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The Thing (1982 film)

A 1982 science fiction-horror film directed by John Carpenter.

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What the heck is that spider thing in the corner?

  • Nov 14, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+5
One of the most creative and disgusting horror films of our time, John Carpenter's `The Thing' has held its own ground through more than two decades, still producing the loud cry of "Euewwwwwwww" from both new viewers and old. Never has there been a slimier, stealthier, more appalling evil that what comes out of the snow in this spectacular film.

The film opens at an American camp in Antarctica, when the men's routine day is interrupted by a crazy Norwegian flying into their camp by helicopter and shooting at a Husky. "Why is he shooting at that sweet doggie?"

After taking out the insane Norwegian, doggie is put in with the other dogs at the American camp. But is doggie really a doggie? The Americans fly over to the Norwegian camp to attempt to discover what happened to the insane man. They find a camp filled with dead men, a burned pile of fleshy debris, and a huge spaceship in the ice. Naturally, they take the fleshy thing back to study it, and find that it is a mixture of unformed species, including human.

In the meantime, doggie is ready to take over more than just a Husky body. Doggie is a `Thing', an organism whose every cell is alive and coded for survival. Only one cell from this organism can invade and take over a host, mimicking its looks, thoughts, patterns, everything. But above all else, it must survive; it must defend itself.

What follows is a full-blown terror fest of horrendously tense proportions. Stuck in a camp on the ice, with The Thing in their midst, the men no longer know who they can trust, and who is still human.

I remember seeing this film in the theater, on the big screen, in 1982 when it was first released. This was the only movie I ever saw that I found myself unable to finish my popcorn while watching it. The special effects, even in today's standards, are breathtakingly grotesque and morbidly twisted. The fear and foreboding in the atmosphere of the movie is palpable, and the scream bubbling up in your throat is very real indeed.

Excellent performances by Kurt Russell (MacReady), Wilford Brimley (Dr. Blair), Keith David (Childs), David Clennon (Palmer), Charles Hallahan (Norris), T.K. Carter (Nauls), Richard A. Dysart (Cooper), Peter Maloney (Bennings), Richard Masur (Clark), Joel Polis (Fuchs), Donald Moffat (Garry) and Thomas g. Waites (Windows). Special note, the computer voice in `The Thing' was done by Adrienne Barbeau, queen of the B terror flicks. Each and every one of these actors did a superb job in the film.

This is a movie you simply have to watch for the grossness and the impending doom, which will deliver a question at the end that will leave you awake far into the night, pondering as you gaze over at your snoring mate. Truly, one of my absolute favorites, and one of the best horror movies of all time. A ten star film! Enjoy!
The Thing (1982)

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January 26, 2009
I REALLY hated this one when it first came out, but then most people did. Of course itds closer to the original story than the 1950's version was, but I was put off by the characters and how unlikeable they all were. Well humanity became even more unlikeable in the intervening years and soon the characters in the film didn't seem so bad anymore. Now this is one of my favorite films and I recognize it as being the classic it is. Brilliant film.
 
