John Carpenter’s The Thing still manages to scare the ever loving crap out of me since my first viewing two years ago.
For those not in the know, The Thing is a remake of the 1951 film The Thing from Another World dealing with a group of Antarctic explorers and researchers dealing with an unknown creature of interstellar origin that can shape shift itself into other forms. It is up to helicopter pilot R.J. MacReady, played by 80’s badass Kurt Russell, to figure out who is human and who has turned into ‘the thing.’
One of the key factors into what makes this film so damn terrifying is the paranoia that seeps in. These are researchers isolated from the rest of the world, so the fact that a number of them are being turned into something unfamiliar delivers an eerie aura around the site. Heck, even Wilford ‘Diabeetus’ Brimley goes bats*** insane over the chaos that is being created from this. Eventually, no one can be trusted and the characters start to deal with the concept of morality and ethics in order to survive their stay.
The special effects work and puppetry is beyond stunning as in this terrifying moment of the thing’s first appearance.
It’s weird and pissed off, but the work put into this and many of the other monster scares are downright gorgeous in their grotesque nature. These moments where ‘the thing’ appears and makes its presence known stay embedded in your mind and haunt the very core of our fears. The score for this film also helps set the tone of paranoid isolation done by legendary cinema composer Ennio Morricone being hauntingly simple.
I strongly recommend the hell out of The Thing for any up and coming horror fan and those who need to dive deeper into some classic scares.