Posted on 2/04/12 10:04 PM
Note: This is a mini-review I did for an assignment, and it had to be about 250 words long (so it's rather short in comparison with my other reviews, and has NO swearing. Fuck. Well, I guess it does now). Anyway, I thought I'd post it cos why not?
John Carpenter's The Thing is a 1982 horror film based on John Campbell, Jr's book "Who Goes There?" and is set in the Antarctic. It is about a shape-shifting alien creature who crash landed on Earth hundreds of years ago, was unfrozen by Norwegian scientists, picked them off and made its way to an American research base in the form of a dog, where it will proceed to generally rain on everyone's parade.
The film stars Kurt Russell (Escape from New York) as helicopter pilot MacReady, and is a prime example of the general superiority of practical effects in terms of gore and creature design when compared to its CGI-infused modern blockbuster brethren.
In short, the creature effects are simply amazing: the Thing is a giant mass of flesh and pulsing blood vessels; it can mimic any biological organism it comes into contact with, even going so far as perfectly emulating the behavioral characteristics and voices of those unfortunate souls it consumes and subsequently morphs into. A prime example of this is when the researchers are trying to autopsy a half-transformed corpse, only to have the head separate from the body and try to run away on spider legs.
The score, written and performed by Ennio Morricone (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) and Carpenter himself, is a nail-biting sequence of bass thumps and strings which keep the viewer on edge throughout the whole paranoia-infested, stomach-churning 100 minutes.
Packed with great acting, phenomenal atmosphere and fantastic effects, The Thing is a must-see for anyone with an interest in horror, and especially for those looking to get the disappointing 2011 prequel's taste out of their mouth.