The Thing (1982)

Posted: October 24, 2011 in Movie Review
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The Thing (1982)

Directed By: John Carpenter

Starring: Kurt Russell, Willford Brimley, Keith David, Richard Massur, Donald Moffat, David Clennon

Subgenre: Science Fiction

The Thing 82

Synopsis: An American research outpost in the Antarctic is infiltrated by an alien being that can replicate its human prey.

Thoughts: Although initially panned by critics, this is a shining example of what can be accomplished when blending horror and science fiction.  John Carpenter creates a tense and terrifying experience that also stands as a great example of a remake gone right.

There are many reasons that The Thing is so great.  The cast is brilliant, with even the smallest players nailing their roles.  Kurt Russel plays his usual awesome self.  For whatever reason, Carpenter brings out the best in Russell.  His role as pilot R.J. Macready is a major part of the success of The Thing.  Russell is surrounded by a great cast, notably Wilford Brimley and Keith David.  Even though David has been in a ton of movies, my two favorite roles come from Carpenter flicks, those being The Thing and They Live.

Not to be forgotten when discussing the cast is the location the movie takes place in.  Like so many terrifying experiences, the cast is isolated, this time in the middle of the Antarctic, with no contact to the outside and really little chance of escape.  This isn’t unique to The Thing and has been used in other great genre flicks like Alien and The Shining, but Carpenter uses it masterfully.

Right alongside the cast and the location are the amazing special FX.  Rob Bottin lends his legendary talents to Carpenter’s vision and does so with great success.  It just goes to show what can be accomplished without the use of CGI.  If the Oscars would pay more attention to horror movies, this guy would have racked up more than the one award he has (Total Recall).

The hits keep on coming, this time with the score.  Italian Maestro Ennio Morricone doesn’t give us his best work, but it is pretty damn good.  It adds to the suspense and finishes off the atmosphere.

Last, but certainly not least is Carpenter’s direction.  This is one of his very best movies, probably second only to Halloween in my book.  I don’t know what he had early on in his career, but I would love to see him rediscover it.  While he has made some entertaining movies, nothing has approached the quality of his earlier work.

In case you couldn’t tell, I love this movie.  It’s one of my favorites in the genre and a must see by everyone.  If for some reason you have yet to see this masterpiece, check it out, NOW.


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