The Thing 1982 ★★★★

John Carpenter's sci-fi suspense masterpiece has certainly made an indelible impact on modern cinema. A remake of the 1951 B-movie original by Howard Hawks, in turn based on a short story, Carpenter makes his version so unique and potent that it feels like an original all on its own. The classic combination of a horrible, virtually invisible, killer hiding in plain sight amongst a group of men trapped in the Antarctic turns the screws of cabin-fever tension in a manner that has come to be imitated again and again in modern film, but rarely beaten.

Notable are the spectacular (and disgusting) practical and stop-motion visual effects, augmented by a truly unnerving and creepy design aesthetic that can only be described as 'beautifully putrid'. The actors hold their own with star Kurt Russell giving one of his more real and authentic performances in his time. Set to a magnificently creepy score by Ennio Morricone, the film may seem very dated these days in terms of style and pacing (Carpenter was never, ever, gifted with an eye for photography or production values and thus his films age rapidly), but even today its undeniable power holds sway over a new generation of horror and sci-fi fans who still hail THE THING as a highwater mark in scary movies.

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