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The Thing (1982)

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A research team in Antarctica is hunted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of its victims.

Director:

John Carpenter

Writers:

Bill Lancaster (screenplay), John W. Campbell Jr. (story)
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Popularity
346 ( 107)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kurt Russell ... MacReady
Wilford Brimley ... Dr. Blair (as A. Wilford Brimley)
T.K. Carter ... Nauls
David Clennon ... Palmer
Keith David ... Childs
Richard Dysart ... Dr. Copper
Charles Hallahan ... Vance Norris
Peter Maloney ... George Bennings
Richard Masur ... Clark
Donald Moffat ... Garry
Joel Polis ... Fuchs
Thomas G. Waites ... Windows (as Thomas Waites)
Norbert Weisser ... Norwegian
Larry Franco ... Norwegian Passenger with Rifle
Nate Irwin Nate Irwin ... Helicopter Pilot
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Norwegian

Release Date:

25 June 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's The Thing See more »

Filming Locations:

Juneau, Alaska, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

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

Gross USA:

$13,782,838
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The pinball machine being played in the station is the ironically themed Williams' Heat Wave (1964) See more »

Goofs

(at around 7 mins) Norwegian pulls the same grenade out of the box twice. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
MacReady: Poor baby, you're starting to lose it.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the theatrical version the cook is listening to 's "Superstition". Because Universal did not secure rights for the home video release, the song was replaced. However, for more recent releases, Universal was able to use "Superstition" because they relicensed the song. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Land of the Dead: A Day with the Living Dead (2005) 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 »

User Reviews

 
Flips the scenario round from the original to great effect.
4 March 2008 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

John Carpenter shows how much he loves the 1951 original by giving it the utmost respect that he possibly could, the only difference here is that Carpenter chooses to stick to the paranoiac core of John W Campbell Jr's short story.

The secret to this version's success is the unbearable tension that builds up as the group of men become suspicious of each other, the strain of literally waiting to be taken over takes a fearful hold. Carpenter then manages to deliver the shocks as well as the mystery that's needed to keep the film heading in the right direction.

Be it an horrific scene or a "what is in the shadow" sequence, the film is the perfect fusion of horror and sci-fi. The dialogue is laced with potency and viability for a group of men trying to keep it together under such duress, while Ennio Morricone's score is a wonderful eerie pulse beat that further racks up the sense of doom and paranoia seaming throughout the film.

The cast are superb, a solid assembly line of actors led by Carpenter favourite Kurt Russell, whilst the effects used around the characters get the right amount of impact needed. But most of all it's the ending that is the crowning glory, an ending that doesn't pander to the norm and is incredibly fitting for what has gone on before it. Lets wait and see what happens indeed. 10/10


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