When the sky blackens, and the distant trembling of thunder overwhelms the white noise of cars, buses, and scuttling pedestrians, instinct tells us to seek refuge, to go home. But what if there’s no escape? Nowhere truly safe? And that our means of protection have failed us—proven quaint and flimsy? Alien invasion movies have always toyed with these fears, plunging us into a dizzying no-man’s land not unlike the country’s greatest upheavals and disasters. Filled with the demons of our post-9/11 climate, “Signs” and “War of the Worlds”使用外来灾难的直接威胁到回波带喘气的狂热漏洞，席卷已经为我们争夺的迹象在Covid-19大流行的报复回到日常生活中，感情的感受，事情最终会恢复正常，事情会好起来的。
科幻电影一直对扭曲我们当代社会和政治现实到幻想，或恶梦 - 即放人性，科学和技术的考验。外星人入侵电影也不例外，但在大多数情况下他们在美国反对，他们调校与巩固好莱坞大片的美国例外很好地啮合。
考虑Roland Emmerich’s “独立日，” the movie that marked the splashy return of the sub-genre at the tail end of the '90s. It’s hard to imagine that film’s wild success in the box office without considering the multiple doomsday conspiracies floating around at the time. As the clocks ticked forward into the 21st century, the symbolism of global catastrophe seemed too apt to ignore. Meanwhile, our Soviet adversaries had long been vanquished. "Independence Day" gave us a disaster befitting the turn of the century, and truly formidable enemies. Our alien rivals—unsentimental and exacting, and equipped with technologies that surpassed our own—are ultimately foiled by humanity’s gutsy ingenuity and bristling spirit.Will Smithand杰夫·戈德布拉姆valiantly board the mothership and upload a computer virus that wipes the aliens’ defenses, whileRandy Quaid’s washed-up ex-fighter pilot achieves redemption by downing the ship kamikaze-style. Emmerich blows up the White House—a harsh battle wound to say the least—but America still comes out on top, its willpower fortified, its families reunited. In the end, exploding alien space-crafts in the distance light up like the world’s most magnificent fireworks.
具有讽刺意味的是,随着行业寻找新的、bigger enemies to put in our movies, the country eventually got one with the attacks of 9/11. The event was deemed the “new Pearl Harbor” by politicians and pundits alike, which acknowledged the rarity of attacks on U.S. soil while reminding us of our retaliation and righteous victory in World War II. “Strength” and “courage” became popular keywords meant to instill trust in the government and to manage the public’s grief and anxiety. Yet those terms felt—and feel today—manipulative and hollow. Ultimately, the events of 9/11 gutted the idea that we are the masters of our own fate. Images of two towering infernos, seemingly ripped out of the movies, haunted every news channel, every home. We learned it was the “terrorists,” a term that implied we had no idea what we were talking about. Who were the terrorists? From where did they come? The U.S. government’s ensuing overseas campaign of brutality seemed to confirm its cluelessness. And at home, the uncertainty of it all was crippling.
Then in the following years came two very different types of invasion movies. In M. Night Shyamalan’s “Signs” andSteven Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds,” there’s no question of a proper war between humans and extraterrestrials. Our scientific advancements, our sophisticated weaponry, our leaders and heroes—none stand a chance. Both films follow ordinary people on the margins as they fight to simply stay alive, protagonists motivated by a raw desire to protect their children from grisly fates. The politicians and military men are as flustered and impotent as the average Joe, so the cameras never bother turning their way, choices that reflect a sense of abandonment and betrayal. It’s a feeling that these past months have rekindled to a staggering, devastating degree. Despite our leaders’ efforts, 9/11 made things like flying, visiting major cities, even driving seem risky—a condition of floundering insecurity, and deep, existential unease that also plagues our every outing, our every interaction in these pandemic times. But it’s notjustCovid-19感染和传播的恐惧virus that has thrown our existence into disarray. Nor merely confronting the Kafkaesque nightmare that is our failed institutions and systems of care. It’s the total loss of control, the uncertainty of how much longer and how many more deaths until it’s over, that fills us with dread.
