The Thing is an alien life form with the power to imitate. Once it has latched onto a living thing it can devour and make a replica. A pretty scary power when you consider your best friend may be The Thing. Or the old lady across the road. Or maybe even myself. How can we totally be sure without taking a blood test? And I’m not going near any needles.
Slow but steady is the pacing for The Thing. We see a group of men holed up in an Antarctic research base, some place in America. Isolated from the rest of the world the group meet a crazy Norwegian guy who wants to kill their dog. After sorting things out in a gentlemanly manner, a few head out to investigate. What we see is destruction of a base worse than any house party after effects, and a lot of people are a bit dead. We can only assume our gang of characters are going to face a similar fate, The Thing is hard to find, but when seen the desire to vomit fast approaches. With some rather sticky looking models, The Thing can be a disgusting looking movie and makes for a real gore porn. For those who get off to that sort of thing.
Once the story picks up we have the mystery of which people are The Thing. It could be anyone and guessing who’s who is the fun of the game. A shame the characters are a little underdeveloped, but the protagonist R.J. MacReady (Kurt Russell) quickly becomes a favourite to support. The rest have little characteristics, but many come across as being as possible menace to the operation, and I forget their names. The chills come from not knowing and the big tension kicks in as the cast become isolated with one another and tests are discovered on how to find The Thing. Taking out the alien, the film shows the truth of human nature. Trust is hard to come by and people can easily lose their cool. For that, The Thing remains a slow, but engaging horror. Hopefully the upcoming prequel isn’t going to tarnish the original.