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The Thing (1982)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: John Carpenter

Starring:
Kurt Russell/MacReady
Wilford Brimley/Blair
T.K. Carter Nauls/Cook
Keith David/Childs
PLOT-CRUNCH
A scientific crew at an Antarctica based compound sees their world go to hell when an extra-terrestrial organism that mimics everybody it consumes enters their midst. Chaos, mistrust and some genuinely INSANE creature shenanigans ensue.
THE LOWDOWN
"Trust is a tough thing to come by these days."--- MacReady

"The Thing" surprisingly didn’t catch a break upon its initial theatrical release. You see, the flick came out 3 weeks or so after Spielberg’s smash hit “E.T: The Extraterrestrial" and people were too busy wanting to “phone home” to pay attention to a movie about a killer, shape-shifting alien. Over the years though, "The Thing" has deservedly gained a very strong cult following and for me, re-watching it today for the umpteenth time, I was again taken aback at just how gracefully the film has beat out the test of time.

More of a direct take on John W. Campbell Jr's story “Who Goes There?” than a remake of the 1951 film “The Thing From Another World”, Carpenter’s film works on all counts with the first notch on its belt being the involving setting in which its mad tale takes place. The desolate, icy and snowy surroundings wondrously amplified the film’s overall bleak and claustrophobic tone. I could really feel the aura of isolation while watching this movie and that helped me sympathize with the characters and their predicament on a deeper level. The actors in this ever-glowing gem also brought in their fair share of positive weight with Kurt “The Man" Russell and Keith David, in particular, owning the screen every time they popped up. I’d let these two tough hombres have my back any day!

It must be said that since the action in this twisted adventure started at frame one, the narrative never really had the breather to go into its characters’ backgrounds. We don’t get to know much about these fine gents and that is one of the reasons, in my opinion, that this loony foray into horror works so well. Not knowing much about them definitely jacked the paranoia factor to “HIGH” when it came to the guessing game game that this flick was playing on us. Speaking of paranoia, Carpenter must be high-fived and lent Paris Hilton for a night for managing to evoke the emotion of “mistrust” so strongly here. Who can forget the tension-filled “blood testing” scene? Even with the knowledge of how it turns out on my side, it still whooped my skull to ashes. To this day, I have yet to see a movie that played that angle with such efficiency. Shite, I was only a spectator watching a screen and I was getting freaking paranoid! Let’s just say that I didn’t look at my dogs the same way while viewing this sucka.

Scare-wise, if it wasn’t the constant sense of imminent doom crawling snuggly under my skin, it was the “surprise” beast attack that got to me. I was bouncing off my couch like a tweaked grass hopper. FUN STUFF! Which brings me to the film’s revolutionary special effects. Rob Bottin (who was 21 years old at the time) really outdid himself here. I heard that he worked every day of the shoot and that he actually didn’t go home at night-- he slept on set. I RESPECT THAT! Well my man, your efforts were not in vein. Not only do Bottin’s effects easily bury any visual tricks put out today in terms of impact, but the creativity and the daringness behind them, made the "out there" creature scenarios some of the most memorable latex jamborees to ever grace the blood-stained screen. This Bud’s for you Bottin! You earned it and then some!

All in all, I have absolutely nothing negative to say about "The Thing". To me, it’s a perfect horror effort, from the acting, the firm directing, the gloomy score, the open-ended ending…you name it and this flick excelled at it. "The Thing" is the REAL thing! Mutate into this!
GORE
It’s a carnival of fun gooey times with Rob Bottin goodies on display for all to munch on. We get a bullet in the head, self-inflicted scalpel wounds, bit off arms and a slew of unique, over-the-top and totally crazy creature-at-play effect set pieces. You haven’t live until you’ve seen a severed head grow legs and walk around a room. FUCKING A!
ACTING
Since the script itself wasn’t in depth when it came to the characters, the fact that all of the men found here were endearing was quite a statement on the actors’ talent and charisma. Among the crowd, men’s men Kurt Russell (MacReady) and Keith David (Childs) stood out the most. I love both these guys! They oozed of strength and presence. Wilford Brimley (Blair), T.K. Carter Nauls (Cook), Richard Dysart (Copper) and the rest of the extensive all-male cast, also came through hardcore. I bought every single performance found in this film. Shite, even the dog (played by half-dog, half-wolf Jed) was highly credible. Talk about “method acting”!
T & A
It’s an all-male cast so us dudes get nothing. The ladies get Kurt Russel’s impeccable beard.
DIRECTING
Carpenter’s directing served the film well, with slow, methodological camera movements upping the tension of the happenings. We also get well used POV shots that augmented the mystery factor of the film and an addictive dread-filled mood. Awesome!
SOUNDTRACK
The bleak score by Morricone mucho reinforced the dark tone of the film. GENIUS! We also get some pop/rock tunes with one of them being Stevie Wonder’s “Superstitious”.
BOTTOM LINE
Although I adore Carpenter’s "Halloween", "The Thing" remains my favorite film of his. It just hits paydirt hard in every damn way possible. Look up “Horror Classic” in the dictionary and you’ll see the cover art for "The Thing". If you haven’t witnessed this priceless genre offering yet…SHAME ON YOU! Toss that "Urban Legend" DVD in the trash already and run to get it like...now! As for me, I’ll keep re-watching this flick at least once a year till the day I die. Hopefully when I have kids in the future, I’ll name my son MacReady and have him watch this horror treasure with me. Wow, I’m talking kids???? WTF? Mr. Carpenter, what have you done to me???
BULL'S EYE
The flick was shot in British Columbia, Canada.

