The Screen Room
The Thing (1982)
Today’s sci-fi classic and one of my all time favourite films is the excellent:
The Thing (1982)
Contrary to popular belief John Carpenter’s sci-fi classic isn’t a remake of the 1951 film, “The Thing from Another World”, but rather another film adaptation of the original book, “Who Goes There?” by John W. Campbell Jr.
Starring Kurt Russell, this film became a benchmark for the sci-fi/horror genre and is one of my earliest memories of watching horror films.
If you haven’t seen it, this is what is about:
A research team in Antarctica are exposed to a parasitic, extra-terrestrial life form that assimilates, then imitates other life forms.
Cut off from the rest of the world, the team must fight to stay alive as paranoia sets in and the group realise the horrifying truth - not everyone is who, or what they appear to be.
Amazingly The Thing was critically panned upon release and didn’t fare well at the box office either! It seemed just about everyone hated it, including Christian Nyby the director of the original, The Thing From Another World who said the film was “terrible”.
It probably didn’t help that the movie was competing with Steven Spielberg’s, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial which was released around the same time and has a much more uplifting and family friendly feel.
As with a lot of movies that weren’t overly popular on release though (Blade Runner, Tremors), The Thing went on to become a sci-fi classic.
What do critics know about films anyway?!
As much as the ending is a large part of what makes this movie so good, an alternate ending was shot just in case test audiences found it too bleak.
This ending saw Kurt Russell’s character MacReady getting rescued, before appearing in a room where he’s given a blood test to determine whether he’s actually MacReady or not. He passes.
Luckily John Carpenter dug his heels in and got the ending we all know and love. 👌
This is sci-fi at it’s best folks!
“You’ve gotta be f#cking kidding!” 👽