The Thing (1982)

Now here is a predicament. I suddenly find its Friday and after an insanely busy week I find I have no new films to watch. Not a total disaster though as a friend of mine recently suggested reviewing some old classics might be a good idea. So I search through the shelves hunting for that elusive must watch classic and instead settled on one of the founding films from my teenage years. A film that gave more than one sleepless night I will admit. Yes The Thing was about to thaw out and get yet another outing.

Starring Kurt Russell and directed by John Carpenter it could hardly be a complete flop but this is in fact a pure alien horror masterpiece with effects made entirely by hand and camera trickery it is starting to look dated but that only adds to its appeal for me. There’s something about CG that makes it less believable despite “looking” more. That doesn’t make sense but it’s my review so tough :)

Before this film there was a book and the original film The Thing from Another World (1951) but the two didn’t really marry up. Back in 1951 film special effects just couldn’t bring the kind of assimilation of life forms and tense mystery in the book to life, don’t get me wrong, I have seen the original not that long ago and its good but nothing like the original story. John Carpenter really does it justice, there’s no end to the dilemma faced by the occupants of the polar base, and the ensuing bedlam is gripping. The fun kicks off pretty much straight away in the kennel with heads splitting open and doesn’t let up even for a breather for the rest of the film. Who can forget the disembodied head scuttling across the floor on spindly spider legs, awesome.

The end of the film is a heart stopping “OMG what now!” moment that was never followed up much to my chagrin. I have wished for a sequel ever since and nobody has taken the chance despite every single other franchise being done to death. In truth I’m half glad that there hasn’t been one because the beauty of imagination and beer induced pondering has kept the film alive and unspoiled to the generation that grew up with it. On the other hand technology has moved on so far now that the possibilities for the genre are huge. Oh and as if by magic! Whilst researching for this review I came across a rumour article on IMDB dated 6th Jan 2010 that states:

Production Weekly is saying that the prequel to “The Thing” will start shooting in Toronto in March. This is Universal’s prequel to John Carpenter‘s 1982 classic which was a remake of the 1951 film “The Thing from Another World” based on a short story by John W. Campbell Jr.

Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. is set to direct from a screenplay by Ronald D. Moore and Eric Heisserer. The prequel will examine how the mutation came about from the Carpenter film.

Well prod me with a fish fork and call me Nigel, that’s an uncanny coincidence and I am now clawing at the net in search of more information. All I have found so far suggests it is the story of the Norwegian camp that unearthed the thing from its ship buried in the polar cap. I am all excited now, let’s hope it’s not a straight to DVD half assed affair.

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