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War of the Worlds (2005) – Special Effects Review

The movie War of the Worlds (2005), directed by Steven Spielberg, is a sci-fi film based on the novel by H. G. Wells about an alien invasion.

Tom Cruise plays the lead character, a divorced father of two children, both of his children visit him and it is during this that they find themselves facing and invasion by foreign entities.

One of the great effects that added to the suspense was the sound of the lethal tripod machine, which struck the people with a fearful feeling and tremendous anxiety. The Tripod and the aliens had been designed to appear organic yet mechanical, and the laser beam used by the Tripod was shown to vaporise humans instantly. All of which made it more realistic, but inevitably much effort was required for this, such as the synthetic dust coupled with CGI laser beams; and applying extensive research (carried out by the visual effects crew) into the Tripods movements to reflect aquatic lifeforms. Visual effects supervisor Pablo Helman had aimed for the Tripod to be true to the novel’s description of 150 feet tall and ensured it was similar in size, thus depicting a great threat.

Furthermore, all the roads, houses and cars being destroyed by the aliens along with a scene that shows many corpses piled in a river were effective in portraying the hopeless doomsday scenario.

In conclusion, I felt that the special effects combined with the acting had made this a great movie.


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