|Rating: The Good – 89.3
Genre: Science Fiction, Horror
Duration: 109 mins
Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David
Arguably the greatest creature feature of them all, John Carpenter’s isolation horror is an atmospheric ensemble piece about a group of scientists based in Antarctica whose research station becomes infiltrated by a shape shifting alien bent on killing all of them and assuming their form. Carpenter’s talent for creating a sense of detachment has always been unrivaled and he brings all those skills to bear here as he creates a taut and paranoid ambiance to complement the on-screen action.
There’s an ingeniously anarchic pulse to Carpenter’s conception of the creature and its biological and psychological make-up. The lack of consistency in how quickly it undergoes change, the wild and manic shapes and forms it adopts to achieve its immediate and longer term goals, the impenetrability of its motivations while taking on those varied forms. This essential unpredictability works together with Rob Bottin’s spellbinding special effects to create the kind of unique sense of foreboding all the truly great horrors are responsible for.
Speaking of Bottin’s now legendary effects, they were certainly revolutionary at the time but they haven’t really dated even after 30 years. Ennio Morricone’s score plays a big part in setting the film’s pace and it’s a glowing compliment to Carpenter that the great maestro adapted his style to that of other Carpenter scores. The acting is first rate throughout and while there are too many top actors on show to name, Kurt Russell deserves special mention as the grisly MacReady. Over the years, The Thing has become part of cinema legend and rightly so as there are few horrors so comprehensively well made.© Copyright 2013 Derek D, All rights Reserved. Written For: movieshrink.com