Author Topic: The Thing  (Read 2606 times)

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Offline Multibeast12

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The Thing
« on: July 18, 2011, 06:14:42 PM »

My Favorite poster for this film

Offline Multibeast12

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Re: The Thing
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2011, 06:16:39 PM »
First off i would like to say this this imo is John Carpenters hands down best film he has made. He was on a role from the first two Halloween movies and Escape From New York and i think this was the pinacle of his horror career. I picked this because other then the Empire Strikes Back i have never been blown away more by a film. From just start to finish this film just builds and builds and is terrifying.  I would like to start with the roles. Having Kurt Russel play the role of McCready was perfect. The cast of all of those guys worked out perfectly. Had a very good chemistry.

Not only was the cast perfect, but the effects that were used were incredible. For 1982, the gore effects are just perfect. Yes they are kinda cheesy at times but, the fact this it is 1982 is amazing. I would like to see more hands on stuff like that in modern day horror films. Instead they all just use crappy CGI effects. I would rather have a directer put the time and effort into making the gore out of make-up and shit like that then a quick CGI fix.

Another aspect the John captures perfectly in this film is the paranoia and lack of trust between the group of guys. They don't for one second believe that one of them could not be a alien.

The way the film starts with just a helicopter chasing down a dog and shooting at it is just a perfect start.  The part where the Doc goes crazy and destroys all of the communication equipment is awesome, because he found out that once this thing starts theres no ending it and just decides to destroy everything. Also love the part when Windows Fucking chokes, When i gaint horrible alien monster and fucking exploding and you sit there, I'm sorry he fucking deserved that shit.

SPOILER The ending of the film is quite possible one of my favorite endings. Because i love how McCready is just there and Childs comes back, and you have no idea whether Childs could be an Alien and eventually make it back to population. Great ending just fading up to darkness after they blow the shit out of the camp. Also i love how right before McCready blows up the final "Thing" Hey just goes, "Yeah, FUCK you too". Perfect line for that part.

Offline danje

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Re: The Thing
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2011, 07:32:51 PM »
Dum dum.

Dum dum.

Offline cactusfan

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Re: The Thing
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2011, 07:48:45 PM »
I agree that it's Carpenter's best movie (and by the way, he only wrote the script for Halloween II, didn't direct it).

I sometimes wonder at my 11 year old self and why I loved this movie so much then and now, as well as Escape From New York, because both of these movies are so incredibly nihilistic. Everyone dies and everyone is fucked and why the fuck should I care? is basically what they're both saying, more so in Escape, with Snake out of pure spite destroying the cassette tape and thus, we presume, starting WWIII.

SPOILERS AHEAD, probably...

The end of the Thing is just as nihilistic on a more personal level. Keep in mind that it's not just Childs we're worried about; there was very notably a time when we weren't with MacReady either. The final message, then: you can't trust anyone. Bleak stuff.

I love movies that don't waste my time with backstory bullshit. It's always a good sign when a movie starts with the first scene, so to speak. In other words, we don't dick around with the guys at the station to 'introduce' them, and then have the copter come by. We start with that killer shot of the ridge-line and the copter chasing the dog. It's a great intro. Why are those guys after that dog? What the fuck is going on?

Intros to all the characters come as the story unfolds. It was also a great idea to have had the alien be discovered by someone else, allowing for that beautiful sequence of MacReady and the other two exploring the destroyed Norwegian camp. Beautiful because what they're looking at, though they don't know it yet, is their own fate, splayed out before them. How about the shot of the guy who slit his wrists and then his throat, his flowing blood frozen solid?

And how about that dog (actually part wolf, i believe)? I read an interview with Carpenter where he said he did exactly one take of the dog slowly walking into the hallway (which shot may be the single creepiest in the movie), walking down the hallway, glancing in the empty rooms, stopping at the room with someone in there, then going in. That's some acting job.

Rob Bottin did such a fantastic job with the effects. What I love most is the sheer amount of imagination on display. The heart attack sequence is so out there it's just unbelievable. And sure, it's hard not to laugh when that giant stalk with the head grows up to the ceiling, but why not laugh? It's utterly outrageous. It's so beyond the real it's hilarious. And then when his head stretches off the table, pulls itself along the floor with it's super-tongue, grows giant clacking spider legs and tries to run away... man, that is just the best thing ever. It should be noted as well that Bottin was like 20 when he did this. He pretty much did it non-stop for something like six months, staying awake with massive amounts of speed.

