Friday, November 2, 2012

The Thing (1982) Review

The Thing posterDirector: John Carpenter
Stars: Kurt Russell, Keith David, Wilford Brimley
Genre: Horror, Science Fiction

John Carpenter's remake of The Thing From Another World (1951). Carpenter gives us perhaps the greatest sci-fi horror film of all time.

The plot follows scientists in Antarctica who come in contact with a Norwegian crew that was also there and uncovered a killer alien that had been frozen in the ice for thousands of years. None of the Norwegians survive but now the killer alien has come to the American camp and it infiltrates and tries to kill them all. But, killing it isn't so simple, because it can shape-shift and become anyone of the crew.

Kurt Russel plays the lead role excellently, as Kurt Russell tends to always do. Keith David does a great job and actually every role here is played amazingly. Some real great acting here.

Well developed characters, too. You never learn anything about the characters' past or anything but you come to understand their personalities.

The film is definitely part mystery, because anyone and everyone could be the alien in disguise. So you never know who to believe or trust, just as the characters don't know who to believe or trust. This is a great element because it adds much suspense and a feeling of paranoia. At one point we don't even know if we can trust the main character. And the tension in some of the scenes is great; take for example the blood testing scene; some of the best film tension ever.

It's definitely body horror, and the gore and effects are great. Actually, they're some of the finest effects in a film ever. They're extremely twisted and nightmare inducing and all the designs seem very...alien. Which is good, being that the monster is an alien.

Head spider in The Thing

It definitely captures that Arctic Terror feel, that H.P. Lovecraft first introduced in his novel, At the Mountains of Madness. A setting as remote as Antarctica really makes you feel alone and without hope or rescue. Really great atmosphere.

The original score is awesome too. Composed by Ennio Morricone, the same guy who composed all of Sergio Leone's films, most notably the Dollars trilogy. Not quite as memorable as his western film scores but is still amazing in a much subtler way, which greatly compliments the atmosphere.

Who can you trust? in The Thing

Film has a bit of a sense of humor as well, and all of it made me laugh. I don't know if it's just my sense of humor but I found some parts to be genuinely good comedy.

The ending is terrific, and I'm very picky when it comes to endings. It wraps things up but it also leaves things open to thought. Mystery is present even in the very last frames of the film.

The film also has tons of nods to the original, which is great.

Kurt Russell in The Thing

I used to say that The Thing is to the sci-fi horror genre as The Godfather is to the crime genre. I don't think that's too far from the truth.

An amazing film by an amazing director that is just about all around amazing in every way possible. Must watch.

4.5/5 stars
Pros:
+Great atmosphere and suspense
+Amazing effects
+Good story that is mysterious, scary, funny
+Satisfying in nearly every department
Cons:
I honestly find it hard to think of any worth mentioning

Purchase The Thing on Amazon: Blu-Ray - DVD - Stream
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