The Thing

1982, Horror/Sci-fi, 1h 48m

76 Reviews 100,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

Grimmer and more terrifying than the 1950s take, John Carpenter's The Thing is a tense sci-fi thriller rife with compelling tension and some remarkable make-up effects. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

In remote Antarctica, a group of American research scientists are disturbed at their base camp by a helicopter shooting at a sled dog. When they take in the dog, it brutally attacks both human beings and canines in the camp and they discover that the beast can assume the shape of its victims. A resourceful helicopter pilot (Kurt Russell) and the camp doctor (Richard Dysart) lead the camp crew in a desperate, gory battle against the vicious creature before it picks them all off, one by one.

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Critic Reviews for The Thing

Audience Reviews for The Thing

  • Jul 16, 2022
    Make up and special effects artist Rob Bottin is The Thing. Rightfully so, he'll always be considered one of Hollywood's all time best at producing groundbreaking and spine-chilling monsters. Mix that in with director John Carpenter's expertise at setting mood and Kurt Russell's charisma and you've got someTHING special.
    Aldo G Super Reviewer
  • Apr 23, 2017
    The Thing being the second John Carpenter film I've watched this week, I'm starting to notice why he's such a "big deal" in the film business, but I'm also realizing that his style may not be best suited for my tastes in film. The Thing is a remake of a 1951 Howard Hawks film, which in itself is based on a novella, and the film was once again remade in 2011. Ultimately, this story is widely popular. But the funny thing is, the story doesn't feel all that special or unique. The film adapts the "whodunit" or rather "who is it" movie trope that has been used for as long as films have been made. I don't have a problem with that, but I do have a problem with this film feeling like a rip-off to Ridley Scott's 1979 Alien film. Right down to the chest bursting scene. Some people may say that the original novella probably influenced Scott in making Alien, which may be true. But then why not change up a few plot points and shot selections instead of feeling overtly derivative from a film that is only a few years old. It also doesn't help that for all the blood, guts, jumps, and scares, we don't really get a look inside the minds of any of these characters. None of them are memorable, even Kurt Russell's flame throwing bearded helicopter pilot. Heck, we never even see the guy fly a helicopter. I hate to keep bringing up Alien, so I'll compare the recent movie, Life. That film doesn't have anything new to add to the genre of "trapped-in-horror-thriller", but it consistently entertains you because you get to know each character and you care about them. The Thing's cast consists of a dozen or so men ranging from 30-65, and I don't remember any of their names or backstories. Why? Because the movie didn't take the time to establish either. The Thing does do quite a few things well, though. The practical special effects are mind-blowing for a film from the early-80's. I would love to see some of the behind the scenes featurettes and how they were able to pull off some of the shots. If only the film didn't make me cringe every few minutes with its gratuitous blood spatters and gut bursting shots. The Thing also did a nice job at pacing out the deaths and jump scares where it didn't feel too overpowering at any one point but it also never got to the point of boredom either. Not to mention Ennio Morricone's haunting main theme that plays throughout the film. That will surely send chills down anyone's spine. So overall, The Thing is another Carpenter film to get a mixed response from me. He's a good filmmaker, but I highly doubt I will ever sit down a re-watch his films as religiously as some film fans do. Perhaps I'd like Howard Hawks version better. +Score +Effects -No character depth -Feels derivative 6.4/10
    Thomas D Super Reviewer
  • Apr 02, 2013
    [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Mar 27, 2013
    The original Thing is a horror/sci fi masterpiece. As mentioned in my review of the new "The Thing", there is a nice setup in the prequel which would make watching both films back to back rather enjoyable.
    John B Super Reviewer

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