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While not technically a horror movie, I am including this science fiction flick in my review series because of the fact that the first time I saw it, back when it was in the theaters, it gave me nightmares. They really made that original radio broadcast spoof read by Orson Welles and written by H.G. Wells into a frightening, terrifying movie. I mean, the radio broadcast back in the 1930s was probably pretty darn scary too.
So, I’m not a huge fan of Mr. Tom Cruise since his craziness and the whole Scientology thing, but he’s still a great actor and some of that charming old-school Tom Cruise from the Top Gun days seems to shine through in the early parts of War Of The Worlds.
About The Movie
Tom Cruise’s character is left to watch his kids, played by Dakota Fanning and Justin Chatwin. Robbie, played by Chatwin, has a teenage distaste for his father and acts like you’d imagine a bratty teenager would. Fanning’s character, Rachel, is a bit less of a brat, but seems to panic a little easily (then again, who wouldn’t with aliens invading) and whines way too much.
So, daddy, Ray, goes outside to see everyone staring at the sky and a big ominous dark cloud looming above. Suddenly, lightning strikes a bunch of times, seemingly in the same place. Well, apparently that’s what the aliens needed in order to awake their sleeper cell, which then emerges from the middle of the paved road (you’ll never look at the streets the same again). What comes out of the ground is a big robot looking tripod thing. It starts shooting lasers at people, disintegrating them and leaving only their clothing behind. Somehow, Ray gets away and makes it back to his kids, but he’s pretty much in shock at this point.
As the tripod is blasting away people and things your heart starts to race. It’s like an action/adventure flick that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
What scared me about this movie?
This movie is seriously a roller coaster ride and it continually induced panic attacks… even rewatching it as I write this review it’s making me nervous. I had nightmares about the tripod coming up out of the ground. I mean, that could be real, couldn’t it? Terrorists have sleeper cells all over the United States, so why couldn’t space aliens? I mean, if they actually exist.
There’s just so much that could be real about this movie, even if you look at it more as a terrorist story instead of a story about aliens from outer space.
The tripods are the scariest thing about this movie. Well, that and the fact that later in the movie it seems like they’re collecting people in harvester machines to use as fuel to keep the “robots” moving.
Take a minute and imagine what you’d do if an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) struck and you were left with no electricity and no vehicles, and then you found out the place you live (whether it’s just your town, your state, your country, or it’s the whole world) was being invaded and people were getting killed left and right. How would you feel? What would you do? You’ll spend a lot of time thinking about these questions as you watch this film.
Love him or hate him, don’t let the fact that crazy Tom Cruise is in this movie keep you from watching it. It’s a great alien flick. It’s a great movie to insight horror into your mind and soul. It will give you nightmares. It will make you afraid of what is hiding underneath the ground. It’s an action film that will keep you guessing and keep you focused waiting for the next attack. And, don’t trust Tim Robbins (I never do).