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The Thing

USA 1982. Dir: John Carpenter. 109 min. DCP

VII. Classics from Hollywood North
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“The ultimate in alien terror!” John Carpenter’s big-budget remake of 1951’s The Thing from Another World — or, rather, a re-adaptation of its source, John W. Campbell’s 1938 novella Who Goes There? — was shot on location in wintry Stewart, B.C., and features spectacular (and spectacularly gory) special effects. Kurt Russell heads the ensemble cast of this tale of American researchers at an Antarctic base who discover a frozen alien lifeform. The musical score is by Ennio Morricone — a departure for Carpenter, who typically scores his own movies. Reviewers of the day considered The Thing a failure; it subsequently gained a cult following and is now often cited as a horror classic. It was released the same day as Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, another initial “disappointment” later elevated by cult status and critical reassessment.


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REVIEWS

"Carpenter's masterpiece."

The Guardian | full review

"A peerless masterpiece of relentless suspense, retina-wrecking visual excess, and outright, nihilistic terror."

Empire | full review