Top critical review
2 people found this helpful
Confirmed: considerably better then the remake
on 29 March 2013
Now, judged by modern standards, this film has weaknesses; the acting is generally pretty poor, and the effects not good; the shooting scenes are pretty unconvincing. Many things have improved in film-making.
However, it has a quite neat documentary style that, showing events through the eyes of three different groups- military, scientific and civilian- gives an insight into each one and a degree of empathy with each, while the two enemies- the virus, and the disembodied external instructing voice- remain unseen.
It has a genuine quality of nightmare in the situation of the civilians caught up in the diaster, and indeed for some of the soldiers and the scientists, but it's the civilians we're for. They are certainly more worth rooting for than he cretins in the remake, who you simply hope are going to die.
There are many things in this movie that have been used since- and in many cases better (and before)- the semi-documentary style and the claustrophobia (completely lacking from the remake), and I certainly think it could be seen as an influence on many other movies. In turn of course, it is itself heavily influenced by the notably superior "The Andromeda Strain" of two years earlier.
So, overall, well it's almost a four star movie, but it lacks quality, so three. In 1973 it would undoubtedly have made four stars, and remains a good deal better than the remake.