Day 21: Look closely at your neighbour … Trust no-one… Man is The Warmest Place to Hide. John Carpenter’s, The Thing
I remember my dad always watching this movie when I was younger and never really getting into it but watching it now that I am older I can really appreciate it. Some of the movie is slow, but it builds the suspense throughout the movie. The movie keeps you guessing which makes it interesting. Some of the special effects could have been done better but some were done really well. The movie has a tragic ending, which is a nice twist.
The best thing about The Thing is exactly that, the unknown. Kurt Russell knows there is an evil, but he doesn’t know what it wants, how it operates, or who it is. The film plays out as a common 80’s action/horror but it is that unknown that keeps you on your toes. The helplessness and paranoia that come with battling the unknown. A flamethrower seems to work well, until you have to use it on a crewman you aren’t sure is still the man you arrived with. The Antarctic isolation brings a familiar desperation akin to Alien while the Thing picks off victims one by one, just like Alien again. For fans of Alien, Predator, and good movies in general.
Again. Perhaps I hang myself in bias; or perhaps this is the greatest horror movie ever made. This is for the cosmic puritans. An aged classic that actually doesn’t lose any of its credentials because of when it was made. The execution is mind-numbing, in the ways that it frames suspense, the ways in which it thrusts you into its rickety confines. These aren’t merely actors fit to screen. You’re right there with them the entire time, unsure of the actuality, unsure of yourself. The subtle, filled-in details. The open-ended saloon-door swivels. Every thing colludes at their own runaway speeds, eventually leading to a climax and finale that will leave you with such shivers that you might as well keep both eyes peeled in the night. Ridiculous. Amazing. But again. Maybe I’m just biased.
I can’t peg the first time I saw this movie. I can tell you for sure that I’ve loved it from from the beginning. If I’m being honest, I may have loved it before I watched it. Going into the movie knowing about it’s cult status and that John Carpenter was responsible for it kind of built a bias in me. Normally I try to brush those things off or I become hyper critical of them but Carpenter is kind of who I want to be when I grow up. The Thing is an excellent blend of action, sci-fi and horror with brutal visual effects, phenomenal acting and a super dark ending that leaves the story open enough that your mind stays in it when the credits start rolling. There no real “good guy” in this movie and I love that. It adds a nice realism to an outlandish idea. Everyone, including the Thing, is simply looking out for their own survival. That said, I really do want that beautiful alien pup.
-Josh T. Romero