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Juxtaposing 1953’s and 2005’s cinematic representations of War of The Worlds illustrates the tenacity of Wells’ work. 1953’s War of The Worlds appeals to the emotions of those living in the shadows of the Cold War. World destruction themes emotionally shake viewers who exist under constant threat of attack. 2005’s intended audience still had the aftershock of 9/11 in their daily thoughts. Americans coming together in the face of an unexpected threat strongly parallels the atmosphere following terrorism (Spielberg). These movies appeal to the political tensions of the times they were introduced in. Though, in different ways. In Haskin’s version he moves the timeline to the 1950s. Martians are hostile and Earth is being attacked (Haskin). Struggling to survive attacks, civilians channel their religion as a means of remaining sane. “The War of the Worlds” as interpreted by Haskin is dark, but widely appealing to it’s intended audience.
Conversely, the 2005, Spielberg rendition of “War of the Worlds” is a grim and bleak outlook. Spielberg, like Haskin, altered the timeline to be congruent with the release. The main character, Ray, is no longer a scientist. He is instead a struggling single father. As aliens begin to attack, Ray strives to do whatever is necessary to ensure his family’s safety (Spielberg). The film is dark as a result of its representation of humanity. It is not just a demonization of the martians as many were assuming. Some characters are noble and others take advantage of the unfortunate turn of events. It is this creating of the scene and utilization of people as symbols that allows the author’s work to come to life. Wells’ “War of The Worlds” is the keystone of sci-fi and warfare. Different political and socioeconomic situations call for use of different settings and themes using the contemporary cinematic works.
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