5 Reasons Why John Carpenter Horror Classic The Thing Makes Guys Cry

Mr.Evil

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thaluikhain said:
Oh, as an aside, apparently if you speak Norwegian, the two guys at the beginning give the plot away when they are trying to warn the Americans.

SonOfVoorhees said:
thaluikhain said:
And, never got why setting everything on fire would help.
They set fire/blew up the place so there would be no shelter for the thing to survive. There would be no where for it to stay warm and have shelter against the cold and so it would just freeze again.
Sure...until people came looking to see what happened to the place when they didn't get back in contact.
The objective was just to burn everything, level the place, and hope they got every spec of the creature before it could freeze again. The final confrontation is probably the weakest part of an otherwise great movie, as our characters start getting a little stupid towards the end. Still, one of the best horror movies of all time.
 

Brennan

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DoubleAgent74 said:
Cool article, but I do have to play the Fact Nazi: Rob Bottin was actually the man in charge of the creature effects on "The Thing." Stan Winston was involved, but his only contribution was the Dog-Thing at the beginning of the film. He declined screen credit because he felt it was Bottin's show and didn't want to take that away from him. (Source: IMDB)
This. It was super bugging me when I was reading the article.

Even in the kennel scene there were multiple puppets for different stages and branches of the thing's transformation/attack. Stan Winston only built one, the rest were Bottin's.

Specifically, the blob with the slimy hairless dog head that snarls/squeals at the men when they first shine their flashlights into the kennel. That single puppet was Winston's sole work in the film.
 

Brennan

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Frezzato said:
To be fair, at one point they were going to use practical effects for The Thing prequel. There's just no telling what was going to be practical [http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/23966/unused-practical-fx-footage-emerges-from-2011s-the-thing] and what was to be CGI. Hell, there's no way to tell if audiences would have accepted the practical effects, seeing how we're almost expectant of CGI nowadays.
I think it really comes down to whether or not it looks real enough in the final shots more than anything. The second best compliment either method could be payed would be to be mistaken for the other (the first would naturally be being mistaken for reality, but that's kind of impossible with fantastical stuff).

The practical effects done for the prequel look good in the behind the scenes vid, but I don't think they would have fared any better than the CGI did in the final scenes no matter how good they were, since regardless of the effects, the director/cinematographer clearly had no idea how to shoot such stuff effectively.

While the John Carpenter original does show things pretty much all-out, there's still a lot of thought and skill in how stuff was framed, lit, and edited. The prequel just... didn't even try, so the transformation scenes come off flat and cartoony instead of atmospheric or scary.
 

Mahorfeus

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If I had to name an all-time favorite movie, it would probably be The Thing. I have never really thought about why, but reading these five things has kind of given me a good idea. I need to watch the movie again.

That being said, I actually thought that the prequel held up in its own way. The best follow-ups are often those that evolve the formula rather than just giving more of the same - Aliens and Terminator 2 come to mind. The prequel kind of does that somewhat by throwing the monster right into your face, almost from the get-go. The paranoia and distrust is still there, but it seems to take a backseat to the abomination that is crawling around killing everyone. I loved seeing the two-faced monster from the original in action.

I don't tend to be all up in arms with CGI being used instead of practical effects, though in this case, I would have loved to see the latter being used. Or better yet, use the two in combination - CGI always seems better for patching up and embellishing stuff rather than for creating fully-function characters on screen.
 

Frezzato

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Brennan said:
Weird. It was a coincidence, but you just reminded me of the movie Harbinger Down. It took me a while to remember the name (it was pure luck) but believe it or not, that movie is connected to The Thing prequel. Maybe I knew this but just didn't care enough back when it was announced?

Per IMDB [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3397918/trivia?ref_=tt_trv_trv]:

In 2010 Amalgamated Dynamics (ADI) was hired to create the practical monster effects for the film The Thing (2011). However much to ADI's dismay, the studio had the majority of their work digitally replaced with CGI for the final cut of the film. In response to this, ADI used Kickstarter to fund this film, Harbinger Down, which features entirely practical creature effects created through the use of animatronics, prosthetic makeup, stop motion and miniature effects. There are zero computer animated monsters in this film.
It should come out this year. I don't know how much the $384,181 from the Kickstarter [https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1117671683/harbinger-down-a-practical-creature-fx-film] helped, but I'm kind of looking forward to it. Can't believe I totally forgot about this.
 

Quiet Stranger

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Okay so it seems at the time of this posting I am the only one who played the video game sequel to this movie. Spoilers ahead... I guess:

Black guy (Windows is his name I think?) ends up dying from the cold and Kurt's character survives and comes to your aid for the final boss battle and yes people can feel it when The Thing is taking over. In the game there is a soldier you come upon who says has been infected and instead of becoming a monster he shoots himself.


