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"The Thing" (1982) | Sam Gall Movie Review Issue #79 Gem Mint 10.0

Updated: May 5, 2021

“The Thing“ (1982)

Director: John Carpenter

Writer: Bill Lancaster (screenplay) John W. Campbell Jr. (story)

Starring: Kurt Russell, Keith David, Wilford Brimley, Donald Moffat, Richard Masur, David Clennon, T.K. Carter, Thomas G. Waites, Richard Dysart, Joel Polis

Rated: R for strong violence, gore and some language

Runtime: 1h 49min

Genre: Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

Country: USA

Language: English | Norwegian

A research team in Antarctica is hunted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of its victims.

You might like this if you like: John Carptenter('s work), Kurt Russell('s work), Horror Movies, Thriller Movies, Action Movies, Mystery Movies, Keith David('s work), the original "The Thing from Another World" (1951) or the novel

Kurt Russell in "The Thing" (1982)

Fights my number 1 place for favorite horror movie with “The Exorcist” (1973). This movie is so insane! I find it a bit more fun to watch, with say a crowd, then I do “The Exorcist” (1973).

It took me awhile to getting around to watching this movie. I didn’t grow up with a lot of horror until I was a teenager. I discovered “The Thing” (1982) simply by my finding of director John Carpenter and diving into his career as I normally do when I find a filmmaker I like or want to study.

The Thing” (1982) just blew me away! From that opening chase scene and visceral white snow landscapes how can you not be hooked? Getting to see the scope of the land and that husky charging through is the cinematic opening I don’t normally get with my horror films.

"The Thing" (1982)

Kurt Russell in my favorite role of his! I didn’t constantly find myself wanting this and amongst a damn good cast, I did think afterwards why wasn’t there any women in this? Maybe my only nitpick about it if I had to pick one.

The mastery for me is how John Carpenter’s horror is all in the lack of seeing things, the sound design, effects and music (that awful man moaning always gives me chills), and when we do get to see something he gives us some of the most magnificent prosthetic and makeup work you’ll ever see. John Carpenter is one of my favorite composers of all time, so this being the one film he didn’t compose himself, but handing it over to the late, great Ennio Morricone couldn’t have been a better replacement.

Kurt Russell in "The Thing" (1982)

One of the films that has given me the MOST appreciation for pre-CGI (computer generation images) heavy films. It really shows the hard work of the prop and monster creature creators. Not that animation isn’t hard work! What I love though is that the actors are getting to see exactly what the audience gets to see on the set. I just know that inherently we’re getting a somewhat more genuine of a reaction. Again, not that actors don’t have the skill to imagine all of this as that is a regular thing nowadays. I just have a personal love for the old way!

I still am a little terrified by some things in this film but I’m so fascinated by how they came up with it all that it becomes half the entertainment for me. Just the sheer physicality and tangibility of seeing something so horrific come alive is my favorite thing about “The Thing” (1982) (no pun intended).

Kurt Russell in "The Thing" (1982)

I know many people already know about this film but I just had to throw it in because it’s an all time favorite of mine by one of my favorite filmmakers; John Carpenter.

Written by Sam Gall on 10/17/20

CGC Grading: Gem Mint 10.0

"The Thing feels like a perfect movie. An embarrassment of riches all concentrated in a single feature film that stands the test of time in a way that few stories do." - Ed Travis, Cinapse

"Few filmmakers understand how to use practical effects as well as the master of cult horror, John Carpenter." - Leigh Monson, Substream Magazine

"In the midst of all the special effects, it is ultimately about the psychological impact of a high stress situation." - Tyler Smith, Battleship Pretension

"With its groundbreaking visual effects, terrific ensemble, and haunted-house atmosphere, is now rightfully regarded as an all-time horror classic." - Kirk Baird, Toledo Blade

Official Trailer:

Behind the Scenes/Interviews:

Available on various VOD platforms

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