Halloween Scene: The Thing (1982)

For the longest time I thought the man on this poster was either an astronaut or a deep sea diver. Just figured I’d throw that out there. I don’t remember when I first watched The Thing. Unlike a lot of other classic horror flicks, I don’t have a specific memory of watching this one. I kind of think it might have been relatively recently, like in the last six years since I moved out to New York, but I could be wrong. It doesn’t really matter, but I try to put a personal spin on these things because otherwise, I’m just another guy writing about how great John Carpenter’s The Thing is.

And it really is awesome. I’m still more partial to Halloween, but The Thing easily makes its way into my top 10 favorite horror flicks. It just does such a great job of building tension, making the audience question what’s going on and ultimately leaving us with an awesomely ambiguous ending. Plus, the special effects just can’t be beat. A few things like the space ship in the very beginning and the shot of the men around the crater look not-so-great, but you forget all that as soon as the dog explodes or the head sprouts legs.

I’m actually glad that I haven’t seen this movie a ton of times like some of my other favorites because I had forgotten enough of the beats and details to keep things interesting. But, that’s another great thing about this movie, you might think that having it fresh in your brain would mean you wouldn’t be surprised, but much like The Usual Suspects, I would imagine knowing all the details would mean you can watch for signs of who’s not themselves.

Layers upon layers. That’s what makes for a great movie in my book. The Thing was actually the third horror movie I watched today after House Of Fears and The Stay Awake. I didn’t have high expectations for either, but was surprised by a pair of interesting openings, one surprisingly good looking and the other awesomely weird. But, they both kind of devolved into average, run of the mill horror. I’ll admit, I missed chunks of both towards the end, which is why I didn’t review them in greater detail. But, I did wind up being unexpectedly interested only to be eventually disappointed. To be fair, though, Stay Awake not only had a fun title, but also was weird enough to probably warrant a viewing. However, it’s nowhere near as good as something like The Thing, which is nearly perfect all around.

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