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Doctor Miles J. Bennell is the witness of strange behaviors from the residents of his little California's town, Santa Mira. Jimmy Grimaldi, a young boy claims that his mother is not really his mother. Wilma Lentz asserts that the person who pretends to be her uncle Ira Lentz is in fact an impostor. His colleague, the psychiatrist Dan Kauffman, diagnostics without really explaining it, a collective hysteria, a kind of contagious neurosis.
Bennell's skepticism transforms rapidly into anxiety when his friends, Jack and Teddy Belicec, discover an inanimate body, deprived fingerprints and to the unfinished face leaving nevertheless appearing Jack draws.
Thinking his friend Becky Driscoll is in danger, Miles rushes at her home. Completly aslept Becky is on the point to be duplicated by a giant pod presents in the basement of her house and deposited here by her already contaminated father. Miles returns Becky at Belicec's home where they discover that the body has disappeared.
Even the police is affected
Later in the greenhouse of the Belicec's garden Miles and his friends discover in horror immense half-open pods that show human forms whose the draws evoke their own faces. Placed pods give birth to creatures capable to imitate whith perfection their victims during their sleep. They understand that all the town is touched and that it is too late to warn the police.
Jack and Teddy leave to seek assistance while Miles attempts vainly to contact external authorities of the city.
Finally, Miles and Becky have to escape, the population of the small town as well as the police are searching for them.
Becky and Miles assist to the pods's distribution
For Becky and him, begins a struggle against the sleepiness and they must escape. They find refuge in Bennell's office and assist with horror to the massive distribution of malevolent pods destinated to the vincinity cities. In the morning, they are discovered by Belicec, now resided by the beings coming from elsewhere. The former explains them that seeds coming from outer space have taken root near the litte town and that it reproduce life for a rebirth in a pacified world...
Miles puts fire to the pods founded into his car
Spoiler ! the end of the story is revealed below…
In an ultime fight, Becky and Miles escape and find refuge in a closed mine in hills around Santa Mira to escape their pursuers. Their anly hope is to reach the highway to leave the city and to ring the alarm. But Becky succumbs to sleep and Miles discovers her, in a last kiss, as a stranger. Panic-stricken, Miles attempts in vain to stop motorists on the highway for Santa Mira from where leave, to others cities, loaded trucks of immense pods...