The Thing

The Thing ★★★★★

I have no idea how many times I've seen this masterpiece. It gets better and better every time I see it and it always leaves me speechless. Quite simply the best horror film of all time and up there as one of the greatest films period. It's just a shame that I never got to see it in the theaters. The film being about five months older than myself of course being a big factor.

That all changed tonight.

Another ninety minute drive up to Denver just to see a film I've seen before on the big screen courtesy of the Alamo Drafthouse. It just so happened to be one of my favorite films. I was elated.

So much detail I had never noticed before when watching at home, HD or not. All of this detail flashing before my eyes, fifty feet high, and I could almost sense what it was like to watch the film in 1982. It is more terrifying, more suspenseful, more disgusting, and more paranoid in a theater. The darkness and John Carpenter's booming synth score filling the vacuum of Antarctica surrounded me in the theater. The quiet was more quiet, the sense of an unsettling nature lurking behind every corner more palpable, the squirting blood and puss vivid and real. This felt like a defining moment in my movie-going life.

The effects were more impressive than I had ever seen them. Remember, this film isn't great because it uses practical effects. It's great because it uses some of the best practical effects. They are icky and slimey and rainbow colored. They are large and in charge. They are flawless. They are giant fucking spider heads with wriggling tentacles and shrill screams. So good.

Just a week or so ago I was griping in my review of Almost Human about how lame aliens are in horror movies. It's mostly because this film sits so high atop that pillar that everything else is really quite pathetic (select few excluded). This film also just shows exactly what so many other alien horror films get wrong. They aren't saying anything. They don't have a purpose. This is all about paranoia. How we function as human beings and how our community can crumble with the presence of an intruder. It's filled with Cold War fears. It shows how we will be our own undoing even if there is an outside presence. It is Carpenter's first film in his apocalypse trilogy and that right there tells us a lot. It's not just about effects and aliens and scares and blood and action and suspense. Though it definitely has all of those things in spades. Movies like Almost Human want to take everything surface level and turn it up to eleven. They don't want to say something. It's not about being profound. It's about having a purpose. When a filmmaker has a purpose and has intent then anything they do on screen with be filled with that purpose and be transformed. The Thing is seriously the best fucking movie you guys and I will never get tired of watching it.

Now having had the big screen experience...I am even more baffled by the negative reception this film got upon release. Is it too gross and violent? Hell yes! Grow the fuck up you fucking baby. I highly recommend any fan of the film see this in the theater if you get the opportunity. For others who haven't seen it before...just see the damn thing.

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