Wednesday, November 9, 2011
The Thing (1982) Review
Ah, The Thing. This film is legendary, many call it one of the best science fiction films of all time. I know I know, I should have watched this a long time ago. I was actually going to watch Thor for the second time, but it wasn't working, so I hit up Netflix. I've had this film in my Instant Queue for awhile, so I finally decided to check it out. I haven't seen the original, or read the short story it's based on, so this review will be completely toward the film.
The plot follows a bunch of Americans in Antarctica. However, they soon realized that they are not alone. When a dog and a helicopter after it comes to the camp, it ignites a chain of events. Something sinister is lurking in the camp, taking control of its victims. The people don't know who to trust, because it could be in any of them.............
Wow, according to Wikipedia, this film did awful in the box office. Apparently it was released alongside the famous ET. (Which is a far inferior film by the way.) Since it's release on on home video, people began to appreciate it more. Me being a sci-fi alien film maniac, I had to check this out. I knew it was going to be well-made, but it really blew away my expectations, The characters are good, and the Thing is one unique creepy monster.
Kurt Russel plays the main character. While watching the first part, I thought he wasn't going to be that great, but as the film went on, he was truly very good. The rest of the characters are surprisingly more than the average side-characters, they really contribute, especially Doctor Blair. There are some really tense scenes with these guys, and it really, really felt suspenseful. As Russel was doing the blood test, my eyes were wide with anticipation. However, it wasn't the actors that gave the best performance, it was the dog in the beginning who was the best.
The Thing is very similar to Alien, both with plot and tone. I actually preferred this film, I actually found it more creepier, and I am hardly ever creeped-out by films. There are some amazing scenes in this film, the one where the Thing shows itself in the dog cage was truly something else. The scene where the Doctor is attempting to revive Norris and the ladder's torso transforms into a giant mouth which bites off the Doctor's arms is one of the most sinister and unexpected scenes I've ever seen in a film. The final scene where the Thing reveals it's true face was truly amazing, though sadly short-lived. The effects are truly spectacular, and you have to consider that this film was made over twenty years ago, yet the effects still hold up. Amazing.
I didn't like the ending. Sure, I know these type of films sometimes have open-minded endings, but it felt a little anti-climatic. There are some plot holes, like it was never revealed who messed with blood. The final scene with the Thing was awesome, yes, but it was rather disposed of TOO quickly. I would have liked it to do more for the climax. And I'm not sure if this was a goof, but in the scene where most of the characters were tied to a chair, one of them yells, "Untie me from this chair!" Then in the very next frame, he's un-tied, there was no scene with him being un-tied, it was a bit funny. Also, it was never said exactly why the Americans were in the Arctic, where they there for government reasons? Are they doing illegal activities? It's never said. The soundtrack is eerie and fits the mood, but could have been better in my opinion.
Overall, The Thing earns the title of one of the greatest science fiction films of all time, joining the ranks of Aliens and Cloverfield. With it's good cast, excellent monster/alien, tense/eerie scenes, and spectacular effects, The Thing is not to be missed.