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The International Writers Magazine:

The Invasion (2007)
Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel
Starring Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig
Stephanie Vile Review

I was really excited to go and see this film because I like horror films. As the fourth follow-on from the 1956 film, The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, this film is a modern, gripping thriller. Kidman plays a physiatrist, Carol, as well as a mother to her young son Oliver. A space shuttle crashes and unleashes a fatal virus which is contracted by passing body fluid, normally projectile vomiting. After having caught the virus, the invasion is completed by the person going to sleep, it takes over the body and leaves them in an emotionless, zombie-like state.

This idea is similar to our society today, obviously without the scary, emotionless zombies of course! It's like a metaphor for the way that we behave today. There are so many "groups" today and so many people are involved in them because they're told to or they think they have to in order to "be like the others." Being in a group is like a virus because you have to act in that particular way and if you don't, you are pushed out of that group. Groups can be scary, they can hold a lot of power over people and can be difficult to get out of.

Carol is the only adult left in New York by the end of the film, which I thought was a bit obvious because surely she couldn't be the only one without the virus in the whole of New York. She battles against all the infected, trying to protect her son on the way, also trying not to fall asleep. Carol soon realises that in order to beat them, she must not show emotion, this way she will fit in with them and they will stop looking for her. Groups can be very forceful upon people and they can be bullied into joining a group, bullied because they're not in that group and belittled because the group think they're better than that person. Carol will not be bullied into this group.

I thought it was also very obvious that her son Oliver just happened to be immune to such a vile virus while all the other children caught it. Surely, in reality he would catch a cold if everyone else had one.

It's a scary idea that you can get so far into a group, work or a fantasy, that you forget who you are, all your thoughts and feelings vanish and suddenly you don't know who you are. You become somebody else and you're no longer the you that makes you you and the you that you have spent years getting to know. The infected lost their thoughts and emotions and Kidman new that she was now fighting the virus and not people.

In our society today everyone is constantly competing against someone else about fashion, sport, anything they feel passionate about. The virus wants to take over, it wants Carol and eventually it wants to take over the world. All the people who we compete with want us to give in to them and do things their way.

The Invasion is a good film. Despite being quite obvious at times, it is a good modern portrayal of one woman’s struggle and determination not to enter into a group, which I would highly recommend. I like it also because of its scare factor about it which I think could represent the amount of crime and outrageous behaviour that goes on in our streets today. So if you like a good thriller, back prepared for a few surprises and remember, don't fall asleep…
© Stephanie Vile October 23rd 2007

Stephanie is studying at the University of Portsmouth



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