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They Live

"What you see is what they want you to see..."

A homeless traveller, Roddy, finds work as a construction site worker. Suspicious things can be seen in the church, across the street. Getting involved in the mystery, he discovers that there are never any real masses and that the chants that can be heard are only a recording. Everything leads to believe that it is the hideout of some sort of a cult.

Meanwihle, Roddy puts his hands on a pair of sunglasses that reveal a totally new world. Posters, publicity layouts, indicative panels and magazines show their hidden subliminal messages and a portion of those he thought were humans are actually monstrous beings.

One day, the conspiracy witnessí base is destroyed and Robby discerns himself the mission to end the alienís reign on earth. As time passes, these invaders saturate the wealthy social class, leave poverty and submission to the human race.





Without his construction clothing, his generous mass of hair, his cheap glasses and the two facial expressions he knows how to do, Roddy would possibly become a memorable horror movie hero. Hulk Hogan could have harmlessly played the lead role in this film. What remains after we have swallowed this character is only a succession of events.

The first third of the film creates the mystery surrounding the rebels and what causes their manifestations without immediately revealing everything. The second third is the discovery of the world, seen through the sunglasses, and the metaphor of the control of the rich over the poor. Finally, they release their frustration, betray each other and the movieís general potential is reduced to zero.

To symbolize vision through sunglasses, black and white is used in a very crude manner, without any filters or transition effects. Still, the idea is interesting. The film possessed a limited budget and, if we donít pay attention to the details, the filmís development is unharmed. A few alien masks and office supplies constitute the main part of the special effects. In addition, because the passage between reality and illusion is so constant, the viewer develops a reflex, a need to see both worlds one after the other. Here and there, sadly, the world seen through the heroís eyes is omitted but most of the scenes fulfill our expectations.

The plot diverges quite often where it is swallowed by impertinence and where it adventures into strange places, unrelated to the storyline. From time to time, our hero in the making says a line of text that should improve his situation but, coming out of the mouth of the professional wrestler that he is, it sounds more like something a crank-up doll would say.

Final Thoughts

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Memorables aspects
- Roddy enters a bank, armed to the teeth, and decides, while heís at it, to kill a few aliens.
- A useless duel between Roddy and Keith that lasts seven minutes and a half.

Memorables characters

Released in: 1988

Movie type: Horror - Invaders - Science Fiction

Films in similar category:
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Body Snatchers
Purple Glow
Langoliers, The

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( 2002-06-11 )  

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