Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Thing (John Carpenter)

The thing.

Film Review Archive (date seen: September 19, 2010)

Pure exercise in paranoid filmmaking, with a very exceptional science fiction concept (quite reminiscent of "The Invasion of the Body Snatchers") as a canvas for the blood and gore, the suspense and tension. The story is quite fundamental, a bunch of people in one place hunted by a mysterious force. With this simple premise, it all comes down to how it was executed.

Helped by the very impressive special effects by Rob Bottin, "The Thing" is a significant film that relentlessly explores the human condition if enclosed in such a hellish situation. Kurt Russell was great as Macready, a character that I think has established a cult following as one of the all-time great heroes of the horror/sci-fi genre.

But when you look at it, he never possesses any characteristics identifiable with such. He never set on to save anybody but himself, purely relying all of his actions to his id. But maybe it's these kinds of traits that all of us viewers like to see from a protagonist: an everyman facing an otherworldly predicament. A nobody in complete survival mode.

While watching "The Thing", the tagline of Ridley Scott's "Alien" repeatedly recurs in my mind (come on, don't pretend you don't know!) and I thought, it never needs to reach space; Antarctica in its vast icy glory is enough to inspire deaf ears, deep fears, and loud screams.


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