Movie Review: The Thing (1982)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1982 thriller starring Kurt Russell and Keith David.

Synopsis: A team of Americans manning a research station in Antarctica come face to face with a deadly alien that has been buried in the ice for thousands of years. The creature is able to reproduce and survive by assimilating the cells from other creatures and creating a perfect reproduction of their host.


My wife and I have seen this particular movie about a half dozen times since we've been together (and the remake once) but still manage to watch it whenever we have an opportunity to. This happened earlier this week and, even though we have seen it so many times before, it still turned out to be an entertaining movie.

There are a couple things I really like about this film. The first is the fact this movie doesn't have a lot of lead-in. There's action almost from the start and, even though the action isn't non-stop, the film makes good use of the quiet times by revealing clues and building suspense.

Another thing I liked about this film is the alien isn't something that is easily defeated (as is the case in a lot of other films). The only way to successfully kill it is by burning it (though I'm still not sure why a scientific research station in Antarctica has flame throwers) and, since each individual cell is its own living organism, you still can't guarantee you've completely defeated it.

I also love the idea of an alien that can assume the shape of any living thing, whether its a member of the research team or a dog. Half the fun of this movie was not knowing who was trying to help find/kill the alien and who was actually just pretending to be human. This part grew to even more suspenseful levels as they tried to figure out a way of telling who had already been taken over.

The remote location also adds something to this movie because the research team can't simply run away. If they go outside for too long, they will freeze to death and, being in Antarctica, it's not like they can simply hop in a car and drive to the next town over for help. The remoteness helps create even more suspense as a result.

The Thing [Blu-ray]

Horror-meister John Carpenter (Halloween, Escape from New York) teams Kurt Russell’s outstanding performance with incredible visuals to build this chilling version of the classi...

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Final Opinion

I'm not a huge fan of the 2011 remake but do think this version of the film is one that is worth taking the time to watch. Even if you've seen it before, it's worth watching again.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 11/17/2016, StevenHelmer
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