Directed by John Carpenter and staring Kurt Russel, The Thing was a science fiction horror that plays heavily on paranoia.
At the time it didn’t perform very well at the box office coming out roughly the same time as ET and Blade Runner, but like both films The Thing is now a timeless classic that has spawned its own prequel in recent years.
A timeless film. Some of the graphics we see on display in this movie look better then what we were given in the 2011 Thing movie. The biggest selling point of the film was the paranoia of the group but it was the graphic scenes showing The Thing actually changing form after it had been found out or when it was copying other animals/people that really makes the film great.
So many scenes that were so graphic and yet so brilliantly conceived. The film would go from character moments focusing on the terrified group to the big and bold scenes of the alien absorbing, changing and mutating. And I haven’t even mentioned the autopsies.
Its setting out in the Antarctic, away from civilization adds to the thrill of the movie. There isn’t any help forthcoming and if there was people that were to arrive on the scene the paranoia of the group possibly wouldn’t let them all leave. After all you don’t know who has been effected and to bring The Thing back to an actual city would be putting the whole of humanity at risk.
It thrives with the paranoia and it opens up much more character moments then many horror films. Even though you have this vast landscape surrounding the cast the film feels so claustrophobic and is contained very believably in its set.
The bleakness of their survival at the end when MacReady and Childs realize that there is nothing they can do ends the film on a wonderfully chilling note.
The movie dates so well that even the 2011 prequel doesn’t take anything away from the original film, it slots perfectly into the beginning without looking dated. Both films work well together and on screen fit.
I have always liked The Thing. It never stops being interesting. There is enough science fiction and horror to make the film relevant to a very broad range of fans.