I am a John Carpenter fan and will be until the day I die (and I am thoroughly embarrassed that it has taken me this long to review one of his films on this blog). Even his worst film, Dark Star (if you were wondering) is still a fantastic endeavor into a Sci Fi, Trust me, we will discuss this one later. But today we are going to talk about one of his other sci fi films that challenged the horror genre, this is The Thing.
Todays Key Movie:
1982, Antarctica. After a strange encounter with a crazy man from a nearby camp, the members of a research station fight for their lives against something. Unable to trust themselves, let alone each other, the twelve men must determine who among them is still human. Starring Kurt Russell, Keith David, Wilford Brimley and more, this is a tale of survival, distrust and absolute terror.
Why this movie?
Thought to be a remake of the 1951 film, it is actually a reinterpretation of the novella entitled ‘Who Goes There?’ by John W. Campbell Jr. This film would be a much more accurate interpretation of the original story and in many ways better than the first version.
Although panned by critics upon its release, this movie would become a cornerstone for horror creature effects for years to come and would eventually be known as one of Carpenters finest work. Carpenter himself has been quoted as saying that this is one of his favorites of the many films he has made. I have to agree as this is easily my favorite of his films.
The Thing has even spawned a video game sequel and a movie Prequel (Also entitled The Thing). Sadly the movie prequel didn’t get it’s due as many people thought it was just a remake of the 1982 film and, although all of the creatures had been made using practical effects, the producers insisted that they be replaced with CG as that trend was popular at the time. It is a good prequel and tells the story literally leading up to the moments that open the 1982 film. I recommend watching the 1982 film first if you have yet to see it.
More recently the film has been adapted into a fantastic board game from USAopoly entitled The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31. In it, the players take the roles of the various characters from the film and must fight off the creature while trying to determine who of them are infected. We played it recently and I must say, it was really fun. (I ended up one of the Things. we didn’t win…for now.)
How did this translate to real life?
This is one of the horror films that my Father could not wait to show me as a kid. Being a fan of the original book adaptation from 1951 entitled The Thing from Another World, he was elated when he heard that John Carpenter had made an updated version. My first viewing of this film was unspoiled and the sheer demented joy on my father’s face when I watched as the Thing first appeared is something I will never forget and always look on fondly. While it should have terrified me, it only made me more excited for more of the sci-fi and horror that was to come. This is a film that fascinated me as a child and has, since that moment in time, been a key movie of my life.
Okay, you like this film, but is it really a ‘good film’?
This is, as I stated above, one of John Carpenter’s finest work. If you like sci-fi, horror, suspense and dont mind some gory moments, this film is NOT one to miss. When the Thing first emerges it is a moment you are not likely to forget. I will review others in John Carpenter’s filmography but this one sets the bar and, in the opinion of this writer, it is not one that has been knocked down yet.
Please note, I am purposely not using any images of the monster so that you can experience it for yourself if you haven’t seen the film yet. This is something that must be seen on film to truly appreciate.
OK, where do I get this movie?
This is one of his films that is readily available in nearly any place that sells movies. There is a terrific special edition of the film for around $25 that has some great extras on a second disc including interviews, storyboards and outtakes. If you are a fan, this is a must. Otherwise, grab yourself the standard edition for $10 and treat yourself to one of the 80’s best sci-fi horror films.
As always, the original trailer:
Thank you for reading today’s Key Movie of My Life, If you would like to read more reviews please check out my past Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and also a complete review of Star Trek Discovery. Be sure to check out our contributor Darkmovienight with the New Movie Reviews every Sunday.
As always, please feel free to comment below and share your experiences with these episodes as well. If you just happend by, tell me what you think! Don’t Forget To Follow me if you like the blog!
Late to the Game 04/26/2018