Robert Berlin’s review published on Letterboxd:
Spooky Scary Horrorthons - Film #16
The term timeless is being thrown around a lot, but John Carpenter's The Thing hasn't actually aged a single second in 32 years. The masterful use of godlike practical effects and impeccable suspense is something that is rarely seen in the world of cinema at such an impressive level.
The story centers around a group of burly men (including a heavily bearded Kurt Russell and my #1 man crush Keith David) working at a research station in the Antarctic, when suddenly a Norweigan swings by while trying to blow up a dog (and spoiling the film for the Norweigan audience, oh those Norweigans). From this point onwards our group of burly heroes have to work together to survive against an extraterrestrial terror with a nasty imitation habit.
The paranoia in this film feels so real. As the group of researchers slowly breaks apart and turns against each other it feels like I'm right there, we know just as little as the characters on the screen. We don't know who we can trust or not and we have no goddamn idea what this alien thing is or in what way it will strike. By effectively making us question what will happen next and putting us in the same chair as the characters, John Carpenter has created something truly unique, I mean, there is a certain scene in this film that I can never truly anticipate no matter how many times I watch it. I can honestly not say the same about any other scene in any other film.
The Thing is a very interesting antagonist. Unlike most other aliens in the world of cinema The Thing doesn't have a certain iconic design. It is a parasite who stays alive by infecting a host and turning into an exact copy of that host. It literally turns us against each other, The Thing could be the person next to you that you have known for your entire life, it can silently eliminate everyone in your group without you knowing it and before you know it has gotten to you as well. I dare say that the Things lack of consistent design offers a kind of terror that no artist can match, it is the embodiment of our fear for the unknown. And the practical effects are disgusting and intense. People fall apart and turn into indescribable nightmarish creatures and it looks so convincing still to this day.
The Thing is ultimately one of the most well crafted horror experiences with a great cast, a great monster and unbeatable suspense. No matter what you think about horror films in general you have to see this one!