Gore effects were at their best in the late '70s, early '80s. Computers have really fucked that stuff up. These older effects might look 'fake' in one sense, but what works is that they're 'real' in that what's happening is actually there, and you can feel that kind of presence. It's like the difference between Empire Strikes Back Yoda versus that CGI bullshit version in the new movies. The muppet Yoda to me is MORE real looking.

I'm also a big fan of old-school stop-motion effects, of which there are a few examples in here (such as the tentacles reaching up through the floor and grabbing the dynamite).

Great soundtrack too. Carpenter usually does his own soundtracks, but for this he got the great Ennio Morricone, who you of course know from the Fistful of Dollars trilogy. That opening music with the pulsing bass, and the rest of the minimalist, partially electronic score blends so well with the movie you hardly notice it.

Everything about the movie is high quality. Great acting across the board, Carpenter's great widescreen direction, dialogue that's simple and direct and not full of stupid bullshit. And of course that great horizontal lens flare from the era (mimicked digitally by J.J. Abrams in Super 8 and Star Trek).

The Thing was not well reviewed when it came out. It didn't to that well at the box office. I have a very clear memory at age 11 of watching a very old version of Siskel and Ebert where Siskel liked The Thing and Ebert hated it. From that moment on I always thought Ebert was kind of an ass. Anyhow, time has sided with Siskel, because The Thing is nowadays a highly respected and hugely influential horror movie.


Offline Multibeast12

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Re: The Thing
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2011, 08:30:48 PM »
Great write up  :clap:. One comment though, when we weren't with McCready, after that he did the blood check and nothing happened to his blood, it didn't react.

Another great part is after Windows got fucked. When the lieutenant i believe is in the chair. If you notice, McCready checks Nauls first, Then the Scene cuts to childs, then back to McCread getting ready to check his blood, but i love how Nauls is just standing there with the flame thrower, The after Childs is okay, they check, the lieutenant, and the scene much like Childs, cuts to him then back to Nauls with the flame thrower, McCready with the blood and Childs with the other flame thrower. kinda hard to explain but i thought it was kinda silly and funny how it was shot and set up.

Offline gah

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Re: The Thing
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2011, 10:19:53 AM »
full of SPOILERS

Agreed, the special effects were really well done for the time, and I actually enjoyed them quite a bit more than the CGI types of effects we have in todays movies. I, admittadly, have not watched or am a fan of horror/gore movies, but I didn't see this as that either, asides from the actual alien stuff. It was more of a psychological thriller to me, with how the story was able to create this distrust amongst everyone with no clear way of identifying who was infected and who wasn't.

As for the doc going crazy and destroying everything, I wasn't sure if that was because he didn't want everyone to leave because he realized it would destroy humanity or if that was the alien part of him not wanting them to be able to contact the outside world. Also, how he'd locked himself up, he must have realized since he was the one doing the autopsies, he was the one that had been infected (when it said chance of a member being infected: 75%)

MacReady being gone for that short time also lead to questions, as in where did he go? What was he doing? Why was the light on in his watchtower then? Who had turned it on?

Agreed, the dog slowly walking down the hall and into the cage with the other ones was probably the most creepy scene, and I couldn't believe they'd gotten the dog to do that, so slowly and intentional. To the handlers, well done.

The scene with the head growing legs and the tounge latching on to the chair did have me cracking up. As did the scene when the one guys head opened and grabbed the other guys body and was swinging it around. I mean, I get its supposed to be scary, but it was goddamn hysterical. Like I said, I enjoyed it more for the psychological aspect.

As for the ending, again, you had no idea where Childs had been, but then you also had MacReady missing for awhile, so either of them could also be infected, or neither of them, either way they're fucked because they've destroyed the entire camp and have no way of leaving or contacting anyone. So then the real question isn't which one survives, because it's safe to assume neither survives. I took it that at least one of them is, and the Thing will freeze and bury itself as it was intending to do while in the Doc, and just wait till someone else comes along to discover it, as Macready I believe stated at one point towards the end when they discovered what the Doc was building. That The Thing knew it couldn't go further so it was trying to lie dormant again.

Anyhow, solid pick, I enjoyed it thoroughly, and look forward to everyone's movies.
Sometimes we live no particular way but our own.

