The Thing (1982)

Any place with a temperature below 20 degrees is ultimately the scariest place ever.

Scientists working in Antarctica are forced to abandon their research after a helicopter crashes near their camp, bringing a lone dog into their midst. But the plot thickens when the otherworldly canine changes form in the middle of the night. As it turns out, the dog is a shape-shifting alien that can attack animals — and unsuspecting humans.

Ever since I played that video game back in the day, I have always been wanting to see what this whole film was all about, and thankfully I wasn’t let down.

This is from the insane mind of horror legend John Carpenter, who was on a role in the 80’s, and this film shows it. The film combines two elements here to create a lot of horror within this movie and that is the actual story and the jaw-dropping special effects that both work so well hand-in-hand.

There is a great deal of suspense to to this story as it plays well along the lines of a “whodunit”, but actually more of a” whoisit”. You don’t really have an idea s to what’s going on, how it’s happening, and who or what is causing all this until it is too late, and this film keeps that mystery going for a pretty long time, thus kept my interest the whole time. The special effects are also some of the best I’ve seen in a film ever, and they really are some of the most disgusting, freakiest things I have ever seen. It was nice to see just how amazingly scary these special effects can look, and still be creepy about 20 years later and not actually be computer-generated. With these two elements helping this film’s creepiness, some really crazy shit goes down. I can’t go in to what exactly does happen, but to say the least, there’s some crazy batso shit here that will really mess with your mind.

However, my only real complaint with this film was that I felt like the characters weren’t actually written that well. The cast does a pretty good job with what their given but all these dudes really just seem like cliche, and I feel if they actually brought just a little bit more insight to these character’s lives, I would have actually rooted for them more and more. Although, you do have Kurt Russell sporting one of the best beards in film history, and Keith David being that cool, black man.

Consensus: With ultimately terrifying special effects, and an inspired direction from the mind of John Carpenter, The Thing will leave you on the edge of your seat, as well as scaring the crap out of you.



  1. Yeah, terrific review Dan. This is one of my favorites from the 1980s – in fact, it’s one of my favorite horror films ever made and John Carpenter’s best film (my list of of best Carpenter films is here: I think, first and foremost, he creates such a great atmosphere, helped by the isolated location. And the monster is one of the most brilliantly conceived and downright scary ever created.

    • It is done so well because the whole time you have no idea what is going to happen next, and you’re just on the edge of your seat the whole time. Thanks Dan!

  2. Nice review.

    It’s just such a great movie. My appreciation has grown over the years. I don’t think audiences were ready for such a bleak, relentless sci-fi thriller in the 80s. Especially not with such mind blowing effects that still hold up today!

  3. John Carpenter is a freaking horror genius who knows how to combine suspense with genuince scares. The Thing is one of his best examples of doing more with less, and sometimes I wish more horror directors would take a page from his book.

  4. I recently reviewed it and I had almost the same comments on the movie. Recently watched it for the first time and loved it.

    It´s an amazing film. I remember playing a short bit of the game somewhere. Was the game any good?

  5. “The thing” definitely rates high on any horror movie fan. I mean it’s almost perfect. There is actually a prequel shooting right now and showing somewhere around October 2011. So i’m very excited about that.

    • I’m a little excited about that, but I don’t know if it will be anything special. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see though.

  6. Just to give some props to a couple of other guys as well: John W. Campbell wrote the classic short story (“Who Goes There?”) in 1938. The original “The Thing” (aka “The Think from Another World”) came out in 1951 and, along with “Invaders from Mars” and “Them,” was the scariest movie of my youth.

    James Arness (Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke) played the first thing.

  7. Can’t believe you’ve only just seen this! I envy you. Wish I could watch it again for the first time.

    Great movie and a great review. 🙂

  8. You know, that’s an honest assessment of the characters. I think that as nostalgia hound I just love this move and would yell at you for thinking anything less than a 10/10, but you look at it objectively and you’re right on. Well done…kind of like Assault on Precinct 13 but with a better and more memorable lead and location:P

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