‘The Thing’ has been voted one of the scariest movies of all time and the
arguing has been over its position in the Top Ten. If you haven't seen it,
I recommend it. If you have, here's where to get it.
The special effects have not dated much despite it being made in 1982, and
it's still damned creepy. As an additional bonus, the DVD contains a wonderful
feature length commentary from John Carpenter and Kurt Russel. In parts, they
wind up doing a Mystery Science Theatre 3000 and heckle their own movie. The
additional features on the disc are all top notch.
And the movie itself is a great watch. It IS early John Carpenter, so the
dialogue can be clunky in places. My suggestion is to watch it yourself at night
when you're alone in the house. Watching it with friends means moral support
dilutes the fear factor and emphasises some of the sillier dialogue. Alone, it
should get to you just fine.
I don't know why ''The Thing' is now rated M. The game of ‘The Thing’ is
rated R16, and the movie is much more graphic. I have the same disc and version
and it's R16, so the censors must have changed their minds. I'm not sure why
they'd have done this, because the movie is messy, classic horror that hasn't
lost its bite with time.
Horror-meister John Carpenter (Halloween, Escape from New York) teams Kurt Russell's outstanding performance with incredible visuals to build this chilling version of the classic The Thing. In the winter of 1982, a twelve-man research team at a remote Antarctic research station discovers an alien buried in the snow for over 100,000 years. Soon unfrozen, the form-changing alien wreaks havoc, creates terror and becomes one of them.
Director John Carpenter and special makeup effects master Rob Bottin teamed up for this 1982 remake of the 1951 science fiction classic The Thing from Another World, and the result is a mixed blessing. It's got moments of highly effective terror and spine-tingling suspense, but it's mostly a showcase for some of the goriest and most horrifically grotesque makeup effects ever created for a movie. With such highlights as a dog that splits open and blossoms into something indescribably gruesome, this is the kind of movie for die-hard horror fans and anyone who slows down to stare at fatal traffic accidents. On those terms, however, it's hard not to be impressed by the movie's wild and wacky freak show. It all begins when scientists at an arctic research station discover an alien spacecraft under the thick ice, and thaw out the alien body found aboard. What they don't know is that the alien can assume any human form, and before long the scientists can't tell who's real and who's a deadly alien threat. Kurt Russell leads the battle against the terrifying intruder, and the supporting cast includes Richard Masur, Richard Dysart, Donald Moffat, and Wilford Brimley. They're all playing standard characters who are neglected by the mechanistic screenplay (based on the classic sci-fi story "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell), but Carpenter's emphasis is clearly on the gross-out effects and escalating tension. If you've got the stomach for it (and let's face it, there's a big audience for eerie gore), this is a thrill ride you won't want to miss. --Jeff Shannon
Making of Documentary - John Carpenters The Thing: Terror Takes Shape
Feature Commentary with John Carpenter and Kurt Russell