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WAR OF THE WORLDS (2005). Steven Spielberg, dir. Josh Friedman and David Koepp, script, from the novel The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. Rick Carter, prod. design. USA: Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks SKG, Amblin Entertainment, Cruise/Wagner Productions (prod.) / Paramount, UIP (US and other dist.), 2005. See IMDb for complex distribution and other credits.[1]

Wells's tripods are back, looking mean and archaic-saurian and somewhat biomechanic(al), though less than in H. R. Giger's work (see ALIEN (film)). Note brief but very threatening containment of humans captured by a tripod, awaiting death and draining of their blood and, perhaps, other of their "precious bodily fluids" (not quoting this movie). Note activation of tripods by what looks like massive lightning striking the ground, with the very high-tech tripods arising through the streets of New York, coming out of the lower depths (what was once the realm of "Chaos and old Night" (see E.M. Forster's "The Machine Stops", cited under Fiction, for epitome of the motif of a mechanized underworld). CAUTION: The literally patriarchal implications of the film would be tolerable if it didn't have greater aural density of feminine screams than in any FLASH GORDON serial (the little girl in the film has good reason to scream; Spielberg has no good reason for quite so many screams).