.

Later, that night, Ben and Carol attend a friendly dinner meeting between Russian diplomat Yorish and Czech diplomat Belicec (along with his wife Luddie). Carol and Yorish debate the violent nature of humans over caviar and champagne. Meanwhile, Tucker uses the CDC to spread the disease further, disguising the spores as flu vaccine and Carol, upon returning home, is attacked by a "census department" worker who tries to break into her house.

Ben and Dr. Stephen Galeano, a biologist, discover how the spore takes over the brain during REM sleep. During this investigation, Luddie calls Ben, worried about Yorish's behavior. Driscoll and Galeano also find that people who had brain-affecting illnesses, such as encephalitis or ADEM, are immune to the spore because their previous illnesses prevent the spore from "latching on" to the brain matter. Oliver is immune to the spore because of the ADEM he had as a young child. Carol decides to get her son, who might show a way to a cure, back from Tucker. Before she drives to Tucker's house, she joins Ben's team who is called to the house of the Belicecs, the Czech ambassador and his wife, in a case of emergency. There they witness the transformation of Yorish (the Russian ambassador) and the Belicecs' friend.

When Carol arrives at Tucker's house, he and several colleagues close in on her. He explains that the changed humans, devoid of irrational emotions, are offering a better world, and asks her to join them. When Carol resists, Tucker holds her to the ground and infects her by spurting his saliva on her. She escapes and returns to Ben at the Belicecs' house. They flee when Belicec returns with more transformed people intent on infecting anyone in the house.

Galeano and one of his assistants head to Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland, where they and other scientists will attempt to find a cure for the virus. Carol and Ben separate to find Oliver, who texts his location, the apartment of Tucker's mother, to Carol. Carol goes there and manages to spirit Oliver away, but is again pursued by Tucker, whom she has to kill to stop.

Carol arranges to meet up with Ben, but it takes a while for him to show, and Carol almost falls asleep, but Oliver saves her. Ben arrives, but Carol finds he too has 'converted'. He attempts to seduce her to give in to the new society that has no crime, war, or violence, but also frankly states that there is no room for people like Oliver who are immune. Carol shoots Ben in the leg and flees with Oliver. They are pursued, but finally she and Oliver are picked up by helicopter, and flown to the medical center. A vaccine is created, inoculations are made world-wide, and within a year the alien virus is eliminated. Carol and Ben reunite, Ben having no memory of the events, and society reverts to its normal emotional and violent ways.




In March 2004, Warner Bros. hired screenwriter David Kajganich to write a script that would serve as a remake of the 1956 science fiction film Invasion of the Body Snatchers.[3] In July 2005, director Oliver Hirschbiegel was attached to helm the project, with production to begin in Edgemere, Maryland.[4] The following August, Nicole Kidman was cast to star in the film then titled Invasion, receiving a salary of close to $17 million. Invasion was based on the script by Kajganich, originally intended as a remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but Kajganich crafted a different enough story for the studio to see the project as an original conception.[5] Kajganich described the story to reflect contemporary times, saying, "You just have to look around our world today to see that power inspires nothing more than the desire to retain it and to eliminate anything that threatens it." The screenwriter said that the story was set in Washington, D.C. to reflect the theme.[6] In August, Daniel Craig was cast opposite Kidman in the lead.[7] The film, whose original title Invasion of the Body Snatchers was shortened to Invasion due to Kajganich's different concept, was changed once more to The Visiting so it would not be confused with ABC's TV series Invasion.[8]


Filming began on September 26, 2005 in Baltimore and lasted 45 days.[9] Filming also took place in Washington, D.C., including in the Cleveland Park Metro station,[10] outside the Foggy Bottom–GWU Metro station, and in Dupont Circle.[11] The film had minimal visual effects, with no need for greenscreen work. Instead, the director shot from odd camera angles and claustrophobic spaces to increase tension in the film.[12] In October 2006, The Visiting changed to the title of The Invasion, due to the cancellation of the ABC TV series.[13] The studio, however, was unhappy with Hirschbiegel's results and hired The Wachowskis to rewrite the film and assist with additional shooting.[1] The studio later hired director James McTeigue to perform re-shoots that would cost $10 million[14] and for which McTeigue would not be credited.[15] After 13 months of inactivity, re-shoots took place in January 2007 to increase action scenes and add a twist ending.[16] The re-shoot lasted for 17 days in Los Angeles.[1] During the re-shooting, Kidman was involved in an accident, while in a Jaguar that was being towed by a stunt driver and was taken to a hospital briefly.[17] Kidman broke several ribs, but she was able to get back to work soon after being hospitalized.[18]

Musical score[edit]

In May 2007, composer John Ottman recorded the musical score for The Invasion, using heavy synthesizers combined with a 77-piece orchestra intended to create "otherworldly foreboding and tension". The music was also designed to have an avant-garde postmodern style, with atmospheric and thrilling action elements.[19]


The Invasion was originally intended to be released in June 2006,[20] but it was postponed to 2007.[13] The film was released on August 17, 2007 in the United States and Canada in 2,776 theaters.


