There’s a very simple reason why the original thing is better – though only just – than the prequel that came out years later. The thing from 1982 is the original one (not counting the silly ’50s movie everyone’s forgotten) spawning all the great ideas and unforgettable creepy atmosphere.
It’s a lot less of an action-packed CGI-adventure … and a heck more of a dark, thrilling psychological game between men and beast. In short, this movie is the real deal!
What’s especially fun, now that we’re able to see both movies, is how The thing from 1982 and the one from 2011 fit perfectly like a puzzle. The ending of the new movie connects with the beginning of the old movie … still follow?
Thus The thing from 1982 begins with the shepherd dog being chased by two seemingly crazy Norwegian guys armed with explosives and a shotgun.
Our beloved American scientists have no clue why, but when one of the men gets shot, they return fire. When the dog is rescued, they unknowingly invite the beast into their homes …
Make no mistake: The thing is no movie for the faint of heart. Even though the special effects look a bit dated now, it’s still a horrifying show that’ll give you nightmares, especially if you’ve never seen this classic before. There’s tons of blood and monsters so creepy you won’t believe your eyes … who came up with this stuff??
But, like all great classics, there’s much more in this movie than the blood. The story essentially isn’t about some alien monster killing humans.
No, this movie is about the psychological fear and doubt that runs through the group. Especially when our scientists learn that this creature can take any form or shape, even become human!
The atmosphere created by visual stylist John Carpenter is absolutely brilliant! It makes for the greatest fear, even more so than the creature itself. Being separated from the rest of the world on Antarctica, the men have no other choice but to face the creature themselves.
Kurt Russell plays one of his finest roles, who has to lead a group of scattered and scared men through the dark night. It’s mostly an action-hero part, but he still manages to give his role some much needed character depth.
Lastly, the music of Ennio Moricone isn’t much music at all. It’s nothing more than a few drops of sound placed at exact moments in the movie when the tension rises. But it’s exactly this kind of simplicity that salutes the movie … and makes the whole thing even creepier.
Fun fact: If you paid attention to the 2011-version … you’ll be able to figure out who, at the end of this movie, definitely isn’t the monster.
Did you know?
This film is considered a benchmark in the field of special makeup effects. These effects were created by Rob Bottin and Stan Winston.
Give it to me short:
The thing of 1982 isn’t the first one of its kind (that’s the one from the ’50s) and isn’t the last one either (that’s the version of 2011), but it’s most definitely the best of them all. Having nothing to do with the ’50s version, it somehow neatly continues the story that the 2011-version started. This makes things especially interesting as you’ll see many items in this movie that also played a big part in the 2011-version.
The thing tells the story of a group of American scientists who are attacked by two deranged Norwegian guys trying to kill a dog for no apparent reason. When the Norwegian guys are taken care of (they’re dead), the dog is also taken care of (he lives). From then and there, the story unfolds into a mysterious, creepy nightmarish horror story where each of the men is picked off one by one by an alien organism that seems to be able to take the shape of each of the men. Thus, a dangerous guessing game begins of whom is themselves … and who has turned into the beast!
The thing keeps the perfect balance between the isolated emptiness of Antarctica and the ever-growing fear of facing the most vile and atrocious monster … sometimes the special effects may look a bit ridiculous, especially as time goes on and the movie grows ever older, but the way this movie was made will forever be hold in high regards!