一声尖叫切过风的闪烁风铃，玉米秆微弱的沙沙声。孩子们已经在一些奇怪的事情，他们有无法解释的东西绊倒了。作物已平坦化用怪异的精度，并从上方他们似乎形成巨大的几何图案。与此同时，狗不会停止叫声;他们长大不安和野蛮。这很容易记住“的招牌，”沙马兰的连续第三次命中以下“第六感” (1999) and “牢不可破” (2000), as merely a pop culture artifact—the tin foil hats, the birthday party scene, those crucial, countless glasses of water—yet the atmosphere of menace and panic it creates remains lodged in my gut. Father of two young children and an ex-priest, Graham Hess (梅尔·吉布森）调用警长，希望她有这个麦田圈的恶作剧铅：“这会确保把陌生的路程，如果我知道这只是梅西和Wolfington兄弟乱搞。”当然，这不是，但真正的罪魁祸首敌对外来入侵者，几乎是什么让沙马兰入侵电影非常有效。这是格雷厄姆对正常颤抖的欲望，对于合理的解释，对于所有的“陌生感”被带走，那种感觉熟悉而真实。
His family has recently suffered a great tragedy—his wife’s sudden death at the hands of a weary commuter, Ray Reddy, who dozed off behind the wheel at exactly the wrong time. Graham cannot cope with the injustice, the cruelty and meaninglessness of it all; he bitterly renounces God, and we meet him as he struggles to cast off his image as the community holy man. Then the “strangeness” swoops in—the agitated dogs, midnight shenanigans on the rooftop, the feeling that something sinister is watching and waiting. Graham’s youngest, Bo (阿比盖尔·布莱斯林）宣布，所有通道都打同样的事情。麦田怪圈是无处不在，不可能尽管格雷厄姆的努力，以保持他的家人集中在忽略“普通的事情。”沙马兰使用广角镜头，并从换挡枝条，低角度干扰我们比例的感;相机处于接近恒定的运动，平移和倾斜成与上气不接下气尿急注入否则静态的，困农舍位置。事情看起来是一样的，但他们不觉得它。
In times of crisis, we’re starved for information that might settle our spirits and grace us with that cherished illusion of control. When Graham sees something disturbing in the cornfields, he knows he can no longer live in denial. Everyone in the family gathers around the television set where the “history of the world’s future” plays on the screen: unidentified lights hovering above all the major capitals. The experts and reporters merely speculate, and offer theories as useful as the ones in the extraterrestrial book written by a “Dr. Bimbo” that Graham’s son, Morgan (Rory Culkin), carries around like a bible. Merrill (Joaquin Phoenix），格雷厄姆的弟弟，在房子较新的居民，孔达在储藏室粘在T.V.，情报的每一个新的报废吓坏了，但无法绝尘而去。
“What’s happening out there?” Graham asks as his family huddles in the basement in the final act. “I can’t even imagine,” mutters Merrill, “I hope they’re doing better than we are.” A student of Hitchcock, Shyamalan understands that less is more when it comes to building suspense, so the world beyond the farmhouse only trickles in through grainy home videos and nervous journalists, reporting from what seems more like a bunker than a proper news station. Like the aliens themselves, which only rarely make appearances, the unimaginable horrors of what’s happening “out there,” and what might soon happen to them, fills the Hess family with doubt.
When the aliens finally strike, the news broadcast goes blank and their final connection to the rest of humanity snapped off. Off-screen barks turn to whimpers, then silence; the porch creaks under footsteps, and shadows flicker in the cracks of boarded-up windows. Walls shake, doorknobs rattle furiously as詹姆斯·霍华德牛顿的得分膨胀在恐慌的愤怒。然后格雷厄姆捂住了摩根，并告诉他关于他出生的那一天。
在美国的政治和文化中心的精神危机也铰链，是“世界之战”，随后Tom Cruise作为疏远的父亲负责保护他的孩子，因为他们躲避在一个危险的旅程到波士顿杀气外星人。像赫斯家族，Ferriers只是随机的人希望借此能够活着出去，不是英雄最终为人类的救赎负责。而“标志”是一个简约的心理惊悚片“世界大战”是一个更直接的恐怖冒险电影，大，令人印象深刻的定位球和蔓延的灾难景象。在我的书中，斯皮尔伯格的适应并不在恐惧的骨髓深有感触地说，“标志”，以便有效地使人联想，而是属于大预算的灾难电影沿袭其9/11关系更加清楚地明显得到。Spielberg has acknowledged the connection：“我们生活的恐惧面纱，我们没住在911之前下。目前已在全国有意识的情绪转变“。在视觉回调臭名昭著的世界贸易中心羽，厚重的尘埃云在布鲁克林的三脚架开幕攻击场景中的空气从地面浮现，并开始轰击人类变成粉状成碎片，仅留下在天空中飘过的衣服碎片。克鲁斯的光芒费里尔，像格雷厄姆，回家这心寒的遭遇后，几乎被他所见过瘫痪，但决心要得到他的亲人了即将被焚烧布鲁克林弹指一挥间的。
There’s a strong survivalist streak to "War of the Worlds," namely because we’re so tethered to Cruise and his exceptionally capable and fortunate avatar. Ray has one of the only functioning cars around, and zips past envious stragglers with kids in tow until a mob overwhelms the vehicle and takes over. A plane crashes into the family’s hideaway in the suburbs, but the trio manage to take cover in the basement utility room at exactly the right moment. A run-in with an unstable stranger, played byTim Robbins，结束在合理的暴力和雷的十几岁的儿子罗比（贾斯汀·查特文) is emboldened to take a stand and joins the resistance. Much later, when Rachel (达科塔·范宁）由触手航天器的一个猛扑起来，雷故意又把自己抓住加入他的女儿在连接固定的单元。当一个触手选择雷从其多汁机构的准备金的下一个倒霉的受害者，他被吸进手里拿着手榴弹，并通过他的偶然通电狱友越来越拉出之前的版本在三脚架上。Ray may be especially resilient—a quality as miraculous as the hand of God that supposedly saves Morgan in the final showdown of “Signs”—yet we’re told as he looks out, battered and wide-eyed, into a field doused in human blood, that it’s only a matter of time before luck runs out.
In the face of utter hopelessness, these outcomes suggest that the cosmos is on the side of humanity, that something ingrained and incontestable in the fabric of the natural world has got our backs. We need only tough it out, brave the horrifying darkness, before these forces kick into gear. It’s only natural given the spiritual devastation of 9/11 that the movies would turn to a higher power for salvation, and that that higher power would be at least nominally rooted in science. If our leaders and weapons can’t save us, what could be more comforting than knowing that the planet itself will accommodate our existence? Upon closer look, such a message comes off as deeply frightening, an obvious fiction. It’s striking that today, in the throes of an actual global crisis, and in a country led by con men and bigots, we find ourselves feeling similarly abandoned. Otherwise forsaken, our hope lies in the doctors and scientists—the cult of Dr. Anthony Fauci, while not undeserved, speaks to our desperation, our mad scramble for truth and certainty in times that deny us these comforts.