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The Thing (1982)

A crew in Antarctica finds a neighboring camp destroyed and its crew dead. Whatever killed them is nowhere to be found, unless it's hidden in plain sight.



(screenplay), (story)
801 ( 94)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Blair (as A. Wilford Brimley)
Windows (as Thomas Waites)
Nate Irwin ...
Helicopter Pilot


A US research station, Antarctica, early-winter 1982. The base is suddenly buzzed by a helicopter from the nearby Norwegian research station. They are trying to kill a dog that has escaped from their base. After the destruction of the Norwegian chopper the members of the US team fly to the Norwegian base, only to discover them all dead or missing. They do find the remains of a strange creature the Norwegians burned. The Americans take it to their base and deduce that it is an alien life form. After a while it is apparent that the alien can take over and assimilate into other life forms, including humans, and can spread like a virus. This means that anyone at the base could be inhabited by The Thing, and tensions escalate. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The ultimate in alien terror. See more »


Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

25 June 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's The Thing  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,107,897, 27 June 1982, Wide Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film is considered a benchmark in the field of special make-up effects. These effects were created by Rob Bottin, who was only 22 when he started the project. See more »


When the Norris-Thing's chest erupts, Dr. Copper's chewed-off arms and the defibrillator paddles that were all "swallowed" by the chest should all spill out as the new thing shoots upward. See more »


[first lines]
MacReady: Poor baby, you're starting to lose it.
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Referenced in Marienthal: State of Emergency (2002) See more »


Music by Billie Holiday (uncredited)
Lyrics by Arthur Herzog Jr. (uncredited)
Performed by Billie Holiday
Courtesy of MCA Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

I worship this film. 10/10
20 April 2002 | by See all my reviews

John Carpenter's The Thing is hands down the best horror film ever made. Not only that, but it is also on of my personal favorite films of all time. What makes the movie so great? It's hard to put my finger on it. Everything just seems to work in The Thing, it's one of the rare occasions where everything just seems to fall in place. The film is even superior to Alien in creating a type of moody atmospheric hell. The fact that it's not only about the gore (which is wonderful btw), but it is able to create a paranoia that is unmatched in films. A truly wonderful film that is worshiped by all horror buffs, and anyone who has good taste in films.

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