The Thing (1982 film)
The Thing is a 1982 American science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter and written by Bill Lancaster. Based on the 1938 John W. Campbell Jr. novella Who Goes There?, it tells the story of a group of American researchers in Antarctica who encounter a parasitic extraterrestrial life-form. The film was released to very negative reviews, and proposed as the most-hated film of all time by film magazine Cinefantastique. It has since been reappraised as one of the best science fiction and horror films ever made.
About The Thing (1982 film) in brief
The Thing is a 1982 American science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter and written by Bill Lancaster. Based on the 1938 John W. Campbell Jr. novella Who Goes There?, it tells the story of a group of American researchers in Antarctica who encounter the eponymous \”Thing\”, a parasitic extraterrestrial life-form that assimilates, then imitates other organisms. The film stars Kurt Russell as the team’s helicopter pilot, R. J. MacReady, and features A. Wilford Brimley, T. K. Carter, David Clennon, Keith David, Richard Dysart, Charles Hallahan, Peter Maloney, Donald Moffat, Joel Polis, and Thomas G. Waites in supporting roles. The Thing was released in 1982 to very negative reviews, and proposed as the most-hated film of all time by film magazine Cinefantastique. It has since been reappraised as one of the best science fiction and horror films ever made, and has gained a cult following. A remake was announced in 2020. The movie has spawned a variety of merchandise, including a 1982 novelization, haunted house attractions, board games, and sequels in comic books, a video game of the same name, and a 2011 prequel film of thesame name. It earned USD 19. 6 million during its theatrical run, but failed to impress audiences due to competition from films such as E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial, which offered an optimistic take on alien visitation; and an audience living through a recession, diametrically opposed to The Thing’s nihilistic tone.
It was described as ‘instant junk’ and ‘a wretched excess’ by one film magazine. It went through several directors and writers, each with different ideas on how to approach the story. Of the film’s USD 15 million budget, USD 1. 5 million was spent on Rob Bottin’s creature effects, a mixture of chemicals, food products, rubber, and mechanical parts turned by his large team into an alien capable of taking on any form. In the film, a Norwegian helicopter pursues a sled dog to an American research station. The Americans witness the Norwegian passenger accidentally blow up the helicopter and himself, and he is shot dead in self-defense by the station commander Garry. Among the charred ruins and frozen corpses, they find the burned remains of a malformed humanoid which they recover to the American station. Their biologist, Blair, performs autopsies on the remains and finds a normal set of human organs, and it soon metamorphoses and absorbs the station dogs. This disturbance alerts the team and Dr. Childs uses a flamethrower to incinerate the creature. The new creature can perfectly imitate other organisms, and the team grows paranoid that the creature could assimilate all life on Earth in a matter of years. The group is overcome by paranoia and conflict as they learn that they can no longer trust each other and that any one of them could be the Thing.