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Director John Carpenter (Halloween) teams Kurt Russell's outstanding performance with incredible visual effects to create a chilling version of the classic The Thing. Set in the winter of 1982 at a research station in Antarctica, a twelve-man research team finds an alien being that has fallen from the sky and has remained buried in the snow for over 100,000 years. Soon it is unfrozen and unleashed, creating havoc and terror as it changes forms and becomes one of them.
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By the end, you are scratching your head with uncertainty.
The visuals can be laughable at times, but when the Thing makes an appearance on the screen, your jaw drops as you realize that CGI has nothing on these practical effects.
The story pans out very well, and almost always was I on the edge of my seat, eager to discover who was being taken next. Even after seeing many clips of the film, I was still left with questions as to who was next. Each time, getting more and more dramatic.
The score for the film is flawless, could not have been done better. Unlike other Horror films that rely on music to queue a scare or a tensing moment, The Thing doesn't try at all, and succeeds without question. Silence is the true killer in a manhunt for an unknown monster life-form.
If you haven't seen this, or have heard of it: definitely a worthy watch. Glad to say safely that I have finally watched a classic remake of a classic film; John Carpenter's "The Thing".
Get ready, cuz you're gonna want to see this on an empty stomach.
The movie begins with some Norwegians hunting a dog that runs into an American camp in Antarctica. The Americans end up killing the Norwegians and then go to their camp to investigate. There they find a giant space ship buried in the ice and what appears to be something dug out of the snow by the Norwegians. It turns out the dog was replaced by the alien, and now it was moving from one American to another. This creates the tension in the film as no one is sure who is still human and who is the alien. No one wants to be alone with anyone else. People start disappearing. That grows even worse when the alien tries to mislead the Americans by making them think it was MacReady (Kurt Russell).
Instead of a Frankenstein monster Carpenter created something never seen before. A living organism that had multiple arms, legs, tentacles, eyes, mouths, etc. Every time it made its appearance it looked different. One of the most famous images is when one of the Americans is found out to be the alien and is burned with a flame thrower but its head separates from the rest of the body, grows legs like a spider and eyes pop out of the chin as it tries to scurry away before MacReady burns it too.
Nothing was seen like this before. It was completely creepy and suspenseful which is why it still stands up as one of the best of its genre.
Carpenter understood that there has to be a certain level of mystery in something scary and making the monster sort of scarce works very well here. This in my opinion is carpenters best movie next to escape from new york--Great soundtrack as usual.
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Firstly, I will try to keep this brief, as The Thing has been reviewed at length many times before...and deservedly so.
For many, this is director John Carpenter's best film. A long-spanning film career that includes such classics as Assault on Precinct 13(1976), Halloween(1978) and Escape from New York(1981), to list just three!.
I first saw this film years ago on video, panned and scanned, for TV unfortunately!...but it still blew me away!. Since then, I have watched it again many times and have never grown tired of it.
The script, dialogue, acting, camerwork and Ennio Morricone's chilling score all combine to make a truly frightening and memorable film almost 30 years on.
I cannot recommend it enough.
It seems that a remake/reboot/reimagining/prequel/sequel type film is in the works.
However, how it will be compared to this orginal horror science-fiction classic remains to be seen?...
Maybe this movie has not a great and complex plot, maybe its music is more subtle than it could, and maybe it has inspired an X-File episode... But Damn, at least it doesn't take you by the hand to call you names, and it certainly delivers on showing something that is barely physically making sense while keeping it real!
And by keeping everything from the characther's point of view, it manages to create suspense and explanations that will draw you in until you're hooked on the edge of your seat.
In fact, while it's been my third watch, I still am amazed that this movie manages to get forgotten and stay this surprising each time. Maybe it's the perfectly balanced play of the actors, maybe it is the absence of any faults... Or is it the attention to details and the so obvious love of Carpenter for his Thing?
Or maybe, just maybe, this is what a true Lovecraft-y movie should feel like.
(Not that it's related to the mythos per say, but it certainly does relate graphically.)
Myself and friend watched "The Thing"and "The Wall" back to back--to say this double bill was traumatising is an understatement.
I'm going to dispense with a summary of the movie--there is sufficient coverage, by other reviewers on this page anyway.
Carpenter has proven a hit and miss director(his catalogue is genius/dud) in equal amounts. But he excells with the cracking script by the late Bill Lancaster-at the time it was Carpenter's 1st Studio product.
A great cast led by Kurt Russell, Donald Moffet(who has one of the movies funniest lines) Tk Carter,Keith David, Charles Hallahan, Richard Masur David Clennon and others.
Building the paranoia and isolation is done superbly, beautifully lit by Dean Cundey(Jurassic Park), the actors look genuinely "cold/frozen" within the location shooting.
Rob Bottin's Superb prosethetic
Many have stated here (and in other places), that The Thing failed at the Box office, directly because of ET(also a Universal picture), I feel that is partly true--in actual fact though, such a nilistic picture would be hard pressed to find an audience(especially in the Eighties)popcorn flics such as Star Wars, Raiders and Spielberg/Lucas had domain.
That said The Thing is still talked about and had a profound affect on those who viewed it at that vital age (13-19).
I havent seen the sequel/prequel yet & cannot comment on its merits.
Watch "the Thing" and try not to have nightmares...
Reasonable reception delay. DvD with special features and supplements. Nice image quality.