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The Thing (1982)

R  |   |  Horror, Sci-Fi  |  25 June 1982 (USA)
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 222,256 users  
Reviews: 884 user | 280 critic

Scientists in the Antarctic are confronted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of the people that it kills.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Dr. Blair (as A. Wilford Brimley)
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Charles Hallahan ...
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Windows (as Thomas Waites)
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Norwegian Passenger with Rifle (as Larry Franco)
Nate Irwin ...
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Storyline

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. The helicopter pursuing the dog explodes, eventually leaving no explanation for the chase. During the night, the dog mutates and attacks other dogs in the cage and members of the team that investigate. The team soon realizes that an alien life-form with the ability to take over other bodies is on the loose and they don't know who may already have been taken over. Written by Goth <brooks@odie.ee.wits.ac.za>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Look closely at your neighbour ... Trust no-one ... They might be THE THING [UK video box] See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

25 June 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's The Thing  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,107,897 (USA) (2 July 1982)

Gross:

$13,782,838 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producers Lawrence Turman and David Foster's first choice of director was John Carpenter. This however was rejected by Universal as they had Tobe Hooper under contract. Hooper submitted two screenplay drafts, neither of which were liked by the powers that be. In the meantime, Ridley Scott's Alien (1979) and John Carpenter's Halloween (1978) had both come out and been monster hits so Universal reconsidered and hired Carpenter. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 15 mins) When the Doctor goes to hit Norris with the defibrillator the second time, his hands change position as the camera cuts from one angle to another. As he starts the move the paddles are coming down side-by-side on the man's chest, just like the previous time. The camera cuts to a close up, an effects shot where the chest cavity opens up as a sort of mouth and swallows Dr. Copper's arms. This time the paddles are coming down laterally aligned with Norris' sternum, rather than side by side, as they started. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Childs: Fire's got the temperature up all over the camp. Won't last long though.
MacReady: Neither will we.
Childs: How will we make it?
MacReady: Maybe we shouldn't.
Childs: If you're worried about me...
MacReady: If we've got any surprises for each other, I don't think we're in much shape to do anything about it.
Childs: Well, what do we do?
MacReady: Why don't we just... wait here for a little while... see what happens?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 100 Greatest Scary Moments (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

DON'T EXPLAIN
Music by Billie Holiday (uncredited)
Lyrics by Arthur Herzog Jr. (uncredited)
Performed by Billie Holiday
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Right up there with "Halloween"--one of Carpenter's best!
6 December 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Remake of the classic 1951 "The Thing From Another World". 12 men are in a completely isolated station in Antartica. They are invaded by a thing from outer space--it devours and completely duplicates anything it chooses to. It starts off as a dog but gets loose--and has a chance to duplicate any of the men. Soon, nobody trusts anyone else--they're isolated--the radio is destroyed--their helicopter likewise. What are they going to do?

The 1951 film had the thing just be a big, super human monster. That movie was scary. This one is too--but the story is different (and based more closely on the source material--the novelette "Who Goes There?") and it's scary in a different way. The movie starts right off with Ennio Morricone's extremely eerie score setting just the right tone and--when the Thing gets attacked--the amount of gore is astounding. There's blood and body parts flying all over--arms are bitten off, heads detach and--in the strongest one--one man is devoured face first by the Thing. The gore effects are STRONG and real nightmare material. I don't scare easy but I had to sleep with the lights on when I saw this originally back in 1982. Rob Bottin's effects are just incredible--how this picture got by with an R rating is beyond me!

It also has a very creepy feel--gore aside, it is very suspenseful. You're not sure who is what and Carpenter's direction and the score really build up the tension. One complaint--no one is given any distinctive personality traits. They actors just remain straight-faced and say their lines. That's annoying...but the movie still works.

This was a critical and commercial disaster in 1982--it competed with "E.T." and MANY critics complained about the amount of gore and there being no female characters in the movie. It's now considered one of John Carpenter's best. A must-see...for strong stomaches. NOT a date film!

An amusing note: When this was released Universal sent a note along with all prints of the film. They suggested to theatre owners that they play the film in an auditorium near the rest rooms. They were afraid that people would be so sickened by the violence that they'd have to be close to a facility to throw up!


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Childs calling Mac a murderer gtrbxer
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