The Thing ★★★★★

Endings are difficult. Endings to horror movies especially so. Perhaps it’s because you spend the entire movie attempting to frighten an audience, that bringing things to a satisfying & natural close and not betraying the tone of the film, is specifically problematic and difficult.

But John Carpenter is a MASTER of the horror film ending. He achieves this by not ending on a full stop, but a question mark. Sure, it’s been done before, but his usage is powerful, unforgettable and first-class — it closes the movie in a way that makes you want to jump right back in and watch again to solve the “puzzle”.

Carpenter’s ending to The Thing is a quintessential example of this. Firstly it’s beautifully shot, MacReady and Child’s lit by the glowing flames of the burning camp (GOD Cundey!). The dialogue is humorous, badass and pointed, “why don’t wait here a while, see what happens...” — AMAZING! The scene captures the paranoia of the entire film, doesn’t diminish it and brings the audience is as an active participant. Is Child’s one of those things? Is Mac?

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