Probably one of the most subversive films to have come out of Hollywood in decades, They Live is a welcome return to form by legendary cult film director John Carpenter (John Carpenter's Escape from L.A. (1996), John Carpenter's The Thing (1982)) after having directed such abysmal efforts such as Memoirs Of An Invisible Man.
A lonely drifter gets hold of a pair of glasses through which the terrible truth can be seen: the rich are aliens who have already taken over the earth! Billboard advertisements and television broadcasts actually contain subliminal messages such as "Consume", "Watch Television" and "Marry and Reproduce!" All this give new meaning to William Gibson's dictum that the rich no longer resemble anything human!
It's difficult to dislike a film with an attitude like this one. Even when the film forsakes its satiric points and degenerates into a straightforward action thriller, one cannot help but like this film. Take that yuppie scum!
Review by James O'Ehley from The
Sci-Fi Movie Page.