The Thing (1982) Review
Written by: BlackTequilaKiss
I am ashamed to admit something as a horror fan. Prior to this review I had never seen The Thing. I had heard much of the movie and longed to see if it was as good an experience as stated, it was and so much more. I wish I had seen this sooner but it feels nice to see an horror movie that deserves all the praise heaped on to it. This is pure blockbusting entertainment of the highest quality.
I loved this film more than I could ever explain and it is a thing of pure joy!
The film: 1982, a harsh winter is moving in on a twelve man research team out in a remote Antarctic research station. Out on a routine exercise they stumble upon something buried in the snow, it is an alien that has been buried for 100,000 years. Soon it is unfrozen, then transpires as an alien vessel that change into any form it chooses to. Wreaking havoc and causing terror among the crew, it begins to leak into the men one by one. Taking a hold of them throughout the horror. Paranoia, isolation cause all forms of communication to break down and they are forced to fight against something inhuman that is beyond much of their control.
I first have to thank Horror-movies.ca for alerting me to the presence of this film. I had heard a little of it but not much, but through friends and contacts on the site I was able to learn more of the movie. And finally after a long period of time, I was able to buy on DVD.
This is a fantastic film, there's no arguments on that, and what makes this not only original but unique is the way the movie works. No sexy women, no clichéd storyline from beginning to end, you feel, believe and breath the movie. It truly was a watch that had me hooked very quickly and the talents this movie delivered was top notch.
Let's begin with Kurt Russell. Truthfully I have not seen much of him in movies but he was fantastic in this. He carried no pretentious air about him, but was 100% true to the conviction of his character. Playing the character so well and giving emotion and confusion to this, showed he is one of a kind. Not just a talent but a rare talent that should in all honesty be treasured.
The rest of the cast was equally as good. They played their roles perfectly and added character to the movie. I loved watching the interaction between the group and how they respected, understood and teased each other. Utterly tongue in cheek, it all seemed true. It could easily have been a family you knew talking as every scene flowed with an ease and simplicity. The skill of the crew was perfect and it is one of the main points of the movie that gave it what it needed to work so well and fluently.
I'm not going to lie, the cinematography was stunning to high hilt. It stands to reason it would be, set in the Antarctic, it's snow laden grounds as far as the eye can see are just gorgeous. If the story takes a little while to exert itself, the scenery alone makes it worth the wait. And that it does.
The one thing The Thing is known for, other than the special effects, is the score. It comes on TV, radio or likewise and people recognise it. Maybe some will not have watched the movie, but still that score gets beneath the skin, much like the score did for Psycho. It's the tweak of piano chords and a subtle embrace of other instruments used in the duplex of the score and it all works well to create a tension filled film with plenty of scares and shocks.
Of course there is the blindly obvious, The special effects. Back before CGI even existed there was the other option. Latex and anything else to make effects seem brutal, shocking. I admit I have seen my share of horror movies some of the effects are crass and completely unrealistic and some effects bring to light what can be achieved with a little creativity and a world of imagination, this is where The Thing shows its true colours. Wow!
I admit the first scene with the dog ripping apart. The alien bursting out, although reminiscent of Alien, was fantastic and actually made me jump. Yes I choked on my popcorn but it was worth it. The special / visual effects are fantastic and it is hard to see the faults in the way of it. The alien looked fantastic, from the tentacles all the way to the main frame of the body it looked utterly convincing which was to the credit to all involved in the direction of the film, not least John Carpenter who proves he is not just a director but one who has to be admired for his continuing works, his ability to take the normal and break some flesh of fantasy shows a director who knows his style and grasp of movies. Simply put, I loved the special effects completely.
Motions of the camera's for each scene were slick. Gentle, smooth and altogether fluid every scene was woven together fantastically, so well that the jumps some movies take in films are not blurred or over the top but so subtle in approach you cannot see when one scene ends and the other begins. No complaints.
Oh I could speak of this movie all night long, I could make several notes and probably maintain a small folder on the entire movie. I regret not seeing this long before now, but I am grateful the DVD was made available and I got to see what everyone else was talking about.
The blood testing scene is talked of often and it certainly shocked me.
What is the definition of a good horror movie? One that can be ages old but still hold fascination years after it was made, that can still scare you even if you have heard much of the film and that characterisation can be the most dominant factor. This is why The Thing holds more weight and depth than many other horror movies, older or younger.
What a movie, what a cast and what a brilliant time.
Such a great movie as the scares and shocks come a mile a minute. A sensually trembling good time, a beautiful cast and a movie that I have completely fallen under the spell of. If you have yet to see this, then where have you been!
Seriously go down to the rental store, rent this. If you see it cheaply enough, buy it. This is a horror movie that defies everything and can keep anyone thoroughly entertained.
Get this when you plan to do an horror movie night, it is a great movie to end or begin the night with. Brilliant! mwah,
JLRaven *written originally on 25th June. 12.05pm Est. Under the pen name Noir*