The Thing is a 1982 American science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter, written by Bill Lancaster, and starring Kurt Russell. The film’s title refers to its primary antagonist: a parasitic extraterrestrial lifeform that assimilates other organisms and in turn imitates them. The Thing infiltrates an Antarctic research station, taking the appearance of the researchers that it assimilates, and paranoia develops within the group.
Carpenter’s film was a critical but commercial success. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. Lancaster’s script, based on the 1938 novella Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell, Jr., is considered one of the best horror screenplays. The film has spawned several sequels, prequels and comic books. In 2010, the Library of Congress selected The Thing for preservation in the National Film Registry, deeming it “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
The Thing is a masterclass in suspense and horror. Carpenter expertly ratchets up the tension, making the viewer feel the paranoia and fear that the characters are experiencing. The special effects are still impressive, and the creature design is truly nightmarish. The Thing is a must-see for fans of horror movies.
The Thing is a 1982 American science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter and written by Bill Lancaster. The film stars Kurt Russell as helicopter pilot R.J. MacReady, who finds himself caught up in the middle of a deadly conflict between a group of American scientists in Antarctica and a parasitic extraterrestrial lifeform that assimilates, then imitates other organisms.
The film’s setting and title refer to the events of the novella Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell, which was previously adapted into the 1951 film The Thing from Another World. Carpenter’s film expands upon the premise of the novella and depicts the Thing as an intelligent, shapeshifting entity that assimilates other organisms to survive and multiply, as opposed to the more straightforward portrayal of the creature in the earlier film.
The Thing is widely regarded as one of the best horror films of all time, and has been cited as a major influence on subsequent works in the genre.
Director: John Carpenter
Writer: Bill Lancaster
Actors: Kurt Russell, Keith David, Wilford Brimley
Release Year: 1982