It might not have been given much attention back in its day, but They Live has definitely found an audience in recent years people have taken to watching it again in order to get the message. It could have something to do with the fact that not everyone trusts government or the public figures that tell them what’s what, but this movie has come back in a big way as people have been watching it, talking about it, and even going so far as to tell how it relates to the current era. Movies such as this tend to make people believe that folks back in the day saw a trend coming that many individuals didn’t want to believe, especially when it comes to the relationship that the people of the United States have with their government. The fact that it was about aliens sending subliminal messages to human beings in order to run things is just a nice touch by John Carpenter to display his own bit of paranoid commentary for the enjoyment of the audience. At least, that’s what it appears to be since the whole idea of this movie is to question what is seen. There are quite a few movies that might be a good fit for those that enjoyed They Live, if only because they make a person question the reality of the world around them, and because they question the authority of those in charge.
Here are a few movies that people might like if they enjoyed They Live.
5. The Thing
John Carpenter really knows how to make people question the world around them, and he knows how to stoke the type of paranoia that can thrive in so many different ways. The isolation that is felt in this movie is a big part of what goes into the terror behind it. On top of that, trying to determine who’s human and who’s not is another way to create tension and to erase all sense of trust. Plus, Keith David was in this movie as well, as he shares a final scene with Kurt Russell after the compound has been blown to bits. As the two men sit in the freezing cold, watching the place burn, they wait to see which one of them is human, and which one isn’t.
4. In the Mouth of Madness
If you want to question reality, talk to an author. Not all of us are so insanely crazy that we bounce back and forth between the realms we create, but in this movie the author, Sutter Kane, creates his own world as it slowly but surely takes over a small rural town. When an investigator is sent out to find Kane, he finds that the town has slipped into madness as Kane has been doing the bidding of ancient, terrible beings that have corrupted him and taken over his writing. By the end of the movie, reality has been turned on its ear and the main character realizes his part in the story was being told even as it was happening.
3. Escape from New York
Snake Plissken is one of the more iconic characters in the history of action movies despite only being featured in two movies, and a lot of it has to do with Kurt Russell and his acting ability. When Snake is sent into Manhattan, which has become a prison island, to retrieve the president of the United States, who has been captured by the inmates after Air Force One is shot down. Making a long story short, the government that Snake once worked for promises a pardon if he retrieves the president, but threatens that nanites that have been injected into his bloodstream will kill him if he’s not back within 22 hours.
2. Dark City
Questioning the reality of the world around you is one thing, but having to question your entire life is something else since when John wakes up in the tub after a failed memory implant, he has to trace his way across the city while noticing several disturbing things. For one, people fall asleep en masse at midnight as darkly-clad, pale-faced men enter their homes and somehow change and restructure the city around them. Another disturbing fact is that they have a human scientist helping them. The story is one that has to be watched to be enjoyed, but it’s also deeper than one might think.
This is definitely a darker take on the same kind of theme, as the creatures that are posing as members of high society survive by feeding on human beings and appear as human as anyone else. Calling this one of those movies that people have forgotten and left behind would be fair since it’s not something one might hear about that often. But in keeping with the theme of questioning reality, it definitely works.
Sometimes one has to question everything.