June 20, 2015
The Thing (1982).
Review #712: The Thing.
Kurt Russell (MacReady), Keith David (Childs), Wilford Brimley (Blair), Donald Moffat (Garry), T. K. Carter (Nauls), Richard Masur (Clark), David Clennon (Palmer), Charles Hallahan (Norris), Richard Dysart (Copper), Peter Maloney (Bennings), Joel Polis (Fuchs), and Thomas G. Waites (Windows) Directed by John Carpenter (#068 - Halloween and #634 - Escape from New York)
The original movie (#519 - The Thing from Another World) was good in being straightforward and not playing fast and loose with the tension while being a fine movie. The Thing? It flat out rules. You could ask yourself two questions on how to judge special effects. How do you judge them: On how they look or the level of believability? Does it matter if the effects are practical or CGI? As for me, I go on how they work with regards to the movie, which in this case is exceptional. Some criticize the movie for the disgusting nature of the effects, and it didn't help that E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Blade Runner were released around the same time as this, which is why the movie wasn't a big success when it came out in 1982. It's been over thirty years, but the movie has a cult following, and it could be attributed to the movie being successful at establishing tense drama, the chiller atmosphere, Kurt Russell's beard, the soundtrack, or the creativity of the special effects. The cast does a good job at establishing tension within the crew, with Russell being effective as the leader and at handing the action. The atmosphere is as tense as can be in the Antarctic, especially with the sets and chilly weather and mood. I like the music mainly because it is the perfect tone for a movie as tense as this one, especially the opening theme, which reoccurs throughout. This is a movie for late night viewership, for anyone who just wants a good thrill while also experiencing 80's cinema, Brimley's outburst midway through, and a Carpenter classic.
Overall, I give it 9 out of 10 stars.