The Thing is about an unknown antagonist that attacks a group of explorers in an isolated station at Antarctica. It’s an infectious organism that consumes its prey and then imitates its physical appearance. The symptoms are unrecognizable. It’s a mystery where characters don’t fully realize the situation and must guess where the monster is. This creates despair in their lack of security and an effective movie thriller.
An intense and bearded Kurt Russell stars in the lead role and is surrounded by familiar faces like Donald Moffat and Keith David. Directed by John Carpenter, it is about scares and props. It employs expert special effects that use pyrotechnics, models, gross carvings, slimy strings, and elastic goo that convey wet tissue. It’s the second film adaptation of the novella by John Campbell Jr. entitled “Who goes there?” The nearness of danger and pain is there. Memorable scenes are many including an unbearable sight of wolf dogs undergoing mutation and a couple of the men who go through a similar effect. What doesn’t work too well for the story though is the lack of explanation for characters to walk off alone or allow someone to be by themselves considering the creature could be anywhere. But what really succeeds is the suspense, the music(by Ennio Morricone), and anxiety over guessing which character is infected. And off course how the cinematography(by Dean Cundey) moves around station.