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More The Thing (1982 film) reviews
review by . August 10, 2013
posted in Movie Hype
My first encounter with John Carpenter's The Thing was back around November of 2001, where I only saw a snippet of the movie on TNT. Just my luck, I tuned in at one of the most gruesome scenes in the movie. Even at the age of 14, when I was more seasoned to creepy films, still found it too disturbing to follow through the rest of the movie, and just tuned in to something else (probably The Simpsons). I wouldn't come into contact with this movie for another eight years.      …
Quick Tip by . March 16, 2013
posted in Movie Hype
John Carpenter's The Thing is one of my absolute favorite horror movies.  Even though the movie came out in 1982, Rob Bottin's special effects still look absolutely disgusting and amazing all at once.  Though it's not just stellar animatronic puppets and other effects that make this movie such a masterpiece, there's such strong senses of dread, tension, and isolation in this movie that'll at least give you the chills when you're watching it.      …
review by . June 07, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
John Carpenter's The Thing is funny, but not enough
         Apparently John Carpenter saw Alien and thought, "Hey, I can do that, and I can toss in bits of The Thing from Another World and Invasion of the Body Snatchers as well." It is unfortunate that he didn't do it as well. John Carpenter's The Thing (1982) has none of the impact of those classics.      The story is the now-familiar one of scientific researchers at a remote facility in the Arctic who must defeat an alien before …
review by . November 06, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
I'm at that stage in my movie watching days where horror films have no affect on me anymore. I've seen them all: Halloween(1978), Rob Zombie's Halloween, Friday the 13th(1980), Friday the 13th(2009). It just seems that horror doesn't scare me any more like it use to, at least that's what I thought until I saw John Carpenter's "The Thing".               The Thing is not like most Sci-Fi horror, most Sc-Fi horror films use eerie space ships …
review by . February 09, 2009
One of my favorite sci-fi, and horror films has always been Ridley Scott's 1979 classic Alien, and for a while now I've been looking for a film that would make for a good late-night double feature (excluding the sequel, Aliens). Of course, when I searched I mostly found rip-offs that couldn't hold a candle to the levels intrigue, and suspense set by Scott's film; in fact, most of them were simple rip-offs of Alien.     I finally found this version of The Thing after having liked …
review by . October 30, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
This movie came out when I was born, and I saw it few years later, and watching it recently I have enjoyed it for the second time, even more so! The speical effects are amazing! This movie can stand the test of time, because not once during the movie have I thought that anything looked fake, plastic or not believable.     Kurt Russel and the crew are great, stranded on a work site in Antarctica, when the weather become cold, they have no outside contact and they discover an alien …
review by . December 14, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
An alien theme plays as a helicopter flies across the South Pole landscape. Below it is a wolf dog, running through the snow. Apparently, the helicopter is chasing the dog. The pilot emerges with a gun and begins firing at the creature as it runs towards a base of American scientists.Soon, this doesn't sound as strange as it seems. Kurt Russell stars as the American scientist who learns the secret of the creature: it's over 100,000 years old, frozen beneath the ice, and pissed off. We also learn …
review by . September 27, 2000
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: .     Cons: ..     I can accept space ships crashing into the Arctic. I can accept strange, weird creatures that invade your body. I can accept the fact that once these creatures invade you, no one can tell you aren't the you that you were but now you are a them. I can accept exploding bodies that split in half and expel some multi-legged slime ball thing that invades your camp.      I can accept the fact that once your body splits …
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I want to thank Everyone for welcoming me back! :) I'm here to stay folks, my sabbatical on writing reviews is over and I'll continue to review for Lunch. It's great to be back, too! Thanks again for … more
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Wiki

Director John Carpenter and special makeup effects master Rob Bottin teamed up for this 1982 remake of the 1951 science fiction classicThe Thing from Another World, and the result is a mixed blessing. It's got moments of highly effective terror and spine-tingling suspense, but it's mostly a showcase for some of the goriest and most horrifically grotesque makeup effects ever created for a movie. With such highlights as a dog that splits open and blossoms into something indescribably gruesome, this is the kind of movie for die-hard horror fans and anyone who slows down to stare at fatal traffic accidents. On those terms, however, it's hard not to be impressed by the movie's wild and wacky freak show. It all begins when scientists at an arctic research station discover an alien spacecraft under the thick ice, and thaw out the alien body found aboard. What they don't know is that the alien can assume any human form, and before long the scientists can't tell who's real and who's a deadly alien threat. Kurt Russell leads the battle against the terrifying intruder, and the supporting cast includes Richard Masur, Richard Dysart, Donald Moffat, and Wilford Brimley. They're all playing standard characters who are neglected by the mechanistic screenplay (based on the classic sci-fi story "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell), but Carpenter's emphasis is clearly on the gross-out effects and escalating tension. If you've got the ...
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Details

Director: John Carpenter
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi
Release Date: 1982
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: September 9, 1998 ; October 26, 2004
Runtime: 108 minutes
Studio: Universal Studios, Universal Pictures
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