The Thing

dir. John Carpenter

Series - Retrospective

Series - Retrospective

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Released in the summer of E.T. to resoundingly poor box-office and critical reception, John Carpenter's big-budget remake of Howard Hawks' 1950s sci-fi classic has since been reclaimed as a modern masterpiece of the genre.

After a bizarre run-in with a fleeing husky and a helicopter full of manic, trigger-happy Norwegians, the crew of an American research station in the snowy wastes of Antarctica realizes that they have been invaded by a deadly alien parasite which can ingest and perfectly imitate any biological organism. Led by boozy chopper pilot MacReady (Kurt Russell, in sombrero and windswept hair), the men desperately try to determine which — or how many — of them are "the thing" before they are all taken over. The second, and far more faithful, adaptation of John W. Campbell's story "Who Goes There?" (following Howard Hawks' classic 1951 version), John Carpenter's suspenseful, atmospheric and relentlessly gruesome sci-fi/horror opus sports astonishing (and astonishingly repulsive) creature creations courtesy of SFX wizards Rob Bottin and Stan Winston, marking it as a milestone of pre-CGI special effects films.