When health official Elizabeth Driscoll (Brooke Adams) notices that her lover has become strangely distant, this sets in train a series of shocking discoveries that sees both her and colleague Matthew Bennell (Donald Sutherland) fleeing for their lives to the sound of ear-piercing alien screams. Remakes of great films are usually on a hiding to nothing, but Philip Kaufman's brilliant update of the 1956 classic is a rare and memorable exception. Transposing the action to the heart of San Francisco allows Kaufman to retain all the suspense of Jack Finney's original story while adding caustic social commentary about the selfishness of the 1970s "me generation" that remains all too relevant today. But it's a paranoid thriller first and foremost, based on one of the most psychologically terrifying of all premises - what happens when you can no longer trust not just the authorities but even your nearest and dearest?
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