The Thing Review

Image for The Thing

An American scientific expedition to the frozen wastes of the Antarctic is interrupted by a group of seemingly mad Norwegians pursuing and shooting a dog. Only the dog survives the crash but the scientists soon wish they hadn't taken it in.


A parasitic alien infiltrates an arctic research centre in John Carpenter's 1982 body horror classic. "You've got to be fucking kidding." Not only one of the great "zinger" lines of all time, but pretty much the reaction of slack-jawed audiences who either gazed in shock at John Carpenters' The Thing, or more likely, as the film was pretty much a flop on its first release, picked up their popcorn and flounced into the next screen where there was some girly alien or other trying to phone home.

In fact, The Thing is a peerless masterpiece of relentless suspense, retina-wrecking visual excess and outright, nihilistic terror, placing 12 men at an Antarctic station while a shapeshifter takes them over one by one. The slimy effects stand up to this day, Ennio Morricone's score is fantastic and the ensemble acting is played entirely straight as suspicion and paranoia overwhelm the characters. If you have seen it you'll know where that zinger comes from. If you haven't, well just do. And try to keep your head. And the menus are accompanied by Ennio Morricone's fantastic score

Back in 1997 Carpenter told Empire that "You'll never, ever, see anything like The Thing again." Like MacReady and Childs we're still waiting. We might be for a long time yet.