The Thing (1982)
Written and Edited By Grave Reviews Staff
Director: John Carpenter
Producer: David Foster, Lawrence Turman
Screenplay: Bill Lancaster
Novel Based on: Who Goes There? By John W. Campbell, Jr.
Date Released: June 25, 1982
Kurt Russell as MacReady
A. Wilford Brimley as Blair
T.K. Carter as Nauls
David Clennon as Palmer
Keith David as Childs
Richard Dysartvas Dr. Copper
Charles Hallahan as Norris
Peter Maloney as Bennings
Richard Masur as Clark
Donald Moffat as Garry
Joel Polis as Fuchs
Thomas Waites as Windows
Rating = 4/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Set in Antarctica, a group of US scientists encounter a Norwegian helicopter chasing and trying to kill what appears to be a husky. When one of the Norwegians get out of the helicopter and accidentally shoots one the Americans, the Norwegian is shot down by a another member of the US group. As a result, the husky is taken in by the US scientists. Shortly thereafter, the scientists investigate the nearby Norwegian base and find an corpse of some kind. But soon the group starts to become aware of an usual species that absorbs and imitates anything it comes in contact with. Not knowing who is truly human, the scientists lose trust in one another and must try to prevent this subspecies from spreading any further.
The Gore Factor
To no surprise, John Carpenter incorporates some of the most grotesque and creative prosthetic, animatronic and special effects work in the film, The Thing (1982). The most impressive creatures that John Carpenter creates is when the alien species begins to imitate other people and animals. In this way, the viewer will see a creature that is part human, part animal and part alien. The combination creates a terrifying creature and thus, “the thing” is born.
The Grave Review
There are few times when it can be said that a film is worth re-watching. John Carpenter’s The Thing is one of those films and is worth keeping an eye out for. In addition, it is rare to see a remake that keeps the elements of the original version and incorporate a new perspective in this film. Thus, this film is an adaptation of the 1951 version, “The Thing From Another World.”
Of all the aspects in The Thing, the location and scenery engrosses the viewer in this scary winter wonderland. John Carpenter not only builds fear based on the attack of this sub species but also builds fear of being isolated and alone. Carpenter does a great job of bringing fear to a deeper level that we can all relate to and appreciate on a personal level, that is, the fear of trusting someone.
Towards the end of the film, there is one remaining character, Blair (A. Wilford Brimley), that is assumed to be dead but is never confirmed to be. This portion of the story line and the final whereabouts of the character felt unclear and inconclusive. Although it could have been Carpenter‘s intention to leave this as a cliffhanger, it would have been more fulfilling to have seen the character to the end.
Overall, John Carpenter’s The Thing is recommended for any horror fan’s collection. For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives The Thing (1982), four out of five graves.
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You may also like our review on the film, Chiller.