Who Goes There? A simple question. As it can also be a sign of fear that trembles through your body. Not knowing who is friend and who is foe is a great fear, like in the 1982 release of John Carpenter’s “The Thing.”
The dialogue was very emotional. It progressed as the film became deeper, and more serious. However, as with the more well known ‘Alien’, seeing the characters goof around by eating, playing pool and the like draws you into the experience far deeper than just letting an actor play a stereotype. Some of the script is also hilarious, such as the captains suggestion on the couch.
The cast is very effective, and their performances as a whole so effective that one can almost feel the bad feelings between their characters as real. Carpenter’s regular collaborator Kurt Russell as MacReady carries the film, and through his eyes we witness the madness and the horror the research station becomes as the situations goes worse. Definitely one of his best performances. Wilford Brimley is also terrific as Dr. Blair, a scientist that goes insane after discovering the Thing’s purposes
The story itself is quite unconventional, based on an acclaimed novella from 1938. A team of scientists stationed in Antarctica face an alien life form, found buried in the ice, which upon thawed has the ability to consume other living organisms (including people) and imitate them perfectly. The film concentrates around the fear, mistrust and communication breakdown that ensues between the members of the team, once they realize they are isolated from the outside world, unable to get help and with one or more of them possibly not being human. The way the dynamics of the team is presented and the realistic depiction of their reactions makes the movie transcend its original premise as just a horror/sci-fi film and become something much deeper and profound. I am always amazed by the realistic behavior of each member, despite the unrealistic setup. You see people be afraid and some even break down, but you don’t get you regular unstable guy who freaks out and tries to kill everybody. Kurt Russel gives a career-making performance, while the rest of the cast also does an excellent job. All around, a terrific ensemble piece.
The score, for once not made by John Carpenter, is really really good. We usually hear Ennio Morricone’s music in western movies, but he has done a tremendous job with the music to The Thing. Since the music is so essential to the feeling of a certain film, the composer has a crucial task upon him. Morricone made it with brilliance and finesse, and the mood of the picture hits you right at the first credits. Awesome!
John Carpenter delivers in this organic matter-spattering classic, the gruesome effects and the suffocating atmosphere still a good time almost a quarter-century on. There hasn’t been a horror director since that has looked so closely at the darker side of human nature. The 1st entry in Carpenters’ “Apocalypse Trilogy” is a cult classic and you should def. own this.
Platinum Squid Rating
(Buy this film now!!!)