Horror Flashback: THE THING (1982) Review

About one week ago I watched “The Thing (1982)” for the first time. This movie is directed by John Carpenter (Halloween) and based on John H. Campbell, Jr.’s novella “Who Goes There?” – which was first adapted in 1951 as “The Thing from Another World”. The cast includes Kurt Russell (The Hateful Eight), Wilford Brimley (Cocoon), T.K. Carter (Runaway Train), David Clennon (Gone Girl), Keith David (Platoon) and Richard Dysart (Back to the Future Part III). I’ve had the DVD of this movie in my collection for a little under three years now.

This is the third John Carpenter movie I’ve ever watched after “Halloween (1978)” and “The Fog (1980)”. I’ve heard nothing but excellent things about this remake. I did see the prequel of the same name when it first came out in 2011 and I really liked that movie. It wouldn’t come as a huge surprise that I ended up loving the 1982 version even more. The acting by the all-male cast is excellent. Kurt Russell’s performance was hands down the best of the bunch. There is so much suspense and a sense of dread throughout the entire movie. Two aspects that definitely helped to elevate the suspense are the hair-raising musical score by Ennio Morricone and the creepy make-up effects by Rob Bottin. After watching the feature length making of documentary “John Carpenter’s The Thing: Terror Takes Shape” (which everyone MUST watch) I’ve gained so much more respect and admiration for the production of this movie. There was a lot of hard work that went into making this movie and every cast & crew member deserves credit for that.

John Carpenter delivered yet another timeless classic! There are some minor flaws that I’ve experienced while watching The Thing, such as: the totally wrong anamorphic shot 2.39:1 “scope” ratio, the muddled pacing in some scenes and the ending. I get what the makers were trying to do with the ending, but the alternate ending would’ve worked better in my opinion. I learned that the footage was actually filmed, but it has yet to be released. Overall, The Thing is an exceptional science-fiction horror film with some of the best practical effects I’ve ever seen. Highly recommended!

-Ferdi Akkulak

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