I have to admit that I have a rather odd relationship to John Carpenter’s sci-fi horror movie “The Thing” (the 1982 version), because the movie went over my head both as a teen and as an adult. As a matter of a fact, it was thanks to Computer Artworks video game “The Thing” that I even heard about the movie series (the game launched for PC, PS2 and Xbox back in 2002, and in my opinion, it’s a really good game).
Well, if we fast forward to the now. I bought the 4K Blu-ray version of “The Thing” just recently. So I watched the movie over the weekend, and thank the horror/sci-fi gods that I did that, because “The Thing” was worth every single second of my time (I even went through all the special options and whatnot once I had watched through the movie).
I mean, just the setting and theme alone make the movie rather unique. You see, “The Thing” takes place on the Antarctica, and we get to follow a research team that one day had the big misfortune to uncover a very hostile and blood-thirsty alien life form that has the ability to copy the appearance of its victims.
Simply put, the extremely aggressive alien can mimic any biological creature that it gets its ugly claws, tentacles and hands on (and that includes everything from dogs to humans). However, “The Thing” doesn’t start off by throwing the alien creature through our TV-screen right away, no, instead the movie slowly builds up an intense and creeping suspense which keeps its viewers on their toes.
The truth of the matter is actually that “The Thing” starts off with one hell of a bang since we almost immediately get to see through the eyes of someone who’s trying to kill off a wolf with the help of a machine gun and some hand grenades (and it’s all done from the view of a very intense helicopter chase!).
In other words, “The Thing” sets the bar very high from the very start. As the movie lets its viewers know that they are in for one hell of a ride. Furthermore, as soon as the helicopter chase scene is over (no spoilers!), we are soon introduced to MacReady (Kurt Russell) and his research team which is holding up at some distant research base in the Antarctica.
Well, since I don’t want to spoil anything, I’m just going to put it like this. There’s a big build-up in close connection to the wolf chase scene and the introduction of MacReady and the rest of the research team. So what starts off as a chain of rather strange “incidents”, soon evolves into a pure nightmare and hellish experience for everyone at the research base (think “Alien” meets “Aliens” and “Dawn of the dead“).
Furthermore, the movie just gets more and more intense the closer you get to the end, and along the way you get to see quite a few awesome action scenes, monsters and brutal deaths. So from my point of view, “The Thing” really does have all the ingredients that makes a sci-fi horror movie so great (the horrors, the monsters, the jump scares, the action scenes, the thriller, the death scenes and the big climax at the very end of the movie).
That’s also why I would recommend everyone who loves horror and sci-fi movies to pick up John Carpenter’s 1982 classic “The Thing”, because the movie is a real cult classic and master piece.
+ A very young and kick-ass hungry Kurt Russell
+ Very impressive visuals and special effects for its time
+ The soundtrack and sound effects are on point
+ A handful of really cool action and horror moments
+ Interesting characters and dialogs
+ The story and setting (the Antarctic) makes The Thing into a rather unique movie
– Quite few actions of the movies characters are very unlogic and stupid
– There’s a handful of things that happens in the movie that never gets explained (how and why)
– I wish that there had been more action and horror scenes
Viewing value: 4/5
John Carpenter’s “The thing” is with no doubt (whatsoever) a must watch movie for those who enjoy horror and sci-fi movies, because “The Thing” is a great mix of both horror and sci-fi. Furthermore, Kurt Russell and Keith David kicks some serious alien ass in the movie.
Title: The Thing
Movie length: 1 hour and 49 minutes
Price: 7,35 pounds + the shipment cost via Amazon.co.uk
Producer: Stuart Cohen, David Foster, Larry Franco, Wilbur Stark and Lawrence Turman
Director: John Carpenter
Release date: 1982-11-04
Average grade internationally: 8.1/10 imdb.com
PEGI age rating: 15+
Movie stars: Kurt Russell, Keith David, David Clennon and Wilford Brimley
Robin “V-Act” Ek
Editor in chief
The Gaming Ground
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