Category Archives: 1982

The Thing (1982)

I dunno what the hell’s in there, but it’s weird and pissed off, whatever it is.

— Clark

I’ve heard of John Carpenter’s The Thing in passing. This is currently the #163 movie of All Time on IMDb. I always mistake it for Swamp Thing for some reason. I wanted to go into the movie totally blind. Well, that’s not the whole truth. I read the plot summary of the movie. It intrigues me. Watching the movie, it freaked me to no end.

Taking place in the most desolate of places, Antarctica, a group of twelve men are stuck in a post. One day, the camp is invaded by a couple of Norwegian guys in a helicopter trying to shoot down a Siberian husky. When one of the Nordes starts rapid shooting at the dog and the team members, the leader of the group, Garry (Donald Moffat) shoots and kills the Norwegian. They take the dog inside the bunker.

The group begins to wonder what the hell was going on with the Norwegian shoots at a dog. MacReady (Kurt Russell) and Copper (Richard Dysart) investigates the Norwegians camp to see what lead them to go batshit crazy. Going through charred remains, they discover a hollowed out block of ice that might have a specimen inside of it. The question is where is it now? They find some film reels and the charred remains of a body. They take it back to base camp.

Dr. Blair (Wilford Brimley) examines the body to determine that it was human but it was somehow fused together into a gigantic glob. At the same time, Clark (Richard Masur) has to put the husky into the cage with the rest of the huskies. The others start to snarl and bark. The rescue husky starts to transform into a giant spider/dog/human like creature that is siphoning the dogs as food.

Hearing the yelping, MacReady quickly torches the creature. Examining the creature Dr. Blair concludes that the creature has the ability to shift itself into anything the creature kills. If any part of the organism gets in contact with a human it takes over the body like a virus.

The team looks over the footage they salvaged from the Norwegian camp. They saw that the Norwegians discovered a spaceship that crash-landed in the ice for over 100,000 years. The alien pilot tries to get out but was buried in the ice.

The team becomes paranoid that the alien would take the form of any of team members and they start to turn on each other.

This was a great exercise in tension. When the paranoia sets in with Dr. Blair or with MacReady, nobody knows who is human or who was replaced by the alien. You think that when they kill the creature, they are done. No. The alien comes up with a vengeance. These ultimately realize that they might now make it out. They are in total isolation with help thousands of miles away.

Judgment: A horror movie that is not about the blood and gore. It has something to say.

Rating: ****

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