1982 ***** 109 mins.
For a long time, I heard that The Thing was what many considered to be John Carpenter's best film. Being the huge fan I am of Halloween, I couldn't believe that he could possibly have made a film to top it. When I finally saw The Thing in a theatre, no less, I must say that I stand corrected. The Thing is a superbly crafted horror film that is also an expert class in suspense and paranoia. It's an intelligent monster movie, inspired by the 1951 film The Thing From Another World and a story by John W. Campbell, Jr. Kurt Russell is at his absolute best, leading a group of men at a remote Antarctic research station, who become infested by...something. Ennio Morricone's haunting, minimalistic score feels more Carpenter/Howarth than Morricone, but it's still unforgettable. The cinematography is gorgeous, and the special effects are groundbreaking. John Carpenter's The Thing is an incredible motion picture experience, and no home video collection should be without it. Is it better than Halloween? Definitely. Do I like it more than Halloween? It's a very close call.
Original theatrical aspect ratio: 2.35:1 (Panavision)
Based on the Short Story "Who Goes There" by
John W. Campbell, Jr.