johnlink ranks THE THING (1982)

After watching the precursor to this film, I just had to watch this classic again. So I grabbed the DVD off the shelf, popped it in, and hoped I wasn’t wrong about how great it was. There are some SPOILERS BELOW.

I watched THE THING (1982) on 12.16.10. It was my third viewing of the film. TRAILER HERE

Wow. I wasn’t wrong. There is a point, about 50 minutes into this film, where every character realizes that they distrust every other character. From there on in, this movie never stops performing at a breathtaking, edge-of-your-seat level.

There are few things in common between THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD, and this version. We do still have a team in the arctic (though the ’82 film has no military, and they are in the South Pole, rather than the North Pole). The title character still crash landed and was uncovered, though a different group than our main characters are the ones who discover it in the later film. There is a great moment where Kurt Russell and his crew discover video tapes of the Norwegians uncovering the ship.  The tapes they watch mirror the circular formation that the crew in the ’52 film formed when discovering that what they found was saucer shaped.

This film, though, is much more violent, much more horrific, and much more intense. In THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD there is a sort of disconnect, a lightness, even as things are serious. In THE THING, trust breaks down, and friends kill each other in fear. Very different tone.

The music by legendary composer Ennio Morricone, while not bonus point worthy, certainly adds a sense of dread to the proceedings. Director John Carpenter does a superb job of keeping everything moving. This is certainly his best film. There are no cheap moments, and the ambiguity of the film’s ending  works very well with the tenor of the rest of the picture (not to mention the character who runs out, is never seen again, and we can only assume he was killed).

The best scene in the film is the blood-testing scene. I would actually argue that it is one of the best sci-fi/horror scenes in the history of cinema, and I don’t throw out that sort of hyperbole lightly.

This film is without a doubt one of the classics of its genre. A must see. And a film which holds up as well as any other film of its era.


FILM:8; MOVIE: 10; ACTING: 7; WRITING: 9 (What is this?)



~ by johnlink00 on December 16, 2010.

One Response to “johnlink ranks THE THING (1982)”

  1. […] For my article on the 1982 version, jump here. […]

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