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The Thing (1982 film)

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

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Makes for a good Double-Feature with Alien

  • Feb 9, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+5
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 the original 1952 version for over a year. I'd always been hesitant to try Carpenter's remake, because I am always hesitant when confronted with remakes; especially ones of beloved classics, such as The Thing from Another World. When I finally watched this remake I was pleased to discover that Carpenter did a remake right! This film features plenty of homage, honoring the legacy of the original film, while also recreating the plot almost 100%, except for the setting, and some character names. The opening title is the same way it was done in the 1951 film, and any fan of the original will be sure to notice the similarities (I believe Carpenter's Thing makes a very similar sound to the original's; just edited a bit to make it more menacing for a modern audience).

Everyone should know the basic premise of The Thing movies (based on the sci-fi classic short story `Who Goes There?') where scientists in a remote Arctic base find themselves under siege from an alien invader, who's been frozen in the ice for thousands of years. As members are picked off one-by one individual's personalities begin to clash, leading to internal conflict.

To keep his film fresh and original Carpenter returns to the short story, making his alien capable of shape shifting: this increases the tension between the members of the cast. Most of the movie they have no way of discovering who is, or not one of them, and they are never capable of fully trusting one another. The stand out is of course the way Carpenter depicts this creature's abilities to change, causing some of the most disturbing images you will ever see in the movies. Between the puppets, and stop-animation this is some of the best shot monster effects of the 1980s (not to mention nauseating).

The film is lead by one of my favorite action stars Kurt Russell, who has teamed up with John Carpenter on several occasions (most notably Escape from New York). Russell's character is essentially a cliché drunken-slob-turned-hero, but Russell does do a good job with it, and makes you root for his character, even when evidences points towards him not being human.

Most of the characters in the scriptare cardboard, made up of stereotypes, and clichés, but Carpenter still manages to get the audience to care for the central characters, even though you only learn very little regarding these characters past, or present lives. He creates a wonderful sense of paranoia as the characters try to locate the imposter among them, and the audience is pulled into this conflict by the evidence provided by the crafty Carpenter, either by visual signs, or subtle dialogue.

I wouldn't call The Thing one of the best movies of all time, but I can say it is one of the most well crafted horror films of the last thirty years. The visuals are as disturbing as they are frightening, and the direction is perfect, and this is all topped by a subtle, yet disturbing Carpenter-inspired score by Ennio Moriccone. This movie will shock and disturb audiences of all ages, and at the same time provides terrific entertainment for moviegoers, and horror buffs.

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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 . November 14, 2008
The Thing (1982)
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 …
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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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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