A great 80's horror/thriller.
- They Live review by CP Customer
This is a great 80's sci-fi horror thriller, very much in the same vein as "V", with aliens living amongst the human population controlling everyone with subliminal messages through the advertising and the media. Even though it's now over 20 years old, watching it today it was still as good as I remembered seeing it as a teen.
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.
Worth seeing, but not one of John Carpenter's best
- They Live review by RP
I watched (and was disappointed by) 'The World's End' a week or two ago and started to wonder about other films with a similar 'aliens among us' theme. The obvious ones include 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' and 'Alien Nation', although in the latter their presence is well known. Then I came across 'They Live', directed by John Carpenter.
John Carpenter is well known for his cult sci-fi / horror films from the 1970s and 80s. Examples of his work include 'Halloween', 'The Thing', 'The Fog', 'Starman', 'Escape from New York' as well as the excellent original classic version of 'Assault on Precinct 13', so I knew the likely style.
The central character (played by ex-wrestler Roddy Piper) suspects something strange is going on at a local church and hears a blind preacher telling people to 'wake up'. He finds a pair of special sunglasses that reveal the truth - advertising hoardings with instructions to Obey and to Conform, magazine pages with similar authoritarian instructions, TV programmes with the same message - and aliens with skull-like faces everywhere. It transpires that the Earth's ruling classes have conspired with the aliens to make money and consolidate their own power while (of course) keeping the workers in their place...
It's all a bit clumsily done and it certainly looks dated, but I quite enjoyed it. It also features Carpenter's signature style of self-composed synthesiser-driven them music, but the film isn't a classic as some of his others turned out to be.
An interesting curiosity - worth seeing, but not one to watch again and again. 3/5 stars.
2 out of 4 members found this review helpful.