Rapid Review: The Thing (1982)

the thing movie poster

“I dunno what the hell’s in there, but it’s weird and pissed off, whatever it is.”
– Clark

SYNOPSIS: An American scientific expedition to the frozen wastes of the Antarctic is interrupted by a group of seemingly mad Norwegians pursuing and shooting a dog. The helicopter pursuing the dog explodes, eventually leaving no explanation for the chase. During the night, the dog mutates and attacks other dogs in the cage and members of the team that investigate. The team soon realizes that an alien life-form with the ability to take over other bodies is on the loose and they don’t know who may already have been taken over. – via IMDB

the thing sick dog

GRADE 8So I decided to check this out, never really being sure if I watched this as a kid or not (the VHS was always lying around – I watched so much old horror as a kid). Needless to say, I had not, which was great news for me. Some fresh, new, old school horror. Just my cup of tea. I used to watch so much more of this genre, but over the years much less because there isn’t anything original anymore, and the movies don’t work on atmosphere. It’s all been done before. Now, Carpenter’s The Thing was fascinating from the off. It starts really slow, and you can feel the slow burn thing. No jumping right into the middle of something crazy here, no sirree… let’s just build it all and work to it. Boy, let me tell you, when it finally caught I was like “eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew” when I got my first real look at this Thing. Yuck! I loved it! Not to mention the very traditionalist score that accompanied it, and the cast that worked really well here. Kurt Russell played his part very well, and you know from the off that you are supposed to identify and support and follow him from the off. However, then there is that unknown mystery fear that comes in when it is known that these Things can replicate the appearance and demeanour of anyone. Is anyone one of these Things? How are they going to figure that out? The film’s progression was just fine too, not experiencing too much unnecessary lull anywhere throughout. The effects were pretty cool, too, not drowning in too much overdone CGI and stuff. The Thing progresses deliberately and smoothly, and the lack of character growth is unimportant due to the focus lying on the story itself, and not the people so much – though they are tasked with getting us involved with what is going on. Not a film that wants you thinking about life, it is there purely for enjoyment and entertainment, and on that front it wins hands down. Gotta say, definitely a classic for a reason, and mandatory October viewing for sure!