The Thing from Another World ★★★★

Though it’s not the masterpiece that John Carpenter would make 30 years later (which is apparently more faithful to the source material), The Thing from Another World is smart and tightly wound. The titular Thing is scarier in the imagination than on the screen, but its appearances, wisely, are few and brief. Tension is instead generated mainly by the conflict over whether the Thing should be studied or destroyed, and these scenes – dense with the crosstalk and claustrophobia of an isolated crew in close quarters – are remarkably well-executed.