ann hale looks at a carpenter classic…
Five days in and I feel that I have gone too long without a John Carpenter film. I have recently watched The Fog and it’s far too soon for Halloween, so the first film to pop into my head is, of course, The Thing. Please take note that I’m talking about the 1982 version, not the Mary Elizabeth Winstead CGI prequel.
The Thing is another one of those perfect horror films. Though it is a remake of The Thing from Another World, the film is very different from its original. As The Thing from Another World has a very stereotypical 1950’s alien, this 1982 version has some very original and frightening creatures, none of which anyone had ever seen the likes of before. We are talking heads that grow spider legs and a stomach with giant teeth. This isn’t shit you want to see in your dreams.
The basic story is that an American group of scientists arrive in the Antarctic only to be greeted by a Norwegian and a guy in a helicopter shooting at a dog. The helicopter explodes and the Norwegian is shot in order for them to rescue the poor dog. Later that night, the dog starts to mutate and, in order to save the other dogs in the kennel, he has to be killed. Soon, the team begins to be taken over by this alien life form, forcing them to mutate into strange creatures. In order to survive, they must kill everyone infected and destroy the alien itself.
What I find sad is that the effects in The Thing are superior to effects in films today. People feel the need to do everything with computers when effects artists such as Rob Bottin, who, at 22, did the effects for this film. Back then they were worried less about finishing the film quickly and more about quality. In my opinion, this is easily in the top 10 best horror films ever made.