Thursday, 22 January 2015

They (1974)

Bill Rebane gave us the delightfully daffy Giant Spider Invasion, as well as workmanlike Andromeda Strain knock-off The Alpha Incident, so I was cautiously hopeful about this film.  Alas, it's a much weaker offering than either of those later works.

Siblings Jake and Sara run a small plane business out in the North American wilderness.  The only other people around are a group of three scientists who have been doing vaguely defined science-y type things in the area.  Jake tries to fly the three men back to what passes for civilisation when their work is done, but he is warned away from the airfield by the man who runs it.  When Jake looks like he's going to land anyway, the man actually runs out onto the runway to force him to pull up.

Rattled, Jake flies the three men to a hunting lodge for wealthy tourists, instead, but the place is abandoned.  Another plane approaches, but then veers off and crashes, and later the men see strange red lights.  Without the fuel to travel more widely, they go back to Jake and Sara's.

The strangeness continues: reports on the radio of people dying throughout the country, and then a bizarre transmission asking them for their location.

As you might imagine, tempers begin to fray and flare at this point.  One of the scientists suggests some kind of alien source for the invasion.  Much later, he will refine this theory with astonishing detail into the belief that Martians came to Earth thousands of years ago and have been hiding below the surface ever since.  Sure, why not.

Eventually - and I do mean eventually - the group start trying to do more than simply hide.  That goes about as well as such things generally do in this sort of film.  At least it means something is happening though, even if that something is mostly 'people wandering around in the snow'.  Which brings us to the central problem of this film: nothing actually happening for very long periods of time.  This is a problem that The Alpha Incident also faces, but it did a much better job of holding my interest in the long talky sections.

This isn't really worth checking out unless you're insatiably curious to see the end - which comes out of left field, to say the least - or to listen to the equally eclectic soundtrack.

No comments:

Post a Comment