145 of 153 people found the following review helpful
It was the right time.,
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This review is from: The Thing - Collector's Edition (DVD)
Maybe someone said so in the DVD's documentary: 1982 was the right time for this movie. Nothing like it would be made today, or even a few years after its release. Even if a thematically similar film were made, it's almost a guarantee that it would use digital effects. This movie boasts the most incredible prosthetic effects ever seen, and I know in my gut that if it were made with computer graphics it wouldn't be nearly as good.
Okay, enough about that. I probably don't need to describe the movie itself, at least not from a plot perspective. Let me briefly cover technique: this movie is built for suspense. From the marvelous low-key Ennio Morricone score to the gold-standard cinematography of Dean Cundey, from the scene construction (I love the scene where the dog enters a crew room, and the scene fades out after we see the man's shadow turning - no sting, no shock, just a fade out) to the realistic paranoia and fear building in the eyes of the men. I admit that paranoia movies are a personal favorite genre, but there are very few films that I can say made me sweat from suspense, and this is one of them.
One of the film's greatest strengths is the ensemble cast - mostly familiar faces, but not TOO familiar, so you feel a kinship and empathy but you're not saying "oh, that's Richard Masur" the same way you would if it were Bruce Willis, for example. Sure, there's Kurt Russell, but he plays his role so perfectly that he just fits right in with everyone else. Then of course there's the ending, something John Carpenter excels at (the ending of his ESCAPE FROM L.A. made the whole movie for me) especially when in the dystopian mode... so here again we can make up our own stories over "what happened next."
The DVD presentation is packed with so many goodies it's hard to know where to start. An excellent documentary, enjoyable commentary, isolated score (selectable during the documentary), even some cut scenes...and so much more. The picture is fantastic, with such wonderful smooth blue hues so prevalent in the movie. For many years laserdisc owners were tantalised by rumours of a special edition with tons of extras, and when we finally got it (on both laserdisc and DVD) we weren't disappointed at all, and it was well worth the years of anticipation.
The movie is absolutely not for everyone, as its level of gore is quite high. Many people say they're distracted too much by the gore, but I seem to immerse myself in the film's atmosphere and it's never taken me out of the experience. An engrossing and extremely well-crafted film, and the same goes for this special edition presentation.
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Initial post: Nov 2, 2011 5:20:49 PM PDT
M. Ando says:
The gore level might be high in an absolute sense, but I would say it derives from the plot itself. It is imaginative, shocking and stunning, and dramatically raises the sense of horror and suspense because, by the nature of the "thing", ANYTHING could happen. Even the characters in the movie comment on it at one point, out of both shock and fascination. And anyway it is so obviously over the top that it is much less exploitative than say the "Hostel" brand of torture porn because it is really telling an amazing story and you don't get the sense that the film is just an excuse for dehumanization.
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