My heart is in anguish within me,
the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
The Barretts—Daniel and Lacy and their adolescent son Jessie and little Sam—are a typical suburban family, with the exception that Daniel has been laid off due to downsizing. This major problem begins to diminish when a series of strange events beset them—food removed from the refrigerator one night; cans and dishes stacked up almost to the ceiling another night; Sam’s nightmares about a “Sand Man;” Blackouts in which all of them have lost sense of time; and bruise-like marks on the boys bodies.
Although he is slow to accept it, Daniel at last agrees with his wife that some alien force has invaded their house. However, when they finally seek the help of a man who has been collecting information on the phenomena they have been experiencing, the film turns from a haunted house tale to a much more sinister genre, raising the disturbing question as to whether there is anything they can do about their situation. A truly creepy tale, this is not for the faint-hearted.
For Reflection & Discussion
1. What scared you in this film (if anything)? How does the filmmaker play on our fear?
2. Compare this film to two other sci-fi films that are polar opposites of the humans contact aliens genre: E.T. and Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
3. How did you feel at the end of the film? Reassurance, or—?