The Thing

The Thing ★★★★½

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The Thing decades after its release still stands as one of the best horror/scifi films ever made. Its a grim, gory, special effects extravaganza and a meditation on isolation and paranoia.
Based on John W. Campbell, Jr.'s novella Who Goes There?, A research team in the Antarctic are besieged by an alien dug from the ice by another research team. The creature can infect, and mimic any living creatures it comes across, soon men who were once friends slowly turn on one another due to fear and paranoia, and it becomes apparent that if the creature makes it to the outside world all of mankind will be destroyed.
Directed by John Carpenter, the film conveys the isolation and hopeless situation the group find themselves in, and how there is no help coming. Carpenter is a master of the group of people dealing with conflict theme, it runs though quite a few of his films (Assault on Precinct 13)(Prince of Darkness), and at its heart that's what The Thing is about, a group of diverse characters deal with a lovecraftian horror.
The lighting and cinematography by Dean Cundy is nothing short of amazing, a scene of note is the investigation of the Norwegian research base. The use of blue lighting and blasts of white from holes in the walls is inspired.
The musical score by Ennio Morricone is one of my personal favorites, it really goes a long way in establishing the tone and mood of the film.
The Thing's claim to fame is the special effects work of Rob Bottin, he helped create images that can only be described as a fever dream caught on film, even today the effects for the most part still hold up. I could watch the scene where the guys dismembered head sprouts spider legs and walks away over and over again and never fail to be amazed.
The thing features an ensemble cast of character actors. Mondo Cinema Legend and oatmeal salesman Wilford Brimley is Blair (sans trademark mustache) Keith David is Childes, he brings a high level of enjoyment to everything he is in. Richard Dysart brings a touch of class to the film, there is not a bad performance to be found in the film. The star of the film is Kurt Russel, as Mcready an every man trying to deal with an almost unimaginable situation. He delivers a restrained performance of a man who has pretty much given up on life before the events of the film started.
The Good
The effects work
The "blood test" scene
The great performance they got out of that dog.
Donald Moffat's eyebrows.
The music score.
The Bad
It's The Thing one of the greatest horror films ever made there is nothing bad in it.

Its hard to believe that The Thing failed at the box office, out shined by ET, luckily it has gained a cult following over the years, and has received the praise and recognition its so much deserves.
Cheers from Mondo Cinema.

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