It’s odd that so many people detested The Thing in 1982. In a genre where poorer entries are usually just panned, this movie was straight up hated. It makes even less sense seeing how amazingly advanced the makeup and special effects were for the time. Practical effects in movies aren’t prevalent like they used to be, so seeing some of the best examples of that in the horror genre is a privilege.
Often compared to the bigger-budget horror movies prior to its release, oddly so since it’s pretty gory. More along the lines of some of the schlock films of its time, The Thing blended that gore with a more mainstream feel, and perhaps people didn’t think there was a place for that. Just like many things that are ahead of their time, animosity just comes down to people not understanding it…yet.
Over the years, the love for this movie has become rabid. Inspiring countless filmmakers-in-the-making who likely loved the film since it’s initial release. In fact, Quentin Tarantino has taken pages out of The Thing ever since he began his career.
The premise is simple. When an American research group stationed in Antarctica gets infiltrated by some strange organism that assumes the shape of its latest victim, the scientists don’t know who they can trust. But they have to figure it out as, one by one, they are getting picked off.
Where 1979’s Alien brought sheer terror, The Thing masters the suspense side of the horror genre, while at the same time giving us grotesque imagery to churn our stomachs.
Upon watching it now you’d think it’s style is derivative. But most likely those other films are actually derivative of this adaptation.
The Thing is based on the 1938 novella “Who Goes There?”, and was first adapted to film in 1951’s The Thing From Another World.
The acting is impressive–another thing not typical of B-horror movies. Led by Kurt Russell in one of his most unexpected roles, but also features Wilford Brimley and Keith David with some amazing performances as well.
The Thing is a movie that’s great for rewatching, even if you’re not into the genre. Below-par character development and a weaker 3rd act don’t spoil an otherwise entertaining and visually stunning horror film.
Twizard Rating: 95