The Thing Review
Written by: Orphan
(SLIGHTLY SPOILERISH…YOU WERE WARNED, DUDE) In my own personal pantheon of horror flicks, there are a few that I hold in the highest regard. They’re the truly terrifying, they are the breeders of nightmares, the stainers of underpants. Evil Dead 1 and 2, The Wicker Man…Glitter. Movies that have stood the test of time and still effective, bad-ass, and scary to this day. And in that personal pantheon, John Carpenter’s “The Thing” proudly holds the number 2 spot.
Set in 1982 at an South Pole research station, the story finds a small band of men, led by Kurt Russell as RJ MacCready, fighting for survival against a parasitic alien invader. The movie starts with a beautiful Siberian Husky being hunted down some wacky Norwegians who have a penchant for sniper rifles and explosives. Soon enough, the runs across our team of American researchers, the Norwegians die, and that’s when thing get weird. A small team leaves the research station for the Norwegian station to find out what the hell is going on. It seems that not too long ago, they found something buried under the ice. Turns out it was an alien spacecraft that contained a long dormant pilot. And, like The Necronomicon or a ouija board, it was something that they just had to screw around with. Alien woke up, more than a little cranky, and the crap storm of all time started.
I don’t want to give away to much of the plot after that because there are some great twists and turns that come along the way and I might have already said too much. Believe me when I tell you, though, that even after you see it, you’ll want to see it again and again, even if you can recite the entire movie by heart. It’s that successful that way because it works on several different levels: -There is a constant feeling of paranoia and dread. As more and more people drop due to infection or madness, we find that even we, merely as the audience, don’t know who to trust. -The knowledge of isolation is used wonderfully. They are in the middle of nowhere and no matter how bad things get, they are on their own. -The most effective element, in my not-so-humble opinion, is that no matter what is going on onscreen you feel like you are right there with them. You are there when dog first reaches camp, you are there when MacCready and the others start putting it all together, and you are there when horrifying carnage is unleashed. And when the end comes, and what a doozy it is, you won’t disappointed, you’ll only be wanting more.
John Carpenter gave us all a great gift in “The Thing”. It’s one of the few movies, not just really horror movies but movies in general, that will stand the test of time. Yes, I know I sound like a giddy fan boy and I am. But…it’s just so damned cool. Trust me, okay? Go to the video store and pick this up. Tell ‘em Orphan sent you, they’ll take care of you. Later Days.