“John Carpenter, director of Halloween, The Fog and Escape From New York, continues his phenomenal string of hits with The Thing, a new version of the classic horror thriller starring Kurt Russell. It’s set in the winter of 1982 at a research station in Antarctica where 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. Put the frightening story together with outstanding performances, incredible special effects by Roy Arbogast, make-up by Rob Bottin, and special visual effects by master Albert Whitlock and you’ve got a movie that TIME Magazine described as “Horrific”.”
First of just, don’t judge this film on that blurb and this review does have some slight spoilers, kind of.
This does the classic thing that Alien did where a small group of people are out of screaming distance of the rest of civilization and puts the small group not only against the alien beings but against themselves. That is what’s great about this movie, the fact that the alien could be any one of them. Even through out; it isn’t always clear. So it is fun watching them shout and argue among themselves, with what are surprisingly tremendous performances.
But the true delight to watch in this movie is the intense special effects. I think that’s why this film is so good because you watch it and can be horrified and amazed at the same time. Watching one mans head split in two and then eat another man’s face is just so horrifying the first time you see it but then, second time round you just can’t believe how genius it is. Like wise with watching A man’s rib cage eat another mans arms. What’s also great about this grusome dismemberment is that non of it is SGI or stop motion, it’s all either, puppetry, make-up or animatronics. Like the scene where all the tentacles are ripping out of the dog it’s just people off set whipping the tentacles around like crazy.
The sound effects are as close as realistic as you can imagine spider legs coming out of someone’s skull can be and are truly horrible.
This is one of those films where the dog actually dies. But that dog that does die, as far as dog actors go, he’s one of the best.
There’s also the nice touch of the standard John Carpenter point of view shot which is just as chilling in this as in Halloween. Plus Kurt Russell wear’s this really cool hat.
A truly outstanding sci-fi horror that gets better with each viewing.
(Worthy of a place on the Top Eleven)
Best Line in the Film: Well “Fuck you too” by Kurt Russell is my personal favorite. But it has one of the best final lines to film ever: “Why don’t we just wait here for a little while, see what happens” Also Kurt Russell.