So yes the humans won and they DO know if they are infected.
 

Brennan

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Quiet Stranger said:
Okay so it seems at the time of this posting I am the only one who played the video game sequel to this movie. Spoilers ahead... I guess:

Black guy (Windows is his name I think?) ends up dying from the cold and Kurt's character survives and comes to your aid for the final boss battle and yes people can feel it when The Thing is taking over. In the game there is a soldier you come upon who says has been infected and instead of becoming a monster he shoots himself.


So yes the humans won and they DO know if they are infected.
*sucks air in through teeth* Weeeeeeeeell, no. I've played the game. It was... okay, as a game of it's era, but not great. More to the point, it isn't anything like a "canon" sequel (don't think canon is really a thing here anyway... which adds up to the same result), more like a fanfic that got licensing. Not only in it's status, but in it's conceptual/writing quality.

It discards quite a lot of logic about the events and world of the film, as well as getting the biology and behavior of the creature so wrong it's comical.

There was also a sequel comic book in the mid nineties made by Dark Horse which has a completely different story. I feel they are both on the same ground in regards to being legitimate "canon" sequels (i.e. they aren't). Though if you're interested, the comic is better than the game. Well, the first comic: there were two miniseries, the first is okay and has kickass art, the second is dumb and has meh art.

Problem with any hypothetical sequel to "The Thing" is it'd be pretty much conceptually locked into being a rehash of the original film. The monster is such that you can't take it anywhere less naturally quarantined without it winning, and you can't have a large population of any kind around it without it winning, so a "ten little Indians" plot in the antarctic is pretty much all you can do with it. Both the game and the comics run afoul of this hard, creating scenarios where the Thing can only lose by pure author fiat, and the author is an idiot.

Just as an FYI, John Carpenter himself says in the DVD commentary track for the film that according to him, they failed: Mac dies there, and the the Thing gets out and assimilates the world. He considers the movie part of a thematic trilogy with "Prince of Darkness" and "In the Mouth of Madness", tied together by being stories about the igniting spark of the end of the world.
 

Fox12

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evilengine said:
Also, there's the notion that 'Diabetus' Brimley was a Thing during his axe-rampage. While it's entirely possible he was human and trying to cut them off from civilization, it would make more sense from the Thing's stand point to wreck the radios. Why? Because when the mainland don't hear from the outpost they will definitely send a party to see what's going on, whereas if the radio was operational and the shit hits the fan, the remaining humans can contact the mainland and warn them to stay away, making it damn near impossible for the Thing to escape. Both very possible.
I don't think Brimley was a Thing. He already had access to a helicopter, so he could have made it to the mainland without anyone knowing, or anyone being able to stop him. The police wouldn't believe he was an alien, and even if they arrested him on more believable charges it would be easy for him to infect somebody. Besides, he had a weapon, so at that point it would make more sense to take as many human down as possible. I also don't think it would reveal too much about its self. I always thought the Thing was more rational and sneaky (and therefore more frightening!).

Man, this film is painfully good. I especially love the ambiguous ending. I read somewhere that Kurt Russell claimed his character apparently had his flame thrower stashed beneath his blanket. When we first see him in the film he's playing chess against a computer. When he loses he pours some scotch into it and fries the machine. At the end of the film he hands child's... a glass of alcohol. Supposedly the whole film is like a game of chess between Russell's character and the Thing. Russell's already lost, since the generator is out, but he can still fry Child's (or the thing) just like he fried the computer. The alcohol was his little test to see if he could trust Child's, who'd gone missing. When Child's took the drink, Russell gave a knowing laugh. Presumably he would then fry Child's and then freeze to death. I don't know if this is true, but it's one of my favorite theories.

I'm dying to find a film as well crafted as this. I may need to checkout Jacobs Ladder and see if it holds up.
 

Exley97_v1legacy

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Favorite horror movie of all time.

Anyone else play the video game? Pretty underrated for a 2002 third-person shooter game.

And if you're a fan of the film and haven't visited Outpost31.com, well, then what are you waiting for?
 

CaitSeith

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Exley97 said:
Favorite horror movie of all time.

Anyone else play the video game? Pretty underrated for a 2002 third-person shooter game.

And if you're a fan of the film and haven't visited Outpost31.com, well, then what are you waiting for?
I haven't but I remember the Men in Black videogame. That game was pretty bad, but the mission 1 was creepy as hell. It seemed pretty much inspired in this movie, and your character could die (or go insane, it isn't really specified) because of the infection.
 

RA92

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And trust me, your fondness for the movie isn't your nostalgia talking. I have shown this movie to quite a few people in recent years, and their reactions have been unanimous. Terrified. Especially that bit where they catch one of the guys caught mid-transformation - and it screams.

Can't believe it wasn't well-received back in the day.