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Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
Though this Me Generation updating of the classic Jack Finney novel is a more viscerally horrifying affair than its 1956 predecessor - courtesy of some imaginative gross-out effects work - it also effectively exploits the subtextual potential of the story by setting the events in 1970s San Franciso, the virtual center of the yuppie-fied, touchy-feely "self-fulfillment" revolution that took hold during the post-Watergate years. Add to this wicked brew a host of solid performances (does anyone do freaked-out better than Veronica Cartwright?), a queasy air of paranoia brought to bear by director Philip Kaufman and one of the most nerve-demolishing shock endings in the history of cinema, and you've got yourself some bona fide nightmare material.
- Chris Eggertsen