Perry Cononge’s review published on Letterboxd:
What better way to start the month of October than with a movie that a certain YouTube personality James A Janisse would call, “SCHPOOKEH”?
This movie rocks. I’ve not always been the biggest fan of horror, but when done right I’ll seek certain films out. The Thing’s pretty much legendary at this point, and with good reason. Some of the best practical effects of all time, great atmosphere, great tension, great music, great facial hair, great direction, and yes, great gore.
I loved it from beginning to end. Much like The Hateful Eight, this is a film that makes you feel cold. It balances near perfectly between claustrophobic paranoia, and all out sci-fi bloodbath. The elements of tension are perfectly executed, and the growing unease from the first frame is perfectly captured by John Carpenter. This makes film #2 of his that I’ve seen, and it makes me want to see more of his all the more.
I think we’ll look back on Kurt Russel’s career and say that he had one of the most solid acting careers of all time? Seriously, who alive has been consistently in more fantastic movies? (We’ll excuse Captain Ron, though...) MacReady is such a cool character, great beard and everything. I loved his cool headed approach to everything, even the weird shit he had never seen before. I also really loved and the rest of the crew’s resolution towards the end of, “Hey, we’re all gonna die, might as well kill this thing on the way out!” Movies don’t do that now, so it’s cool to see a film like that today. The supporting cast all does great too, and I totally forgot that Keith David was Childs. Always cool to recognize someone at the end by their credit and go, “ohhhh, that’s who that was!”
For the horror aficionado and general film fan alike, there’s so much to enjoy. If you’re already into horror and have never seen this, this is basically the perfect film. For someone like me who has a greater appreciation for great movies moreso than being an outright horror fan, I loved everything I’ve touched on already, plus the fantastic setting and literally perfect effects that hold up today. Seriously, no computer will ever be able to capture the horror of seeing an actual person’s head bubble up, split in two, grow fangs, chomp down on someone else’s head, and throw them around the place. That scene I’m referencing was truly terrifying, and that statement comes from someone who doesn’t get scared by much. But outside of that scene, the look of the creature and the sound effects are pure brilliance. I hope modern filmmakers realize just how great practical effects look, and start making more of a concerted effort to reintroduce them back into their movies. Also, great Ennio Morricone score. Really scary, matching well to the film it accompanies.
I’ve bought several films that can be considered horror films, so I’m going to start venturing out more and watching spooky stuff, it being October and all. Though I will admit, anything I watch now will have some tough shoes to fill after having witnessed this masterpiece.