The Thing

The Thing ★★★★½

John Carpenter’s Halloween is a treasure trove for my sister. Left and right, it is recommended to be seen time and time again, of which many times I refuse because I simply am not in the mood to repeatedly consume the same thing over and over again in a short period of time; it also doesn’t help that I personally don’t think much of the film, falling short in actually making me care for the characters presented on screen. It was this experience that distanced me from The Thing, fearing that once again that a beloved classic would fall under similar outcomes, underwhelmed and infuriated.

To my surprise, The Thing was entertaining from start to end. Carpenter infuses and maintains suspense while striking you with surprising force through its elements of horror. Based on a premise of an alien specimen terrorising this isolated crew in Antartica, Carpenter and his writers lift the material out of the science-fiction invasion tropes of the 50s and 60s cinema but innovating it with a great sense of intimacy and atmospheric gloom that earns a high distinction from its peers. Almost as if inspired by the methods that Ridley Scott brought to Alien three years prior, The Thing takes the audience upon synonymous roads, but refreshes our expectations when for much of the film relies on the distrust and suspicion towards one another, a fuel that is stacked on the already present threat of a monster in their midst.

When Carpenter intends for the film to resort to extremes, it embraces it with such intensity that it left me frightened and in a state of discomfort. Utilising special effects to its most gruesome, it adds a certain charm to the entire experience, amplifying the horror as he places the most outlandish and moist of designs that juxtaposes with it’s bleak and simple backdrop. The overall tone and vibe kept me tense and interested in what may unfold next, managing to frequently defy my expectations and actually verbally react to the events that were developing on screen.

This review may seem a little messy, but maybe that’s because the film itself has left me into pieces, and I say that in a positive way. As I reflect, it is hard for me to identify a hitch that I personally feel have taken a toll on the experience. I would not be surprised that this initial reaction is merely an exciting rush that could potentially fade over time, but for now, I am smitten with the results and I’ll be sharing this enthusiasm to everybody that passes by me.

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