The Thing (1982)
The Thing is one of the first scary movies I remember watching with my mom when I was younger (I’m pretty sure it’s mostly her fault that I love scary movies as much as I do), and I’m happy to report that 30-some years later, it’s still a great movie.
Sure, the special effects aren’t always believable and the technology is a bit outdated, but The Thing is a shining example of what the right cast can do in the hands of an amazing director like John Carpenter.
It’s definitely made for the big screen — there are some highly tense moments mixed with interesting camera angles, and the detail and impact can get lost on smaller displays. But don’t worry! The perfectly executed background music, incredible acting (and storytelling), and creepy as hell things won’t let you escape the mounting terror no matter how you’re watching.
Not everything still works today. I laughed a little when the computer simulation spit out complete sentences to describe the potential global impact the alien intruder could bring, and when everyone gathered around the VCR (particularly for the reruns of Let’s Make a Deal). The fight scenes were not entirely believable (I love Keith David, but I don’t think he’s faster than a speeding bullet), and the gore looked like…well, like it was made in the 80’s.
But it works — The Thing is still a well done, terrifying movie. And let’s face it,”Man is the warmest place to hide” is a fantastic tag line.
Of course, we all know who the real star of this film is.
…Kurt Russell’s hair.