Its the first week of winter in 1982. An American Research Base is greeted by an alien force, that can assimilate anything it touches. Its up to the members to stay alive, and be sure of who is human, and who has become one of the Things.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story)
Reviews
Popularity
703 ( 81)

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Top Rated Movies #165 | 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Thing I (2011)
Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

At an Antarctica research site, the discovery of an alien craft leads to a confrontation between graduate student Kate Lloyd and scientist Dr. Sander Halvorson.

Director: Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.
Stars: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen
Aliens (1986)
Action | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

The planet from Alien (1979) has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, the rescue team has impressive firepower, but will it be enough?

Director: James Cameron
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn
Alien (1979)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

The commercial vessel Nostromo receives a distress call from an unexplored planet. After searching for survivors, the crew heads home only to realize that a deadly bioform has joined them.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 1997, when the US President crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in for a rescue.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine
Halloween (1978)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

On Halloween night of 1963, 6-year old Michael Myers stabbed his sister to death. After sitting in a mental hospital for 15 years, Myers escapes and returns to Haddonfield to kill.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Moran
They Live (1988)
Action | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A drifter discovers a pair of sunglasses that allow him to wake up to the fact that aliens have taken over the Earth.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An All-American trucker gets dragged into a centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun
The Fog (1980)
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Legend says that Antonio Bay was built in 1880 with blood money obtained from shipwrecked lepers but no one believes it. On the eve of the town's centennial many plan to attend the celebrations, including the murdered lepers.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh
Jaws (1975)
Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

When a gigantic great white shark begins to menace the small island community of Amity, a police chief, a marine scientist and a grizzled fisherman set out to stop it.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss
Blade Runner (1982)
Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A blade runner must pursue and try to terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space and have returned to Earth to find their creator.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

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.

Director: James Cameron
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn
The Shining (1980)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

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.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd
Edit

Cast

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

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:

Man is The Warmest Place to Hide. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The Dog-Thing was created by Stan Winston who declined screen credit as he didn't want to take away from Rob Bottin's work. Stan Winston receives a special thank you in the closing credits. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 6 mins) When Fuchs goes outside following the mysterious figure outside the lab, there is already snow on his knees as he drops to pick up Mac's shredded clothing. See more »

Quotes

MacReady: [about to test his blood] Now I'll show you what I already know.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

ONE CHAIN DON'T MAKE NO PRISON
(uncredited)
Performed by The Four Tops
Courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Good things come to those who wait
27 May 2000 | by (Copenhagen, Denmark) – See all my reviews

* * * * ½ (4½ out of 5)

The Thing

Directed by: John Carpenter, 1982

Looking back on John Carpenter's The Thing – today a highly treasured cult favourite – one has to wonder why it was dismissed by both the audience and critics when it first came out in 1982.

Steven Spielberg's extra terrestrial adventure about a sweet alien that phoned home (that stole the hearts of both children and adults world wide) had opened just two weeks before and was on its historic box office rampage. Bad scheduling may have had a greater impact than anything else on the fate of Carpenter's first big studio effort for Universal Pictures. Nobody was prepared – moreover wanted anything so dark, gory and scary as this genuine remake of the famous 1951 original. This was the time of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial.

It then makes for great movie history trivia, that The Thing has gained such a remarkable afterlife on video, DVD and television. Both financially and critically. Carpenter's version is less a remake of the Howard Hawks' version than a more faithful adaptation of John W. Campbell's short story "Who Goes There?' (on which both were based), and critics today point out how well Carpenter plays his characters against each other. Kurt Russell will never top this one, and he gets a brilliant sparring from the entire cast.

It opens in Antarctica with a sled husky running from a pair of crazed and armed Norwegian men in a helicopter. The scene is long, slow and uneasy. It feels like the Apocalypse. It oozes doomsday.

This scene comprises one of the greatest opening sequences in film history.

Ennio Morricone's moody synth score (heavy on naked thumping bass lines in classic Carpenter style), the windswept massive white of the desolate polar ice and the majestic husky running across the tundra chased by the chopper, compromises a completely mesmerizing piece of scenery.

A satisfying example of a movie that today – 18 years after – looks downright muscular in its simplicity.

The budget was big ($14 mill), yet it allowed Carpenter to visualize his ideas better than ever before. There's a brooding darkness to this film, making the whites and blues of the icy Antarctic claustrophobia seem poetic and almost angelic. Dean Cundey's extraordinary photography created a palpable chill to every shot. The careful preparation (the crew went into a record 11-month pre-production) paid off immensely.

Horror specialist Rob Bottin was handpicked for the many gory and grotesque special effects. Be warned – there's a lot of splatter and gore here. The Thing is actually notorious for its creature morphing scenes. Some find them disgusting, some mere cult.

An argument could be made against The Thing being an Alien rip-off; it has its origins in an old sci-fi story and it creates tension by popping a crowd of people (note: all-male) on an isolated outpost (an Antarctic research facility) terrorized by an alien life form.

Where Carpenter was clearly inspired by Ridley Scott's 1979 masterpiece, his own alien movie is original and intriguing in its own right. There's a rhythm and an environment that equals Scott's in every way.

The husky was in fact half-wolf and half-dog, and it was noted that it never barked or growled on or off the set (Horror Takes Shape, the making of - DVD version).

Watch in awe at the scene where it walks through the hallway and stares at a human shadow, slightly tilting its head forward in stalking position like a wild wolf. This is a fine piece of animal training, sure, but that's not the point. This is as spooky as anything ever made in a horror movie.

Carpenter had all the right tools here, and he utilized them to perfection, making The Thing his best movie alongside Halloween.


333 of 376 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The Shadow (Palmer?) JediMasterMisu
Dr. Copper.... horrorluvr3123
How About A Cold War Epic For A Sequel ? jspinksever
Mac and Windows Coensrule
"Watch Clark" cmfalf
Did the thing get MacReady or Childs in the end? Benjatron_Gear_Solid
Discuss The Thing (1982) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page