31 Nights of Horror - Night Twenty-Five: The Thing (1982)

John Carpenter's The Thing will wrap its mutated tentacles around your throat and leave you breathless on the floor. The film stands as my second favorite John Carpenter film and absolute favorite Kurt Russell starring vehicle. Technically, you might consider The Thing as a Sci-Fi flick as it weaves elements of the alien unknown with gore and horror....but, as it has the ability to scare you silly, it is included on my list.

The film is about a group of American scientists on an expedition in the frozen snow of the Antarctic. They discover some crazy Norwegians chasing and shooting a dog in a helicopter. The helicopter crashes and the Americans adopt the dog. Later, the dog transforms into a crazy fuckin' beast with tentacles and jaws and all hell breaks loose.

R.J. MacReady (a bad ass Russell) knows the score, though. He seems to be the only one in the group that is able to kick some serious ass. Oh....Childs (an awesome Keith David) can kick some ass, too....but, not as much ass as MacReady...because, well, Childs takes off in the cold snow when the chips are down.

It's not long before the alien life-form kills most of the crew and mutates into all kinds of awesome stuff. There's this spider-like creature that spawns from a severed head(!!!). The film is really a great experience and it is brilliantly directed by a master of the genre at the top of his game. The special F/X here is top notch and still shines through despite its 1982 technology. Rob Bottin is legendary.

There's really nothing that you can compare The Thing to as it has so much going on. There's this classic scene where MacReady ties a bunch of his crew to chairs in order to tell who is "the thing" and who is human. It's such a great scene and a genuine jump scare moment that combines true tension and horrific consequences rather than throwing in a cheap jump scare like most of today's films tend to do with a pumped up soundtrack.

The Thing is a truly horrific film. I'm not going to talk too much about the reboot/prequel to this film other then Carpenter's version is also a remake of The Thing From Another World from 1951...so, there's really no argument about remaking an original piece of work here. But, I will say that it's not really necessary for Hollywood to retread something that is already perfect the way that it is.

Anyway...check out John Carpenter's The Thing tonight.

5 out of 5

Thanks for reading,

Sidenote: Before watching this film it is important to make sure that your beautiful little 1 year old Goddaughter is not in the room....especially during the mutating dog scene. Unless, of course, you want to be known as the douchebag Godfather.