October 13, 2011

Horror-A-Day: The Thing

Now this is what I'm talking about. Following days of miniature critters doing nasty things and would be slashers stinking up the joint, after lackluster zombies and cannibalistic Southern ghosts, I have found a worthy movie. After days of complaining about my own bad choices for my decision to watch at least one horror a day for October, I have finally watched one which can be called an all time great, a classic of the genre, not to mention a must watch for any movie fan. Of course, I already knew these things going in, it wasn't a first watch, and I had ulterior motives for watching it.

The movie is The Thing, John Carpenter's brilliant updating (to 1982) of the science fiction classic The Thing from Another World. It is amazing to think that when this was first released it was critically panned and did not do all that well. It just goes to show that you cannot always judge a movies place in history based on your initial reaction. I know I have changed my mind more than a few times over the years on the quality of a movie.

Anyway, what else can be said about this movie that hasn't already been said? I feel like it doesn't really matter what I have to say about, and that is probably true of a lot of movies (or any of them, depending on your point of view). We all know that it is filled with great suspense, some incredible visceral horror, some solid performances led by Kurt Russell, and a nice atmospheric score from Ennio Morricone.

The movie opens with a dog being chased across the ice by a helicopter with a man hanging out of it shooting a rifle. The American base is trying to figure out what is going on, but the men are not interested in talking, besides they are Norwegian and don't speak English. Before long, our cast as the dog and the pursues are dead. Now comes the time when they have to figure out what just went down.

They discover the alien, learn what it can do and try to figure out how to combat it and keep themselves from being taken over by said thing.

Seriously, this is a fantastic movie that has not lost anything in the near thirty years since its release. The Blu-ray is sharp and crisp with great level of detail and the audio is clear and foreboding with the pulsing score.

The Thing is a high water mark for practical effects. If you want to see how good they can be, watch this movie. There is no way any computer generated effects could replace or replicate what was achieved here, from the reveal of the dog, to the spider head bit. This is a seriously awesome film.

This is a movie I have seen a number of times over the years and have long been a fan of. His likely invalidates my position as a reviewer, I feel I am just rambling on and on about the strength of the film. It is one of Jose movies that jus works on multiple levels, there are copious amounts of blood for the gore hound and plenty of suspense to keep you involved, it will suck you in and make you jump, all before leaving you wondering at the end with its deliciously nebulous conclusion.

Without wanting to ramble on too much longer, let me just stop here with a high recommendation. John Carpenter carved his place in horror history with this, if it had not already been down with Halloween.

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