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The Thing

The Thing (1982)

What she said:

She

Let me begin with this disclaimer, I have a soft spot in my heart for movies that were created around the time I was born.  It gives me a sense of what the world was like back then, the styles, the shaggy beards (oh wait, guys are doing that again now), and the jean jackets.  The Thing made me smile a little as I reminisced to times gone by, then the gore kicked in and I began to smile a lot. 

Basic premise—a group of Americans are stranded for the winter in the Antarctic studying…well, they never actually say what they’re studying, but we can assume they’re studying something.  A mysterious traveler arrives at their door, but what they don’t realize is that this traveler (I’m not going to say what it is) is actually an alien in disguise and it wants to take over their bodies.  Soon paranoia strikes in, as this fierce, disgusting entity takes over one after another.  The crew doesn’t know who is human, who is now alien, and who will be next.  Lots of tension, lots of blood and guts, and everyone gets a little crazy.

Kurt Russell , Wilford Brimley, and Keith David lead a great cast.  The film moves at a nice pace, and while the special effects seem characteristically ‘80s, they’re also pretty convincing.  I love, love, loved when the aliens exploded out of people.  It was gross, yet scary, and frankly, quite funny.  This movie is actually a lot of fun a definitely worth a rent.  If you have Comcast Cable, you can find it OnDemand right now for free.  If you’re like me, you’ll appreciate and enjoy this John Carpenter masterpiece.

Diagnosis: Thumbs up.

What he said:

He

The Thing
The Thing (1982) is a remake of The Thing from Another World (1951), which is a movie version of the novella Who Goes There? (1938). There is also a prequel – to the 82 film – planned for release later this year. The prequel is also called The Thing. Still with me?

All of that confusion aside, John Carpenter’s 82 version has managed to carve itself out a nice little spot in movie history.  It’s a very well-respected horror film and generally thought to be one of the best horror movies ever made. The original has a higher rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but I have never heard its name mentioned in any “best” lists. The remake is also the only one that generated sequel/prequel interest.

The movie takes place on a remote Antarctic research facility. Maybe I missed it, but I never quite figured out what those guys were working on out there?

Anyways, they are out there minding their business, doing their research thing, when all of a sudden a helicopter with a couple of crazy Norwegian’s comes out of nowhere. They are chasing what appears to be a sled dog and shooting at it Sarah Palin style.

The American crew eventually diffuses the situation, but not after the entire crew of the helicopter is killed.

Wondering just what the hell drove the Norwegian team to that level of insanity, a few of the Americans – lead by super cool pilot R.J. MacReady – decide to head over on over to the Norwegian camp and see what’s left. MacReady (played by the very grisly looking Kurt Russell) and Co. find that the camp has been destroyed, but what is responsible for it remains a bit of a mystery. They do find the remains of something that appears to be human, sort of. They bring the remains back to their camp so they can run some tests on it and hopefully get some answers as a result.

*Spoiler alert* Back at the camp they decide to adopt the dog the Norwegian’s were pursuing. They add it to their own stable of dogs. Well boy-oh-boy was that a mistake. It turns out it’s not really a dog at all, but a monster from outer space that can imitate any life form it chooses. They find this out while catching it in mid-snack, as it feasts on the rest of the pack.

In addition to that, the organism appears to have possibly infected other members of the crew.

From this point on, it is a paranoia-filled, suspenseful, disgusting ride that is bound to entertain anyone who’s a fan of a good monster movie. John Carpenter smartly chose load the movie with distrust and paranoia, rather than to rely solely on the gore factor, which there is plenty of too. It is a perfect blend of the two and I am convinced that is the reason why it has stood the test of time.

The movie is also loaded with fun and entertaining performances. Sure, Kurt Russell is the main character, but it also relies heavily on performances by actors such as Keith David, Donald Moffat, and Wilford Brimly.

Rating: Thumbs up

This movie review was given “the He’s” seal of approval on April 25, 2011.