The Thing

Got a message from Arclight that my membership was renewing soon. That meant that one of my freebie tickets (goodfor their Arclight Presents retro series) would be expiring soon. Immediately go onto their site. I find a screening of Mad Max and cash in my ticket. Less than an hour later I get an invite for a movie trivia night that same day that sounds awesome. Then I noticed that I’d somehow missed a listing for The Thing, which I’d been wanting to see on the big screen (it gets a lot of play here, esp in the fall) and it was at a more convenient location. Switched over my ticket (and later found a Mad Max triple feature elsewhere, but we’ll talk about that later). You know, I’m really loving this whole end of summer new release graveyard because the retro screenings I’ve been patronizing have been rather awesome.

Alrighty so let’s take it back to 1982 with John Carpenter at the helm. We’re in Antarctica. Cutting right to it, some type of alien entity sneaks into a scientific base and starts killing off the scientists and taking their place. And by taking their place, I mean imitating them so accurately, no one knows who to trust.

Two reasons why this holds up and is still a rather terrifying film. First, the primary fear is of the unknown, especially not knowing who to trust. That’s a real world type of fear right there, and the implications run deep. Plus that concept has never been illustrated as vividly.

The second is the creature effects. Because sure, most of the time the alien looks like people, but that’s not the only form it takes. Now say it with me all together now: PRACTICAL EFFECTS! That is how to make your film timeless. This still looked amazing all these years later. There was even one bit (with Norris) that made my jaw literally drop, and I stared in awe thru the whole sequence. When was the last time a CGI sequence did that for me?

Sooooo yeah that was cool

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