The Thing

The Thing ★★★★½

Lean, mean and absolutely disgusting. Carpenter's brand of refined B-movies reaches its peak. Premises are overrated. The discount shelf at your local bookstore is probably chock-full of them. What you do with them, however, is where a project's potential lasting power lays. It's such an interesting play on the confined-space/loose-monster horror trope, done perhaps more notoriously in Ridley Scott's 'Alien', that it might've even worked fine on its own, but the director's option to dial back on the action and bet heavy on atmosphere paid off in humongous ways. Morricone's somewhat simplistic score and Cundey's chilling cinematography terrifically complement each other, which creates a permanent feel of looming danger that's imperative for its success. And Jesus Christ, that makeup artist better receive an honorary Oscar for this.

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