The music in the trailer is called "Untitled 8 (a.k.a. "Popplagið")" by Sigur Rós.

Box office[edit]

The film grossed $5,951,409 over the opening weekend. The Invasion grossed $15,074,191 in the United States and Canada and $24,727,542 in other territories for a worldwide gross of $40,170,558 as of 9 March 2008.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, The Invasion holds an approval rating of 19% based on 163 reviews, with an average rating of 4.36/10. The critical consensus reads: "The Invasion is slickly made, but it lacks psychological insight and thrills."[21] On review aggregator Metacritic, The Invasion received an average score of 45 out of 100.[22]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times called it "the fourth, and the least, of the movies made from Jack Finney's classic science fiction novel."[23] Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly wrote that it was "a soulless rehash...The movie isn't terrible; it's just low-rent and reductive."[24] Joanne Kaufman of The Wall Street Journal added, "With all the shoot-outs, the screaming, the chases, collisions and fireballs, there isn't much time for storytelling."[25]

Manohla Dargis of The New York Times criticized the film, writing: "The latest and lamest version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers might have been an accidental camp classic if its politics weren't so abhorrent and the movie didn't try to hide its ineptitude behind a veil of pomposity."[26] Paul Arendt of the BBC wrote: "Having established an effectively creepy mood in the first half, the film eventually degenerates into a muddled mess, with Nicole and Daniel Craig dodging zombies while popping amphetamines in a desperate effort to stay awake. We know how they feel."[27] Maitland McDonagh of TV Guide called the film "a frantic mess that opens with a scene plucked from the film's third act that smacks of having been moved up to pacify audiences too restless for a slow build."[28]


  1. ^ a b c d Sperling, Nicole; Spines, Christine (August 10, 2007). "Hidden 'Invasion'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 18, 2007.
  2. ^ a b c "The Invasion (2007)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 21, 2007.
  3. ^ Cathy Dunkley (March 25, 2004). "Scribe warms to WB's 'Body'". Variety. Retrieved April 28, 2007.
  4. ^ "Body Snatchers Get a Director". July 15, 2005. Retrieved April 28, 2007.
  5. ^ Fleming, Michael; Brodesser, Claude (August 1, 2005). "WB unearths 'Invasion'". Variety. Retrieved April 28, 2007.
  6. ^ Cheong, Felix (September 14, 2007). "Remaking the Remake". Today. Retrieved October 5, 2007.
  7. ^ McClintock, Pamela (August 18, 2005). "Craig plans for 'Invasion'". Variety. Retrieved April 28, 2007.
  8. ^ McClintock, Pamela (October 9, 2005). "'Invasion' title snatched". Variety. Retrieved April 28, 2007.
  9. ^ Kaltenbech, Chris (September 24, 2005). "'Invasion,' downgraded to a 'Visiting,' will hit city". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved April 28, 2007.
  10. ^ Argetsinger, Amy; Roberts, Roxanne (October 26, 2005). "Kidman, Fare Game". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
  11. ^ Monaco, Matthew (October 27, 2005). "Nicole Kidman on campus for 'The Visiting'". The GW Hatchet. The George Washington University. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
  12. ^ Wloszczyna, Susan (January 11, 2006). "Paranoia gets revisited in 'The Visiting'". USA Today. Retrieved April 28, 2007.
  13. ^ a b McClintock, Pamela (October 15, 2006). "The 'Invasion' is back on again". Variety. Retrieved April 28, 2007.
  14. ^ Goldstein, Patrick (March 7, 2007). "Success and Failure Can Cross Hollywood Border". Los Angeles Times.
  15. ^ Fleming, Michael (June 26, 2007). "McTeigue to get Thai'd up in 'Bangkok'". Variety. Retrieved July 7, 2007.
  16. ^ "August 17 – The Invasion". Entertainment Weekly. May 4, 2007.
  17. ^ "Kidman in Crash on The Invasion Set". Associated Press. January 25, 2007. Retrieved April 28, 2007.
  18. ^ Lee, Patrick (August 14, 2007). "Kidman Talks Invasion Injuries". Sci Fi Wire. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved August 14, 2007.
  19. ^ Dan Goldwasser (May 25, 2007). "John Ottman scores The Invasion". SoundtrackNet. Retrieved May 9, 2007.
  20. ^ Wloszczyna, Susan (November 17, 2005). "Kidman happily visits while filming 'Visiting'". USA Today. Retrieved April 28, 2007.
  21. ^ "The Invasion". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
  22. ^ "Invasion, The (2007): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
  23. ^ Ebert, Roger (August 17, 2007). "The Invasion". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  24. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (August 15, 2007). "Review: The Invasion". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  25. ^ "The Invasion". The Wall Street Journal. August 17, 2007. Retrieved May 3, 2018. closed access
  26. ^ Dargis, Manohla (August 17, 2007). "Review - The Invasion". The New York Times. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  27. ^ Arendt, Paul (October 5, 2007). "The Invasion (2007)". BBC. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  28. ^ McDonagh, Maitland. "The Invasion". TV Guide. Retrieved May 3, 2018.

External links[edit]