The thing is… if you're gonna do a remake, you need to bring
something fresh and tasty to the table. John Carpenter succeeded the
first time around, building on the (reputed) Hawks original by
ratcheting up the suspense. Here, the screenplay's elaboration on the
two earlier versions adds a highly detailed spaceship scene that ends
up seeming more like the director's cut of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, or even
worse, the god-awful denouement of the last Indiana Jones film.
Leading up to it, the plot's basics are adhered to — but don't expect
edge-of-your-seat suspense. Carpenter's group blood test, so
masterfully done, is here turned into an examination of dental
fillings. It's ok, but unmemorable. The creature's morphings out of
the bodies of the humans it inhabits are fun to watch, but too many
“people” die the same way, screaming at the top of their lungs while
consumed by fire. David Foster, who also produced the first remake (on
which a young assistant-to-the-producer named Jeff Schultz worked),
should have rested on his laurels. — Jeff Schultz

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