Film poster for The Thing - Copyright 1982
Image via Wikipedia

Tagline: Man is The Warmest Place to Hide.

Scientists in a camp in the Antarctic encounter a strange enemy.

John Carpenter directed and Kurt Russel starred and Rob Bottin created the effects.  Bottin is full of enthusiasm about his work and about effects in general.  He’s a delight to listen to.

The setting was the best part.  The icy crunch as they walked and the way they moved and breathed – I could feel the cold.  Even the way the snow crunched under their feet added to the chill.

The special effects were influential and changed the way people thought about effects.   It’s still pretty grotesque and startling in places.  It really surpasses the Alien for creating a unique and disturbing alien form.

In the first half of the movie, a half wolf half dog “Jed” represents the monster and quite a bit of tension and sympathy is built up in the audience for man’s best friend/worst nightmare.

As the shapeshifting monster moves on to different forms, the story became shapeless as well.  The team seemed an unpleasant lot of people.  It was also difficult to figure out the timeline of the story and the characters’ efforts to solve the mystery are haphazard.  I lost interest in the team fairly quickly.

I listened to the commentary and the interviews on the disk.  The movie that everyone is describing sounds great but somehow I didn’t see it.

Carpenter’s movie is a remake of the Thing from Another World.  That was a much better movie in my opinion.  There were people worth rooting for.  They tried to solve the problem by reason rather than shooting it at a lot.  The set and special effects were nowhere as good, of course.

Somebody in the extras commented that audiences didn’t like the ending.  I think a bleaker ending would have suited it better.

Tagline: Man is The Warmest Place to Hide.

Positive review by Classic-Horror.com

Best Horror Movie’s review.

Feomante’s review.

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2 thoughts on “The Thing (1982)

  1. How do we get bleaker than “The whole cast is going to be dead very soon, except maybe one of them’s a Thing?” That’s pretty bleak to me.

    Only way I can think of it being worse is by removing the “maybe”, and it doesn’t cut it for me. Mileage may vary, of course.

  2. I talked this over with my brother, and I think I meant “inconclusive” rather than “bleak.”

    Still, I would have liked a version in which McReady kills the last of the scientists, only to discover that he is the one harboring the alien.

    The alien devours McReady from within. The alien returns to its dog figure and trots off to the sound of an approaching helicopter.

    Cliched perhaps, but I think it would be the inevitable outcome to the paranoid mood of the group.

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