I have been a huge fan of this film since I first saw it in the eighties.
And as much as I enjoyed the VHS I used to own with all its imperfections, scratches and grain this is the way to see the film.
I have been a fan on most of John Carpenters films, and throw in Kurt Russell and I reckon I'm in for a good film. This film delivers by the bucket load, the effects still stand up pretty well and the excellent cast deliver some equally excelent performances.
As mentioned above I enjoyed the film when I saw it on a well worn rented VHS, I then enjoyed it more on the new VHS I later bought and then loved it on DVD. And to be honest I thought that was as good as it gets, how wrong was I!
The Blu-ray disc delivers unsurpassed quality with detail showing up that was just not visible on DVD, ok I'll admit that in a few of the helicopter shots you can see a bit of grain/imperfection but those times are minimal.
The detail seen in shots such as when MacCready is in the dark holding a flare is superb.
I would even go as far as to say that this copy makes the film look bang up to date and its hard to believe its been around so long.
I would recommend that any fan of this film rush out to buy a Blu-ray player so they can eperience the best ever version!
And any sci-fi fans or even horror fans who have never seen this film then give it a go, I think you'll like it.
on 15 February 2007
If you can remember Alistair McLeans "Ice Station Zebra" then "The Thing" will really grip you with some stunning special effects and a superb atmosphere throughout the entire movie.
A group of scientists who have travelled to this remote ice station to carry out research discover a massive Flying Saucer imbedded in the ice, but unknown to them its occupant is hiding in a dark corner at their ice station base waiting to inhabit a human body and digest it from the inside out.
It is the suspense of not knowing what will happen next that makes this a trully great film.
The Alien creature has made its home inside the living body of one of the research scientists, and who do not know which one, until it breaks free in an incredibly graphic nature, hence the spectacular special effects associated with this Kurt Russell movie.
Possibly due to its slow pace it may not appeal to everyones taste, but when the alien form makes its apearence you soon realise this is a superb film with some simply stunning special effects.
Each member of the team soon realise that THE THING may be lurking in any one of their team and the not knowing who gives it a 5 star rating.
The scene that really steals the show has a canine flavour to it, and to tell you what happens will spoil the entire film.
If you enjoyed Alien then this film will certainly make the grade, but if a slow paced gripping drama is not for you then look elsewhere, but for gripping drama with incredible special effects this film is amongst the best out there.
"You'll never, ever, see anything like The Thing again."
-John Carpenter, 1997.
He's absolutely right. No one would have the nerve to make a film as disgusting as this in the current "let's not offend anybody at all, ever" climate. Without a single frame of CGI, the Thing shoves our faces right into Rob Bottin's gruesome make-up effects and proves that genuine, tangible prosthetics and monsters are a million times scarier than a cheap, obvious effect done on a computer in post-production.
I don't understand why people keep referring to this as a remake. It's far, far removed from Howard Hawks' version. Even Carpenter himself, a Hawks admirer, says that The Thing is it's own movie, and much closer to the original novella 'Who Goes There' by John W. Campbell Jnr.
Set in the lonely Antarctic, The Thing takes the form of a wolf and bounds across the snowscapes to a US research station, pursued by frantic, half-mad Norwegians. Unable to communicate with the English-speaking American team they end up dead before being to warn them that the cuddly dog is actually a hideous shape-shifting monster. The team eventually discover the wreck of an alien spaceship that has been entombed in the ice for at least 100, 000 years before the monster begins to wreak havoc at the research station, intent on consuming all of the humans and making it to civilization where it can take over the entire planet.
Fear and paranoia grow among the team as they desperately try to prove who is biologically human and who has been assimilated by The Thing. It's utterly horrific stuff, but it's not without its illogical moments and massive plot holes. The universal adoration of The Thing seems to forget that it doesn't make complete sense. Carpenter admits he lost track of who is and who isn't, which seems kinda lazy. Ambiguity can be a cheap way of maintaining uncertainty and Carpenter should have delivered a more focused and precise plot. Plus the paranoia was way overdone. By the halfway mark I reckon the fear among the men should have been merely implicit rather than verbally delivered at every opportunity.
