The Thing, Directed by the horror master John Carpenter, uses incredibly stunning visuals to build this chilling version of the 1951 classic The Thing from another World. With mind blowing special effects for its time, this is a horrific horror film. It’s one of the goriest and most powerful films made and despite the large amounts of blood, guts and violence, it’s not the gore in this film that causes the sense of dread, it’s the isolation, distrust and fear of the unknown that will keep you biting your nails. There could not be a more remote setting that Antarctica which only adds the fear of being alone and on your own.
Set in the winter of 1982, an American research facility in the Antarctic are shocked when a Norwegian helicopter begins to circle them whilst shooting at a dog. After the crazed Norwegian pilot is killed and the helicopter destroyed, the dog is given refuge into the American base. An investigation led by helicopter pilot J.R MacReady leads them to discover the Norwegians base is completely destroyed.
They also discover remains of a mangled body that looks like it used to be a human, which they bring back to study further. Soon after their return, the crew find out that the dog they took in and the remains of the body they bought back, contains a parasitic alien life form with the ability to imitate and transform into anyone. Fear and paranoia being to fill all members of the crew, as they struggle to trust each another as they don’t know who the alien has taken over and imitated. MacReady and the other remaining crew must fight for their lives in order to protect the human race.
Carpenter manages to deliver a shocking fear factor as well as keeping an element of mystery. The unbearable tension in this film builds as the group of men become suspicious of each other. They all painful wait to find out who is and will be taken over next by the alien takes a fearful hold of them. First class acting from the cast completes this movie especially due to Kurt Russell’s performance as J.R MacReady and is arguable one of his best ever.
The special effects of the alien are down to Rob Bottin and his team that really do make it look terrifying and fearsome and still carries the same effect today as they did then. This is a rare breed of horror that combines a clearly told story with shocking violence, fantastic dialog, a genuinely creepy atmosphere and stunning cinematography. A truly iconic and classic horror film.