There are a couple of reasons that the sci-fi alien invasion flick has been on the wane while zombie movies have been on the rise. Unlike dealing with brain-dead swarms, part and parcel of full-scale invasion-of-Earth scenarios is a tacit acknowledgment of a comparable, if not higher, form of intelligent life. Until the invading force is defeated—if, indeed, it is defeated—the human audience watching the film is made to feel, well, a little stupid. And then there is the feel-bad factor. Horror movies, as many a die-hard fan will tell you, are meant to titillate. One wants to see Ripley defeating the intergalactic face-huggers of Aliens, not the South African arthropod apartheid of District 9.
The World’s End, out this Friday, shies away from neither of these things and goes a step further in suggesting that bad and stupid are perhaps humanity’s only unique qualities. Having already put their stamp on satirical zombie-ism with 2004’s British import Shaun of the Dead, it was probably only a matter of time before the trio of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and director Edgar Wright turned their attention skyward. Invoking the communist-next-door fear of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the film creatively rejiggers the formula for the smartphone set: It’s the nerd-dream technological singularity turned into a logistical nightmare, where free will is diametrically opposed to the next stage of our evolution. Read More