John Carpenter's The Thing.

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Kirkman1987, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. Kirkman1987

    Kirkman1987 Commodore Commodore

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    I just watched The Thing this morning and fell in love with it. I saw the movie one other time, a year or so ago, but this time it really registered with me. I love the great alien effects, but the real tension is between the characters, which I is true of Most great horror films.

    I like how logically the story unfolds, and it keeps you just as engaged in paranoia as the characters. I think the biggest scare is the blood jumping out of the casing.

    Great Ending as well. Who was The Thing? I figure neither of them at that point, but the mystery is great note to end on. I think it manages to keep suspense to the last moment while still providing a sense of closure.

    Anyone care to jump on the praise bandwagon?

    Also, why are there not more films with Antarctic settings? Even before seeing this, I,ve always liked the isolation of such a setting, and the cold weather costumes and other trappings.
     
  2. Goliath

    Goliath Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Great movie. :techman: One of Carpenter's best.

    As for movies with Antarctic settings--Whiteout was supposed to be pretty bad. That's the only one that comes to mind.

    Although there aren't many movies actually set in the Antarctic, there do seem to have been a number of films in the last twenty years that use bleak wintry wilderness as an alternative to, say, dark rainy cityscapes. I've started calling them film blanc.

    In fact, Fargo was in many ways an anti-film noir. Everything was white instead of black; everything took place in the suburbs and on the highways; the protagonist was female, happily married, well-adjusted, and very pregnant instead of your usual alienated male loner-on-the-edge, etc.
     
  3. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There was a really good X-Files episode back in the day with the same kind of story, that might be worth tracking down.

    But yeah, definitely agree about the Antarctic setting. It's probably my favorite horror movie setting of all time, and it was never used better than in this movie. The sense of isolation is palpable. For all intents and purposes, they might as well be on an alien planet.
     
  4. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    The X-Files episode is called "Ice," and it's from the first season of the show.

    Love The Thing. It's easily Carpenter's best movie, or at least one of his best.
     
  5. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    Definitely one of Carpenter's best films. Great location, cast, score. Plus how many films have no female character, even if she isn't the love interest. Plus you gotta love that ending.

    I finally got to see it on the big screen a year or so ago. Well worth the price of admission.
     
  6. Vonstadt

    Vonstadt Captain Captain

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    One of my all time favorite scifi/horror movies. I saw in the theaters when i was young and it terrified the hell out of me!

    The whole setting is wonderful and the monster is chilling and I loved the paranoid atmosphere. :)

    I am a huge fan of the 50's Thing from another world too for different reasons (I love Howard Hawkes style of directing and the witty banter from his characters) In its own way it scared me too as a kid.

    Something about the cold isolated enviroment has always been a favorite of mine too.

    Now I feel the need to go pop in BOTH of those DvD's tonight. lol My wife is gonna kill me :bolian:

    Vons
     
  7. A beaker full of death

    A beaker full of death Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I was really disappointed when I finally saw this last year, after all the hype. It just doesn't hold a candle next to the original.
     
  8. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    I like the original (The Thing from Another World), but I still feel that the remake is an improvement on several grounds. For one, the thing actually looks alien, as opposed to the man in a suit featured in the original. For another, it drops the romantic subplot, which is gratuitous. Finally, it drops the evil, misguided scientist angle. These are all improvements.

    Being produced in a different era, the ending of the remake is more cynical (in the original, most of the characters survive; in the remake, only two survive, and it is likely that they will soon die), though both films end with the thing more or less defeated.

    The original does have a few notable scenes, however, which make it necessary viewing. The burning title card, replicated in the remake, is a very cool effect. The team fanning out and realizing that there is a saucer under the ice is an iconic moment (also replicated, in part, by the John Carpenter version). The scene where the thing bursts into the camp and is set on fire (the flames providing the set's only illumination) is brilliantly executed. Finally, and probably most famously, is the final bit of dialogue ("Keep watching the skies!").
     
  9. Colonel Midnight

    Colonel Midnight Vice Admiral Admiral

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    When I was in McMurdo back in the late '90's, the wait list for that particular videotape to borrow/rent it for the night was somewhere on the order of MONTHS. :guffaw:

    Yes, definitely an awesome film.

    Cheers,
    -CM-
     
  10. Too Much Fun

    Too Much Fun Commodore Commodore

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    Meh. Loved the special effects...I laughed my ass off at the wildness of the gory creature kills and transformations (and "you've gotta be fucking kidding me!" is one of the most hilarious lines of dialog ever because of its context in the movie), but I didn't care about any of the characters or the story. People talk about how great the atmosphere and paranoia are, but I just don't see it. Rented it with my friends after all the hype on the Internet got me psyched and we were all disappointed. We agreed that it was just another monster movie and doesn't do anything "The Terminator" and "Alien" don't do better. On a more positive note, I loved that X-Files episode "Ice" and am excited to see the Howard Hawks flick.
     
  11. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm still holding out for GDT's 'At the Mountains of Madness'. ;)
     
  12. wildstar

    wildstar Commander Red Shirt

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    The Thing is one of my favourite movies.
    As far as the end goes, I think as well that neither of them is the Thing. In the commentary, Carpenter says more than once that the movie is about trust. At the end, both expect the other is the Thing, but neither is IMO, and that makes it more poignant .
    Almost every question has been answered about who was the Thing when, and other mysteries in the movie over at the fan site outpost31.com's forum.
     
  13. broberfett

    broberfett Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There was a version shown on television that shows the dog running from the camp at the end.

    "Se til helvete og kom dere vekk. Det er ikke en bikkje, det er en slags ting! Det imiterer en bikkje, det er ikke virkelig! Kom dere vekk, idioter!"
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2010
  14. broberfett

    broberfett Vice Admiral Admiral

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  15. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    Interestingly the Thing was on ITV last night and I ended up watching bits of it!

    I think what's great is that you never know who the Thing is. The bit with Nauls/Childs and Garry on the sofa is great because you just know one of them is the Thing...and then none of them is! Similarly the fact that Norris has a heart attack surely means he can't be the Thing but he is! Copied him perfectly, even down to a heart defect.
     
  16. Pingfah

    Pingfah Admiral Admiral

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    This is one of the most perfectly atmospheric sci-fi/horrors ever made IMO.
     
  17. Aeon

    Aeon Commander Red Shirt

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    The ending is just perfect and I keep thinking about the commentary track where Russell and Carpenter discuss the nature of the thing. If it perfectly copies you, then do you necessarily know that you are The Thing until you are tested or seriously wounded? Obviously after that the defense mechanism kicks in and the real deal appears, but in the beginning is it more like an infection inside you or should I say your copy? Maybe either MacReady or Childs (or both of them) were already copies at the end and they just didn't know it.

    Awesome movie and overall it follows the original story more closely than the 1951 version.
     
  18. 1001001

    1001001 Let the Good Times Roll!! Moderator

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    Scary as hell!

    I haven't watched this in many years, but I remember seeing it in the theaters when I was a teenager. When the dogs face peels...yuck!

    Great film.

    :techman:
     
  19. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Or on the other hand they could have both been "Things" and knew it, but each didn't know if the other was human or another "Thing". Hell, all the humans could have been gone by half way through the film and the rest was just a bunch of "Things" trying to outwit each other. Now that's paranoia! ;)
     
  20. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah I'm not sure what it says about my memory, but I watch this movie about once a year, and I always seem to have a hard time remembering exactly when or where certain characters have been taken over. lol
     

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