Offline barnesy305

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Re: The Thing
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2011, 01:02:47 PM »
I know I'm not signed up for the movie club, but I wanted to chime in anyway. The psychological aspect of the film is very well done, I really liked Wilford Brimley's mental breakdown and how it snowballed in effect to the rest of the team.

Offline qop24

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Re: The Thing
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2011, 01:24:11 PM »
I know I'm not signed up for the movie club, but I wanted to chime in anyway.

THEN GTFO  :samurai:


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Offline barnesy305

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Re: The Thing
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2011, 07:09:37 PM »
I know I'm not signed up for the movie club, but I wanted to chime in anyway.

THEN GTFO  :samurai:

Whateva, whateva.

Offline gah

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Re: The Thing
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2011, 10:24:22 AM »
I know I'm not signed up for the movie club, but I wanted to chime in anyway.

THEN GTFO  :samurai:

I have to say, even though he's not participating, he did contribute to the conversation.  :roll:
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Offline khalpin

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Re: The Thing
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2011, 10:49:25 AM »
Not in the club, but I haven't seen The Thing since college (early 90s) so it was great to revisit this.  It really is a top-notch flick.  Regarding Cactusfan's Siskel & Ebert notes...one thing I discovered in the early 90s was that I was almost always agreeing with Siskel's reviews.  That made it very easy to discover new movies at the time.  Whatever he liked, I would go see it.  I was crushed when he died.  I've never found a critic I agreed with so much since.

Nonetheless, this movie is fantastic throughout.  Or more so, the atmosphere is set well.  Being mostly devoid of a soundtrack is a nice touch.  The only thing that really detracts from it (now) is the effects.  I have a soft spot for 80s special make-up effects (I used to subscribe to Fangoria), so that certainly didn't ruin it for me, but I can certainly understand how others wouldn't like that.

A lot of what I liked about the movie has already been said by CF, GAH & MB12, so I won't rehash everything, but one thing that wasn't mentioned....the scene where MacReady did the "blood test"....the tension there is so thick.  Each time MacReady touches the culture trays and only a puff of smoke appears, we let out a sigh of relief.   This goes on for a few minutes.   Everything is slow and deliberate and then MacReady turns and says to Garry that he's most likely the guilty party and that they'll wait to test his blood last.  After sitting the preceeding 3 or 4 intensely suspenseful "blood tests", that 10 second exchange diverts the viewers attention and sets us off-guard for Palmer’s blood test, making the result unexpected.  The payback makes us jump (made me jump anyway) and is just one small slice of awesomeness.

I guess, if there's still room.  Sign me up for the club.  I didn't want to join and not have time to promptly do reviews (I know I'll be on vacation for a week and half in August), but based on people's commitments to things like the Show Club and whatnot, I still think I'd me more active than some other Paugers.    :samurai:

Offline gah

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Re: The Thing
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2011, 10:57:17 AM »

A lot of what I liked about the movie has already been said by CF, GAH & MB12, so I won't rehash everything, but one thing that wasn't mentioned....the scene where MacReady did the "blood test"....the tension there is so thick.  Each time MacReady touches the culture trays and only a puff of smoke appears, we let out a sigh of relief.   This goes on for a few minutes.   Everything is slow and deliberate and then MacReady turns and says to Garry that he's most likely the guilty party and that they'll wait to test his blood last. After sitting the preceeding 3 or 4 intensely suspenseful "blood tests", that 10 second exchange diverts the viewers attention and sets us off-guard for Palmer’s blood test, making the result unexpected.  The payback makes us jump (made me jump anyway) and is just one small slice of awesomeness.


Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, that part WAS intense. It also contained one of my two favorite lines from them movie. The first being alreay mentioned when MacReady's like, Yeah Fuck you too! HA HA, was perfect. And the other was during this scene when Garry is found to be not infected, and he's like....wait, actually, I found it:

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Offline barnesy305

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Re: The Thing
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2011, 11:28:58 AM »
Now if you don't mind, I don't want to spend the rest of my tome here TIED TO THIS FUCKiNG COUCH! Yeah guess what was on Encore last night.

Offline khalpin

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Re: The Thing
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2011, 12:02:00 PM »
As a side note, there's another remake of The Thing currently in post-production: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0905372/

Offline cactusfan

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Re: The Thing
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2011, 12:45:58 PM »
As a side note, there's another remake of The Thing currently in post-production: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0905372/

they're calling it a prequel. it takes place at the norwegian camp.

i fear the worst.