An uncredited Adrienne Barbeau was the female voice of MacReady's computer chess game.

Stan Winston did the Dog-Thing effects. He didn’t want screen credit because he didn’t want to take away from Rob Bottin's accomplishment (class act). He does get "A Special Thanks to Stan Winston" in the film's end credits though.

Screenwriter Bill Lancaster is the son of actor Burt Lancaster.

The X-Files episode “Ice” was an homage to this film.
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+0
2:09AM on 01/16/2009

Just finished it minutes ago and...

I have to say...I might just have to agree in that this movie may be superior to Halloween. Both movies create a chilling atmosphere with killers lurking about. But the The Thing not only 1-ups Halloween in suspense (The arctic base setting is a lot more scarier and claustrophobic to be in, compared to Haddonfield in Halloween) , but it easily beats in the shock and awe factor as well. I'm not even going into the crazy gore factor.

Fantastic Horror movie, glad to see it hasn't been touched
I have to say...I might just have to agree in that this movie may be superior to Halloween. Both movies create a chilling atmosphere with killers lurking about. But the The Thing not only 1-ups Halloween in suspense (The arctic base setting is a lot more scarier and claustrophobic to be in, compared to Haddonfield in Halloween) , but it easily beats in the shock and awe factor as well. I'm not even going into the crazy gore factor.

Fantastic Horror movie, glad to see it hasn't been touched by Hollywood again (yet)
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10:29PM on 09/01/2008
I thought this movie was a great movie. This Movie has lots of suspense cause you dont know who the alien is and it made you keep guessing till the end of the movie. A lot of characters were right on there parts. My favorite character was R.J. MacReady. There was a lot of gore in this film from the dead bodies and the alien. The storyline was good how they are finding out more and more about what the alien can do, and what it exactly the alien does to its victims. Special effects were pretty
I thought this movie was a great movie. This Movie has lots of suspense cause you dont know who the alien is and it made you keep guessing till the end of the movie. A lot of characters were right on there parts. My favorite character was R.J. MacReady. There was a lot of gore in this film from the dead bodies and the alien. The storyline was good how they are finding out more and more about what the alien can do, and what it exactly the alien does to its victims. Special effects were pretty good. Some parts I liked in the film were when you get to see the dead guy with blood turned to ice was pretty cool. Every time the Alien transforms its always pretty intense. I loved the aliens ability to mimic whatever it is taking over. I liked when everybody cannot trust anybody not even at the end and then some start losing it cause they are scared. My favorite part would have to be the testing the blood part very creative.

One thing that looked funny to me was the blood at times in the film the blood looked really fake.

Favorite Quote : Childs/MacReady : What do we do now? Why don't we just wait here for a little while... see what happens...

I Rate this movie a (4 / 4), (10 / 10). This is a excellent Classic thats worth watching.
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12:53PM on 04/08/2008

Carpenters best by far

I'm sorry, but Halloween will always play second fiddle to The Thing imo. This is one damn near perfect horror film. The acting, setting, directing, cinematography, an special effects are all top notch. To this day, the effects in this puppy blow my mind and smack a huge smile on my face.

10/10
I'm sorry, but Halloween will always play second fiddle to The Thing imo. This is one damn near perfect horror film. The acting, setting, directing, cinematography, an special effects are all top notch. To this day, the effects in this puppy blow my mind and smack a huge smile on my face.

10/10
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+0
10:52AM on 06/18/2007
i recently bought this on DVD after not having seen it for years.. after not seeing it for a long time and forgotten what happens, i couldnt believe how uneasy i felt during the blood testing scene! this is by far and away one of the very best films ever made, i dont think i have ever been pulled in quite so much by a film before!
Awesome in every single department!
i recently bought this on DVD after not having seen it for years.. after not seeing it for a long time and forgotten what happens, i couldnt believe how uneasy i felt during the blood testing scene! this is by far and away one of the very best films ever made, i dont think i have ever been pulled in quite so much by a film before!
Awesome in every single department!
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6:49PM on 10/14/2006
The thing is a remarkable re take on the Hawk's version and sticking towards the short story. I love the monster in every form it takes on, but it's the paranorma that's everywhere that I love most, who is who and who can we trust. Chilling ending, and the feeling of isolation and fear has never been better, it worked thanks to great directing, music, and acting.
The thing is a remarkable re take on the Hawk's version and sticking towards the short story. I love the monster in every form it takes on, but it's the paranorma that's everywhere that I love most, who is who and who can we trust. Chilling ending, and the feeling of isolation and fear has never been better, it worked thanks to great directing, music, and acting.
Your Reply:



4:35AM on 08/05/2005

My favorite Carpenter

This is one of the films that's worth a 4 rating.
My favorite movie by Carpenter.
There is a gloomy atmosphere throughout this film and the music by Enricone gives the tone (dark,somber, pessimistic)
The characters are different and there is no woman so you can concentrate on the characters I mean it's movie about a bunch of men trying to survive by trusting nobody.
Kurt Russel is very good as MacReady he plays his role well and he's totally believable.
The FX by Bottin are terrific and
This is one of the films that's worth a 4 rating.
My favorite movie by Carpenter.
There is a gloomy atmosphere throughout this film and the music by Enricone gives the tone (dark,somber, pessimistic)
The characters are different and there is no woman so you can concentrate on the characters I mean it's movie about a bunch of men trying to survive by trusting nobody.
Kurt Russel is very good as MacReady he plays his role well and he's totally believable.
The FX by Bottin are terrific and still work now.
The cinematography is very good as usual and so is the directing of course.
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