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Horror-meister John Carpenter (Halloween, Escape from New York) teams Kurt Russell’s outstanding performance with incredible visuals to build this chilling version of the classic The Thing. In the winter of 1982, a twelve-man research team at a remote Antarctic research station discovers an alien buried in the snow for over 100,000 years. Once unfrozen, the form-changing alien wreaks havoc, creates terror and becomes one of them.
Howard Hawks's original 1951 production of The Thing from Another World can be glimpsed playing on a TV that fateful October evening in John Carpenter's blockbuster hit, Halloween (1978). A few years later, Carpenter reteamed with his Escape from New York star Kurt Russell to do a remake. But while the first movie version of The Thing was in atmospheric black and white, Carpenter's 1982 version is in widescreen, full color, and features some of the most revoltingly explicit, surreally imaginative special effects (courtesy of FX-meister Rob Bottin) that have ever been seen on the screen. Researchers in the remote Antarctic dig up the remains of a spacecraft that has long been frozen in the ice. But the alien life unthaws and infects the living (not only humans but sled dogs too), living and gestating inside them. (This horrific concept was also explored in the two versions of Invasion of the Body Snatchers and the Alien movies.) This Thing is chilling in every sense of the word, with plenty of terrifying, adrenaline-pumping moments that build it to a powerful and shockingly nihilistic conclusion. It's a harsh and uncompromising movie (hewing more closely to the original 1930s story "Who Goes There?")--so much so that it probably never would have been given a green-light by any studio in the more cautious and doggedly upbeat 1990s. --Jim Emerson
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Now, about this edition, The Thing (Blu-ray), I'm pleased. There were only a few spots where the image had PERHAPS been scrubbed, but it was so mild, I couldn't be sure. For the rest, details and colors pop, and at times fine natural grain is visible. That's good. In fact, so much new detail was revealed that, after having seen this film at least twenty times over the last twenty-eight years, I noticed for the first time that Dr. Copper (Richard Dysart) was sporting a piercing in his nose. I kid you not. A piercing -- a ring through his right nostril -- on a middle-aged man. In 1982, no less! Who the hell thought up THAT little accessory? It's a strange and original touch, one I'd never spotted before.
The only disappointment is that there are only two bonus features. The first is the commentary with John Carpenter and Kurt Russell. After I noticed the ring in Copper's nose, I was hoping either would mention it, but neither of them did.
The second bonus is the picture-in-picture U-Control, and unlike other BDs, you can't access this information directly from the main menu. You have to play the movie. I think a lot of the stuff -- perhaps all of it -- came from the excellent documentary from the SD edition. This time it's broken up, with segments popping up, sometimes at random, having nothing to do with what's going on in the movie at the time. I looked for a way to play it unedited, but I couldn't find one. Not a big deal, overall, though it would have been nice to have it directly accessible. And it's worth noting that the documentary I mentioned was not ported over to this edition.
Still, I can't do anything but highly recommend buying it, especially at this current price (I paid about $10 here at Amazon; easily worth it).
Compared to the garbage that comes out nowadays that is labeled as 'Horror,' The Thing contained the basic essentials to making a movie great: Good character development, an actual plot, and a script where you don't have to rely on 'jump scares' to keep the movie going.
It has only one extra feature, the commentary. The transfer looks like somebody turned off the lights - the whole thing is darker than older transfers.
I would buy this in it's next incarnation, this one is lame.