It's rather strange, and fitting, that this movie also comes across as a big-screen adaptation of HP Lovecraft's 'At the Mountains of Madness', which also features research scientists in Antarctica discovering an ancient shape-shifting lifeform and losing their sanity.
Despite the problems, this is Carpenter's direction at its best, with long, slow, tracking cameras in gorgeous anamorphic Panavision, evocative lighting, and lonely minimalism. Even Ennio Morricone's score is very much restrained. The cast have their defining features mostly hidden beneath thick facial hair, but Kurt Russell once again proves why he is Carpenter's favorite lead, and the awesome Keith David provides plenty of badassness just with his mere presence.
The Blu Ray is in lovely 2.40:1 1080p with DTS HD-MA sound. Plenty of extras, and that weird U-Control 'thing' are also included.
Based on the 1930's short story "Who Goes There" by John W Campbell Jr (as was the 1950's film The Thing From Outer Space), "The Thing" is a masterpiece of horror movie-making.
The film has it all - action, suspense, paranoia and a great story-line. Carpenter's direction has never been better before or since and I think that is because the materials he had to work with were so inspired to start with.
Kurt Russell is comfortabe with his role as McCready and Wilford Brimley is excellent as Blair. In fact, the entire cast give strong performances as the men of the arctic base suddenly don't know who to trust. And that is what the story is essentially about - trust and not being able to rely upon appearances.
The film's sense of claustrophobic paranoia is excellent, and the story will keep you guessing right up to the end (and beyond).
If youhaven't seen "The Thing", I highly recommend you buy this DVD version of a classic horror tale.
on 21 August 2015
Not an easy film, nor relying on booo scenes, but in a gradually increasing fear, more focused on atmosphere than on scary scenes. Russel gives one of his best and most introspective performances. Good blu ray that transfer the almost abstract photography of the film.
on 7 February 2007
Released in 1982, The Thing was John Carpenter's 18-rated remake of the classic 1951 sci-fi horror The Thing From Another World. While both were based on John W Campbell's short novel Who Goes There?, Carpenter's version depicts the effects of the alien invader by using cutting-edge special effects, allowing the audience to more properly understand the fear and mistrust felt by the twelve men who are stranded with it in the middle of nowhere. The film is similar in some aspects to Ridley Scott's Alien, with both films featuring a handful of stranded individuals trying to defeat a seemingly unstoppable monster, which picks off the crew one-by-one. The Thing combines Carpenter's knack for creating classic horror films, such as the Halloween series, with Kurt Russell's own brand of action as seen in Carpenter's Escape From New York.
Like the 1951 version, Carpenter's film played on the climate of the time, with the invisible, blood-borne infection seen in the film being admittedly reminiscent of AIDS and other diseases which were at that time just beginning to surface. Although it failed to compete with ET - The Extra-Terrestrial, which was also released in 1982, The Thing became more popular during the 1990s as critics began to give the film greater regard, recognising the psychological aspects of the film instead of providing a knee-jerk reaction to the film's gore.
on 5 June 2014
THE THING performed badly at the box office. Some claim it was too bleak and pessimistic. It's a real pity, since THE THING is a superior sci-fi/horror flick well deserving its cult following.
Once again the movie's strong suit is the unique Carpenteresque atmosphere which his fantastic score plays a vital part in.
Kurt Russell (ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, ESCAPE FROM L.A.) is the main lead and he delivers an outstanding performance as R.J. MacReady (what a name!).
Supporting cast includes Wilford Brimley, T.K. Carter, David Clennon, Keith David, Richard Dysart, and Peter Maloney. Overall the acting is good, the characters are believable.
