The Thing is the much more faithful adaptation of Who Goes There? that gets all the attention. Since the story was always about a shapeshifting alien. It’s practically destiny for John Carpenter to be the director. Considering The Thing from Another World is on TV in Halloween. Unlike the 50’s interpretation, The Thing is a more hopeless R rated gorefest. So much so that critics and audiences surprisingly hated it. It was probably bad timing since E.T. came out the same year.
The Thing later became a cult hit and a major influence on sci-fi horror. Which is why I’ve seen it twice. The Thing is set in Antarctica with a small cast of all male research scientists. Kurt Russell will obviously survive in the end, but Keith David and Wilford Brimley are noteworthy as well. The Team is caught in the crossfire of a Norwegian pilot trying to kill a dog. They don’t make much of it, but they soon discover that this is no mere canine. The true stars of The Thing are the grotesque practical creature effects. This thing can take any gore filled shape it wants at any unexpected moment.
The thing takes the shape of its victims, so it leads to intense paranoia between the men. Everyone turns against each other until they’re picked off one by one. The most gruesome body reveal is the chest eating someone’s arms before sprouting spider legs. So Russell’s MacCready creates a tension filled blood test that reveals the one you’d least suspect. Fire kills the thing like in the original, but the stakes are higher if the creature escapes. The Thing is disgusting, but an impressive feat in body horror.
Preceded by: The Thing (2011)