Monday, August 26, 2013

189 of 1001 Movies: The Thing (1982)

I think I might never get some of the images in The Thing out of my mind. John Carpenter is the master of scares though, and he can make even the most least terrifying of things, such as a car, and make us feel it's haunting us at night. The Thing builds paranoia enough to induce fear, but even without that just seeing the thing inhabit and take over people's bodies was enough of a scare for me. There was a human shaped head on spider legs! I can't stop thinking about it. So sickening yet I couldn't turn away, sort of like the Miley Cyrus performance at the VMA's.

Summary: A group of American scientists researching in Antarctica have Norwegians barge through their camp in a helicopter while chasing after a dog. The helicopter explodes before the scientists can ask any questions though, so they take the dog in, and let it spend the night with the other dogs. The dog doesn't take long to mutate though and kill the other dogs leaving the group paranoid and freaked out, once they discover that the animal can mutate into anyone it kills. This leaves the guys not knowing who might already be inhabited by the monster.

Acting: I would say that the weakest part of the movie is the acting though there are a couple of great performances. It is mostly the side characters who looked bugged out most the time. Which I can't blame them I just think it looks a little silly sometimes. Kurt Russell is R.J. Russell looks very young and has the sharpest eyes! Wilford Brimley is probably the strongest of the cast as Dr. Blair. The freak out he has at the beginning with the knowledge of how likely it is now that the crew could affect another popular if they leave just really sets up the suspense for the rest of the movie. The movie thrives on that paranoia for the rest of the movie.

Filming: John Carpenter knows how to build suspense without the modern use that people have become addicted with lots of CGI. Instead the movie relies on some more traditional fears that aren't just trying to amp up the monster to be the only scary one, like the use of the dark, the way the temperature is freezing, and the inability to know who you can trust. A lot of people do find fear in these things, so even if you don't find the well crafted alien to be scary, then you might in the more well known and at home fears. There is also the music that Carpenter uses that is sort of pulsating to back his scenes. It adds a lot of intensity to the fear.

Plot: The plot isn't too intricate, and doesn't even really explore the being that is hunting everyone itself. Instead the movie focus on the horror at hand. The guys are too scared for their lives to even try risking further investigation on the horror that has bestowed upon them. I would say even the characters themselves lack a bit in development because we get know outside knowledge of them or who they could be if an alien wasn't attacking them. What is well done is the way the movie instantly throws you in the situation without hesitating, and induces the fear straight forward. A dog isn't that scary, but with the cut out scenes used instead of just seeing the dog full on attack it makes for more intensity.

The Thing is one of the best of the sci-fi horror genre. There is a lot of freaky scenes that seem to follow the footsteps of what Ridley Scott fused into his movie, Alien. It also gets more upfront and close with the actual alien though, and showing the characters battling it one on one instead of hiding in the dark from it until they can escape. Because when you're trapped in Antarctica there isn't a whole lot you can do to reach out to others.

Rating 8 of 10.

  The Thing (1982) on IMDb

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