The Thing

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“The Thing” is a 1982 film directed by John Carpenter. It’s a horror/sci-fi which has had great success with critics and audiences and is considered a masterpiece.

The plot follows a group of scientists and technicians on a mission to Antarctica, who are soon attacked by an alien creature that can take the shape of anyone. The thing, in fact, is able to perfectly replicate every living organism that comes into contact with it, casting doubt on the identity and safety of every member of the base.

The film is known for innovative and realistic special effects for its time, creating a strong atmosphere of tension and anxiety among the viewers. Furthermore, the cast is outstanding, with Kurt Russell in the title role and other actors such as Keith David, Wilford Brimley and Donald Moffat.

The storyline of the film also inspired various sequels, remakes and derivative works, but Carpenter’s original film is still considered a point of reference for the sci-fi genre and horror.

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Plot

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The story of “The Thing” follows a group of twelve scientists and technicians who work at an isolated research base in Antarctica. One day, the men discover a husky being chased by a helicopter that shoots to kill it. The scientists decide to rescue the dog and take him to the base, but soon discover that the animal is actually an alien creature capable of transforming into any living form it comes into contact with.

The thing begins to kill and replicate the scientists perfectly, questioning the identity of each member of the base and creating a strong tension between the men. Kurt Russell plays the lead, R.J. MacReady, a helicopter pilot who leads the group’s efforts to fight the alien creature and survive the horrific situation they find themselves in.

As the situation grows more desperate, the scientists try to figure out how to kill the creature and stop it from taking over the base. The fight for survival becomes increasingly difficult as the Thing keeps replicating itself and taking control of every member of the base.

The plot develops in a dark and surprising way, up to a final climax that will leave the viewer breathless. “The Thing” is a film that skilfully mixes horror and science, and which creates an atmosphere of tension and anxiety that makes you passionate and scary at the same time.

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Movie Characters

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Here is a list of the main characters from the movie “The Thing”:

  • R.J. MacReady (played by Kurt Russell): is the protagonist of the story, a helicopter pilot who becomes the leader of the group in the fight against the alien creature.
  • Dr. Blair (played by Wilford Brimley): is one of the members of the base and an expert in biology. Try to understand how the alien creature works and how to defeat it.
  • Childs (played by Keith David): is another member of the base and one of MacReady’s main allies in the fight against the Thing.
  • Garry (played by Donald Moffat): is the commander of the base, but his authority is questioned due to the events that occur.
  • Palmer (played by David Clennon): He is a technician on the base and one of the first to be infected by the thing.
  • Norris (played by Charles Hallahan): is another member of the base who becomes infected by the thing.
  • Bennings (played by Peter Maloney): is another technician of the base who becomes infected by the thing.

There are other minor characters in the story as well, but these are the main protagonists in the fight against the alien creature.

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Production

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The film “The Thing” was produced by Universal Pictures and directed by John Carpenter, who also composed the film score together with Ennio Morricone. The film was released in theaters in 1982.

The film’s budget was around $15 million, which was quite a large amount for the time. The production chose to shoot the film in a studio in Los Angeles instead of shooting in Antarctica for logistical and economic reasons.

To create the alien creature’s special effects, the production used a combination of techniques including miniature models, puppets, animatronics and make-up. The special effects were done by Rob Bottin, who took nearly a year to complete.

The film initially met with mixed reviews and underwhelming box office success, but over the years it has become a cult favorite of sci-fi and horror cinema thanks to its gloomy and claustrophobic atmosphere, intriguing plot and innovative special effects.

Distribution and Reception

“The Thing” was released in U.S. theaters on June 25, 1982 and was moderately successful at the box office, earning approximately $19.6 million in the United States.

Critics were initially somewhat divided towards the film, with some reviews calling it too violent and bloody. However, over the years, the film has gained renewed acclaim from critics and audiences, becoming a cult favorite of science fiction and horror cinema.

Today, “The Thing” is considered one of John Carpenter’s masterpieces and one of the best science fiction films of the 80s. The film also received several accolades, including the Saturn Award for Best Visual Effects in 1983.

Additionally, “The Thing” has inspired several remakes and adaptations, including a 2002 video game titled “The Thing” and a 2011 prequel titled “The Thing”, which chronicles the events preceding the 1982 film. However , none of these adaptations have been able to replicate the success and influence of the original film.

Style

“The Thing” is a science fiction and horror film that stands out for its dark and claustrophobic style. Most of the film takes place inside a research station in Antarctica, where the crew members try to survive the threat of the alien creature.

The film is known for its dark and foreboding atmosphere, created both through the dark and haunting cinematography and through the score by John Carpenter and Ennio Morricone, which uses screeching and haunting sound effects.

Furthermore, the film also uses a number of innovative directing and editing techniques to build tension and suspense. Carpenter uses shadow and light to create a sense of uncertainty and mystery, and uses frequent close-ups of the actors to show the intensity of their emotions and psychological state.

Finally, “The Thing” is known for its innovative and high-level special effects, which created an extremely detailed and terrifying alien creature. Special effects were done by Rob Bottin, who used a combination of techniques including miniature models, puppets, animatronics and make-up to create the creature. The use of practical special effects instead of CGI makes the film even more impressive and realistic.

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Anecdotes and Curiosities

Here are some anecdotes and curiosities about the film “The Thing”:

  • The film was inspired by a short story by John W. Campbell Jr. called “Who Goes There?”. It had once been loosely adapted into the 1951 film by Howard Hawks e Christian Nyby “The Thing from Another World”.
  • The film’s cast consisted mainly of little-known actors at the time, including Kurt Russell, who previously worked with Carpenter on Escape from New York, but only got the lead role in the film after other actors such as Nick Nolte and Jeff Bridges had turned him down.
  • The film was shot largely inside a studio in Los Angeles, where a replica of the Antarctic research station was rebuilt.
  • During the filming of the film, the cast and crew had to endure extremely low temperatures inside the set, due to the fact that the air conditioning was kept very low to create the illusion of cold.
  • The film’s special effects were done by Rob Bottin, who was only 22 at the time and just starting his career in the special effects industry. Bottin worked nearly a year on the film, creating the alien creature using a combination of techniques including miniature models, puppets, animatronics and make-up.
  • The score for the film was composed by John Carpenter and Ennio Morricone, who worked together to create an eerie and haunting score. Morricone composed most of the soundtrack, while Carpenter took care of the more electronic and synthetic parts.
  • The film has a scene where a character plays a game of chess with a computer, which has been inserted to demonstrate the advanced technology of the research station in Antarctica. In reality, the chess game was rigged, and the computer was unable to play chess.
  • During the filming of the film, the cast and crew were faced with a number of technical and special effects problems, which caused delays and additional costs for the production. However, director John Carpenter has stated that these issues actually helped create more tension and suspense in the film.

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Director

The director of “The Thing” is John Carpenter, one of the most important directors of horror movies and sci-fi from the 80s. Carpenter has also been involved in the production and writing of many of his films, and is known for his ability to create eerie and suggestive atmospheres.

Carpenter has directed many other cult horror and sci-fi films, including ‘Halloween’, ‘The Mist’, ‘Vampires’ and ‘Ghosts of Mars’. Furthermore, he also composed many of his film scores, which have become equally iconic and influential.

Throughout his career, Carpenter has received numerous awards and accolades for his work, including the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Sitges International Film Festival in 1999 and the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Saturn Awards in 2002. Although Carpenter has not filmed many films in recent years, his work continues to be much loved and influential among fans of the horror and sci-fi genre.

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