The Thing

The Thing ★★★★½

Film #40 of JC13's I Do Believe I Just Shit Myself September/October Horror Marathon: Part IV

"We're a thousand miles from nowhere, man, and it's gonna get a hell of a lot worse before it gets any better!"

John Carpenter made a lot of good movies back in the day, but I'd have to say The Thing is his best (Halloween isn't far off though). It's just wonderfully crafted on all levels. A big problem with many Horror movies is weak and forgettable characters, but this doesn't have that problem. It probably has a few too many characters, but they're all at least somewhat memorable and the cast plays them well. Kurt Russell in particular is awesome here, as is his character R.J. MacReady. The Thing also has a great location, set in the bitter cold of a research facility in Antarctica, that I think adds to the sense of dread that surrounds the film. The cinematography is very good, it has great sets, a terrific score, and there are lots of quotable lines. I also love the sense of paranoia that is built up between the characters. And of course you can't talk about this one without mentioning Rob Bottin's groundbreaking makeup effects and creature designs. He was only 22 at the time, but already a master of his craft and the effects in this film have never really been surpassed despite 35 years having gone by. Another reason why this film works so well is because The Thing itself is probably the scariest Horror movie villain, for the simple fact that it could be anyone. I've seen this five times now (in less than 4 years) and it never gets old. Pure tension and terror right here and it's a classic for a reason. 8.5/10

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