Phips’s review published on Letterboxd:
Finally I can say that I've seen John Carpenter's The Thing. I've seen people ranting and raving about this on a number of movie related websites that I frequent. I was never really interested in this until recently, and via the recommendations of fellow Letterboxd users I forged ahead and watched this.
I usually tend to take issue with most "older" films but I actually enjoyed this one. I enjoyed Carpenter's Halloween films so maybe it is a Carpenter thing. Of course, the visual and special effects are horribly dated but I didn't find them to be that much of a bother.
Before seeing this I always thought of this as a horror film. Well, turns out I was wrong. This film isn't scary at all, but I don't think it was ever supposed to be. On Netflix it is classified as "Sci-Fi", which it is. Despite this not being a horror film there was a good amount of suspense generated throughout as the crux of this film is a perpetual game of roulette as the audience is left wondering who is infected and who is safe. Ennio Morricone's typically wonderful score contributed to the suspense as well.
Kurt Russell, I have found out, is one of those cult film legends. With roles in Escape From NY, Big Trouble In Little China, and this, he is quite the action star of sorts. I primarily know Russell from Tombstone so I lack any sort of fanboy fascination. Still, I thought he delivered a strong, commanding performance. His character, however, was a little underdeveloped. How is it that this helicopter pilot is insta-badass?
One of my issues with this was perfectly summed up in Steve G's review which I shall quote here:
"The opening scene where we see the flying saucer hurtling towards the Earth. I just don't think that we needed that bit at all. I think it would have been better if they had just left us in slight doubt as to just what those Norwegians had discovered under the ice. It's just a bit pointless."
I'm glad that I finally can say that I've seen this. It was a thoroughly enjoyable watch.