It's the first week of winter in 1982. An American Research Base is greeted by an alien force, that can assimilate anything it touches. It's up to the members to stay alive, and be sure of who is human, and who has become one of the Things.
After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as distress call, their landing on the source planet finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious lifeform. Continuing their journey back to Earth with the attacked crew having recovered and the critter deceased, they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.
A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.
A human-looking indestructible cyborg is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all costs.
A US research station, Antarctica, early-winter 1982. The base is suddenly buzzed and attacked by a helicopter from the nearby Norwegian research station. They appeared to be trying to kill one of the dogs from the US base. Having dealt with the threat, 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 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
(at around 1h 4 mins) Joel Polis (Fuchs) confirmed that he was grabbing a flask of acid when MacReady disturbs him whilst working in case he tried to attack him. See more »
The crew state that the date is just after the first day of winter. Although it is unclear if they mean antarctic winter (June 21) or arctic winter (December 21), in either event it would be either continually light or continually dark outside. See more »
[talking into tape recorder]
I'm gonna hide this tape when I'm finished. If none of us make it, at least there'll be some kind of record. The storm's been hitting us hard now for 48 hours. We still have nothing to go on.
[MacReady briefly turns off tape recorder and takes a drink of whisky. He looks at the torn long johns and turns it back on]
One other thing: I think it rips through your clothes when it takes you over. Windows found some shredded long johns, but the nametag was missing. They ...
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I am ashamed to say it, but I have to admit, the first time I saw this film was only about a year ago. After seeing it, I immediately rushed out and bought the DVD collectors' edition and have watched it many times since.
The film is terrific on many levels. It works as your straight monster or action type film, as a horror/sci-fi and also as a very intriguing look into the human psyche. The incredible sense of paranoia, mistrust and fear, lent not only by Carpenter's direction (which is stunning) but also by the incredible acting of the cast in general. Kurt Russell (obviously) is spectacularly understated in the lead role of MacReady, and, as a direct result he "feels" like a real person, rather than a hollywood "all american hero". The other cast members all carry off their roles with style, and the net result is an intensely believable atmosphere, and a truly fantastic film.
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