John Carpenter’s The Thing is nothing short of a horror masterpiece, with fantastic practical effects and a claustrophobic setting, it is truly a great horror movie that every horror fan should experience. Today of all days being perfect to do so because The Thing was released 35 years ago theatrically, and has taken carved out a legacy for itself 3 and a half decades later.
Part of what made The Thing so popular during its release was it’s incredibly well done practical effects as well as the tense tone and mystery of who’s who. The mystery alone is part of what makes the movie such an enjoyable experience, trying to slowly piece together who is infected and who isn’t adds to the tension. Nothing quite amounts to the realization that your predictions were either right or wrong during your first viewing.
The fun still continues on repeat viewings as well. Once you already know who is infected and when, you can begin to look for subtle clues placed throughout the movie in the background hinting towards the big reveal. It is a special feeling when you can load up a movie you haven’t seen in years and still remember the plot to, and are still able to discover new details in the background.
Of course the major talking point of The Thing was its use of top notch, damn impressive, practical effects for the alien plaguing the research station. Doesn’t matter if it’s a dog who’s face is being split in half and growing tendrils, or if a mans rib cage spreads apart like a giant gaping mouth ready to eat another mans arms, this movie looks great during all the craziness happening on screen.
The Thing was not afraid to get crazy with its story, and it contributed so much to the overall movie. It could have been a simple Body Snatchers rip off, but thankfully John Carpenter was able to share his own vision of an alien encounter. It was thanks to that vision that the world still remembers The Thing 35 years later, still scaring new generations for years to come.
Absolutely intense moments all being back up by the incredible make up just lead to one of the best experiences a horror fan can have. Absolutely any horror fan interested in SYFY or body horror owe it to themselves to track down The Thing, it is worth the effort.