I had the extreme pleasure of having Kevin Carr, a film critic for the website A Fat Guy at the Movies, contribute his review and his experience with John Carpenter's The Thing. Now, to kind of be fair I will provide a review from a pretty well known online film source and an average movie watching Joe. So now I present to you, Kevin's account of The Thing!
When I was a in about the first grade, my father took me to several community screenings of classic science fiction movies, including “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” “Village of the Damned” and “The Thing from Another World.” I loved all three and (with the exception of “Damned”), I eagerly watched the remakes as soon as I was able to.
But John Carpenter’s “The Thing” was more than a remake. It went back to the original source material (which was greatly improved upon with the film adaptation, something exceedingly rare in movies) and became its own film, as if it were an original. Because I was only eleven when “The Thing” came out (and VCRs were still new technology back then), I didn’t get a chance to see it until I was in high school. So late one night, I caught it as a rental with a buddy of mine. We were enthralled with it. It was shocking, gory, terrifying and at times hilarious.
To this day, even after not seeing each other for years, my buddy and I can look at each other and say, “You’ve gotta be fucking kidding...” and we’ll break out into laughter.
For the better part of three decades, I revisit “The Thing” on DVD now and again, and I am impressed each time. With the exception of some outdated computer monitors and chess programs, this film is as close to being timeless as a movie can be. The effects hold up for the most part, and I challenge even the best effects wizards of the day to achieve the same level of terror with traditional latex and fake blood that Rob Bottin managed back in 1982.
A few years back, I started a tradition of watching the movie, not during the Halloween season but rather on Christmas Eve while I wrap my kids’ presents. It’s a strange tradition, I’ll admit, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun. I can watch that movie over and over again and always love it. “You’ve gotta be fuckin’ kidding,” you say? Well, I swear this isn’t voodoo bullshit.