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Monday, April 9, 2012

Day 100: The Thing

The Thing
You got a little something on your...oh that is your face

100 days! They said it couldn't be done. We showed them. We showed them all! MUHAHAHAHA. It certainly wasn't easy to get to this point, but I'm glad I've made it this far and even happier that you are reading. Thanks to the great people that talk to me through Twitter (@365DaysofHorror) and to all the international visitors I receive. I decided to treat myself for this anniversary by watching one of my favorite horror movies: John Carpetner's The Thing.

The Thing is a 1982 science fiction horror movie based on the John W. Campbell novel, Who Goes There? Set in the Antarctic, the movie stars Kurt Russell (Escape From New York, Death Proof) as helicopter pilot R.J. MacReady. A Norwegian helicopter chases after a dog through the tundra until it accidentally explodes outside the American research facility. MacReady and Dr. Cooper (Richard Dysart) fly out to the Norwegian facility for answers, but only find more questions as they discover a charred, mangled humanoid corpse. They bring it back to base where Dr. Blair (Wilford Brimley, Coccoon, The Natural) conducts an autopsy, concluding that it had a normal set of internal organs. The dog that was chased by the helicopter is put in a kennel with the other dogs. The dog transforms into a hideous creature, killing the other dogs. The emergency lever is hit and Childs (Keith David, Pitch Black, Gargoyles) kills it with a flamethrower. Blair conducts an autopsy on the creature and discovers that it is capable of imitating other beings and suspects that anyone could be replaced. The group investigates the Norwegian station again and discover a massive crater and a massive hole in the ice, where they believe the creature had emerged from. Meanwhile, the creature's remains become active again and attacks one of the crew members, Bennings. The creature begins to take his form, but it burned by the crew before he could completely assimilate. Blair, who has lost his mind at the thought of this creature being able to completely take over the world, has destroyed the radio and killed the sled dogs. The crew locks him in a shed to keep him from hurting himself and others. The crew begins to turn on each other. Any one of them could be the alien creature. Will MacReady be able to stop the creature or is he already a monster?

You should really moisturize

The Thing does absolutely everything correct for a horror movie. The source material is very good to being with and John Carpenter is able to capture the desolate hopelessness of the frozen tundra. The reason why the movie is so effective is because it is legitimately scary. You are scared of the unknown, alien creature and you are scared that it could look like anything. Like a good mystery novel, every person is a suspect. You even begin to wonder if MacReady is the alien. Throw in some downright terrifying effects and makeup with a good amount of violence and you're ready to jump out of your skin. Seriously, the prosthetics and animatronics used in the movie are impressively scary. The music throughout the movie sets a tense and frightening tone that never lets up. Despite being made in 1982, The Thing is still scaring people to this day, something not so easy in the over-saturated world of horror.

The acting is another large part of why the movie works. Kurt Russell, Keith David, and Wilford Brimley are all brilliant in their roles. It is become they are so convincing that we are able to fully immerse ourselves into the story. Russell and David are their usual badass selves while Brimley goes out of his comfort zone to play a doctor who's gone insane with fear. The action is solid throughout and although the movie runs a little long, about 110 minutes, you never feel bored. 

Welcome to Man Town. Population: Beard

I know a lot of people love The Thing, so if I've missed something, don't tell me. I don't want to know. I just know that this is a fantastic horror movie with great directing, acting, and action. I have yet to see the prequel (I've heard mixed things), but I may have to check it out one day. Here's to another 100 movie reviews. Cheers!


1 comment:

  1. This is legitimately tied for my favorite movie of all time (with the original Terminator).

    Great review!