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The Thing (1982)

R  |   |  Horror, Sci-Fi  |  25 June 1982 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 233,169 users  
Reviews: 895 user | 285 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 overview, first billed only:
Dr. Blair (as A. Wilford Brimley)
Charles Hallahan ...
Windows (as Thomas Waites)
Norwegian Passenger with Rifle (as Larry Franco)
Nate Irwin ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The ultimate in alien terror. See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

25 June 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's The Thing  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


$13,782,838 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


John Carpenter has stated that of all his films, this is his personal favorite. See more »


During the many interior scenes where the flamethrowers was used, resulting in large fires being started and then extinguished by the characters, the rooms the fires were in would be left with thick choking & blinding smoke, yet you see the rooms are always smoke free after the fires are put out. See more »


Nauls: Where are we goin'?
MacReady: Up to my shack.
Nauls: What the hell for?
MacReady: 'Cause when I left yesterday, I turned the lights off.
See more »


Referenced in Pitch Perfect (2012) See more »


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

Today it's still one of the best horror films
11 July 2005 | by (Norway) – See all my reviews

Antarctica, winter 1982. The team on an American research base get surprised by a couple of mad Norwegians who is chasing a dog with a helicopter, trying to kill it. All the Norwegians are killed and the Americans are left with nothing, but a dog, a couple of bodies and questions. That's the beginning of the greatest horror/thriller film I've ever seen.

From the very beginning all to the end you feel the tense, paranoid mood. Helpless and alone out in no-mans land. Ennio Morricone was nominated for a Razzie Award for his score. Why I don't know 'cause as far as I can see his score is simple, creepy and very good. It really gets you in the right mood.

The acting is great! The best performance is probably given by the dog who's just amazing. As for Russell and the others on two legs I can say nothing less.

You may think 1982 and special effects are not the most impressive? Well, think again! You haven't seen it all until you've seen this. Bodyparts falling off and creatures changing forms... Rob Bottin has done a great job witch today stands as a milestone is special effects makeup.

The movie didn't get a big response when it first hit the big screen due to other alien films at the time and so it's not very well known. In fact you can almost consider it an unknown movie. Nobody I've asked have heard of it. However the movie has managed to survive for over twenty years as a cult film on video and DVD. Twenty years is a long time and except for the haircut the movie is still pretty much up to date. This movie is to be considered a classic.

The movie is without doubt one of my, if not my favorite. I've seen it several times, but it's just as good as the first time I saw it. As a Norwegian the only thing I don't like about this movie is that MacReady keeps calling the Norwegians swedes!

163 of 183 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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