31 Days of Halloween – Day 7
The Thing (directed by John Carpenter, 1982) At some point in time, we have all pondered the notion that there may be life beyond the skies of our planet. It would be unreasonable, and arrogant to think that we are alone in the universe. Many films over the years have tackled the subject of extraterrestrials visiting earth. Many of these movies go with the theme of a global invasion; hostile aliens wanting to use us as food and slaves, or cute little aliens that befriend children. John Carpenter’s The Thing goes with a different and much easier story to believe. What if these “visitors” were already here and us humans awaken them? Thousands of years ago, an alien craft crashes in Antarctica. A Norwegian exploration team discovers, and excavates the buried relic, and with it, they also discover one of the ships passengers. The shape-shifting alien eventually finds its way to an American science outpost not far from the Norwegian camp. The alien begins to infect and become members of the team. Paranoia and panic sets in as the crew loses trust and turns on each other. The Thing is a story of survival; the men trying to survive the thing, and each other, while the thing tries to survive on a foreign planet. If you crashed into a frozen wasteland only to be thawed ten thousand years later, you would probably be confused and a little pissed off. There are so many wonderful things about this film. It is a perfect blend of horror, science fiction, action, and suspense. The set design and location make this film seem desolate and claustrophobic. The cast, including the always cool Kurt Russell (R.J. MacReady) are intense. Russell is the camp’s pilot, and the only level-headed member of the doomed crew. The true star of the show is Rob Bottin’s special effects. His creations are bloody and disgusting, as I imagine an alien morphing into a human would be. John Carpenter has created some genre classics, and The Thing may be his best work. Treat yourself to some out-of-this-world horror this Halloween. You will not be disappointed by The Thing.
Cool Fact – The Thing opened in box offices the very same day as Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. Both films are now much loved and respected sci-fi films.
- Day 1 – The Conjuring
- Day 2 – You’re Next
- Day 3 – Rob Zombie’s Halloween
- Day 4 – Dog Soldiers
- Day 5 – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
- Day 6 – Psycho (1960)
- Day 7 – John Carpenter’s The Thing