We get a believable and good story as well and I liked the setting - the Antarctic - which gives the movie this isolated and desperate feel.
The effects are dated, but it still is far superior to many of the Hollycrap garbage that gets released nowadays, however.
Reviewed version: 2003 Universal DVD
Feature running time: 104 mins. (uncut)
Rating: R (MPAA) / 18 (BBFC)
Aspect Ratio: 2.29:1 (non-anamorphic)
Audio: English 5.1, French 2.0, Italian 2.0, Spanish 1.0, Polish 1.0
Subtitles: English, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Danish, Czech
Extras: Theatrical Trailer, Making of, Commentary, Production Background Archive, Cast photos, Production art and storyboards, Location design, Archives, Outtakes, Post Production and other notes
Region: 2, 4
Picture quality: 2/5
Audio quality: 4/5
on 21 November 2008
I agree with C.A.Wyatt in that you should ignore the Amazon review here.
That review seems to paint a picture of it being bloody and also gory for gore's sake which would be misleading.
What's true to say about the film is that it's easily one of the best horror films you're ever likely to see. I think the synopsis describes it well.
As for the Blu-Ray transfer, it's a good 1080p transfer with DTS-HD audio, exactly the way it should be seen and heard.
A film worth seeing if you haven't and a great edition of the film for those who have.
on 9 January 2012
WOW.Believe it or not i had never seen The Thing until tonight.What an awesome movie.Bleak,gooey,paranoid...fantastic.Something that is truly shocking apart from not having seen it till now is the original critical savaging it recieved on it's original release.Everyone from the New York Times to Roger Egbert mauling the movie.Obviously these critics have revised their kneejerk opinions now but lordy lord...cast iron proof of the inherent idiocy,snobby,irrelevant agendas of critics.
I have even read a quote by John Carpenter saying how the failure of the movie hit him hard,even the director of the 50's Thing was dissing him along with supposed "sci fi" fans.Shocking.This is a perfect piece of genre movie making,also as with the best horror or sci fi movies you can apply metaphor to The Thing whether this be about disease or lack of trust between humans.
One can only assume that in 1982 there was only room for one alien,this being E.T.Sometimes films no matter how good just don't hit the jackpot.It could something as moronic as a title..."what's this thing The Thing?"
Maybe a film sent in the artic with a bunch of beardy men living in close quarters doesn't have that summertime box office appeal.Or as an audience we are totally redundant,ignorant.
Get this The Thing opened at the same time as Blade Runner.....gore blimey talk about double dribble!These two movies ON RELEASE we're treated awfully.Bloomin Spielberg hey!
The special effects in The Thing are truly special,i did wrench a couple of times.Amazing stuff.The work that went into this movie shows,definetly a labour of love.The Thing is awesome and easily settles its slimey bottom in my top five movies of all time.That John Carpenter for even a NANO SECOND thought this was any type of failure is a travesty.As the film has since flourished in the home market and gained considerable status Carpenter hopefully feels what he should always have felt HE WAS RIGHT.Yeah Carpenter made a few stinkies but....HALLOWEEN,ASSAULT ON...,THE FOG,ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK,BIG TROUBLE...GENIUS.Sod Coppola give me Carpenter any day.Guy is a god.
All in all i think you can gather i rather liked The Thing.I am going to say this for the very first time as i can
THEY DON'T MAKE THEM LIKE THEY USED TO.
on 21 September 2008
The Thing is an example of how a remake can sometimes surpass the original and is now well regarded as a modern classic, often listed among the greatest sci-fi/horror movies of all time. Directed with style and guile, this is easily one of Carpenters best movies. The film mixes moments of tension and suspense with horror and even moments of wit and humour. If you have never seen this film, and are a fan of intelligent film craft with suspense and tension over guns and action, do yourself a favour and buy this film - everything down to its Ennio Morricone soundtrack screams classic.
For me, this ranks alongside Alien as a contender for one of the best genre movies ever made.