Sweet #200. I have said this before in my other posts but I honestly didn't think I was going to get to this post. It took me longer to get to #200 than it did to reach #150. That is counting every 50 posts by the way. From #100 to #150, I burned through it pretty quick. Getting to #200 took me longer but then I did have some issues to get through. I was also wrong about ever post being a movie review. One wasn't but I was close. I'm not sure how many movies I have actually reviewed. I'm pretty sure it is close to 200 movies since in some posts I have reviewed two movies in. Still, movie reviews or not, 200 posts is a lot of writing. Hopefully one can tell that my reviews are nothing that I just throw together when it comes time to write one up. I know sometimes I can jump around but I do that even while talking to someone at times.
I picked The Thing (1982) for two reasons. One: Because Jed has been bugging me to do this for roughly 100 posts. Two: Because it truely is one of my favorite movies. If you have been a reader of my blog then you know that every 50 posts I throw out the usual review and select a movie that I haven't done a review for but is a favorite movie of mine. Instead of the usual review I just simply talk about why it is a favorite of mine. For The Thing that is an easy explaination. I came across The Thing durring a time when I was starting to loose faith in horror movies. I know that seems impossible with all the movies I have watched. I have watched hundred's since starting this blog and I'm sure I watched hundred's before I started this blog. I had started to believe that horror movies had lost their charm for me. Part of the reason is because I was running into a lot of bad horror movies. Nothing good was coming out at the time and even the new ones I did like didn't have the same effect on me that horror movies once did. Then I ran across The Thing and decided to rent it. After watching it, my faith was restored in horror movies. Ok, so at the time it was an older movie. It was over ten years old by that time but still, it let me know that there were still horror movies that could get to me.
The Thing has a few things going for it. A great cast, music that can really add to the mood, very cool effects, paranoia and lots of tension. The story is simple but effective. We see a helicopter chasing after a dog. One man inside is shooting at the dog and throwing bombs at it. Soon the dog reaches the American base. One of the men drops a bomb and it goes off before he can recover it. The other man ends up getting shot and dies since he shoots one of the Americans. Why is he doing this though? We discover that the two men are from the Norwegian camp and that they discovered a space ship that was burried in the ice. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you that the story is based in the Antarctic. "A 1,000 miles from nowhere" as one of the characters proclaims. The Norwegians also find an alien body. The Americans figure out that this alien can "copy" other life forms. If it gets to a more populated area, the computer figures it would only take 27,000 hours before everyone is taken over by this alien. But how do you destory something when you don't know who has been infected?
The cast and the effects is what sells The Thing for some people. While I enjoyed both. It was the tension found through out the film that sold me. This is a rare movie that manages to draw you in from the start and never lets go. Most of the effects still hold up but here and there they do look a bit dated. Even so, the effects are something that you won't soon forget after watching this movie. As I said before, the cast was great. This was before Kurt Russell had become the big movie star that he is today and he shows why he will become that big movie star. I know he isn't a big name likes some are out there but truthfully, he has always been high on my list of favorite actors. Wilford Brimley, T.K. Carter, David Clennon, Keith David, Richard A. Dysart, Charles Hallahan, Peter Maloney, Richard Masur, Donald Moffat, Joel Polis and Thomas G. Waites. A fairly big cast but they all work so well together and help bring the story together that you can't just credit one person with great acting.
The dvd of The Thing was great. When I found out that a collectors edition, I got pretty excited over it. The commentary track features John Carpenter and Kurt Russell. It is a very interesting and entertaining commentary that I wish there was more of like it for other movies. You will also find an 80 minute documentary that is also a lot of fun to watch. All in all the dvd is well worth your money to buy. It is almost hard for me to express how good of a movie this is to me. I watched it before I started writing this up just so it would be fresh in my mind instead of just going off my memories of it. Even now, years after I first watched it and after having watched it many times since, it still makes me tense up while watching it.
Like any movie there are some problems. As I said, some of the effects look a little dated now. That is just a minor draw back though. Some people have a problem with how the alien becomes a copy of another life form. Some say it is impossible but I have always said that what may seem impossible to us may not be for another race of aliens. Humans like to think they are smart and we are, for the most part anyways, but we have far to go yet in figuring things out. Besides that, it is only a movie. Just let your mind go with it and enjoy. One thing that bugged me just a little was how the computer knew it would take 27,000 hours for the alien to take over every life form. We find this out fairly early in the movie when the alien is still pretty much an unknown to the people at this station. Another thing that has bugged me just a little is how they are so dead set on killing this alien. Yes I know the alien is taking them over but is that what it truely wants? That is a question that is never answered but since it went through one camp and now a second camp, it is safe to say it doesn't much care who it kills in order to survive.
These things take very little away from the overall feel of the movie though. All the way through The Thing the tension is high. In case you didn't know, The Thing is a remake. I have never watched the original movie so I can't say if it is better or worse but I have heard many people say this is a rare remake that out does the original film. I'm almost afraid to watch the original since I can't see a remake or even a sequel that could match this movie. When it was first released it didn't make it but fans have been coming around to it for years now. Many, including myself, consider it to be a true classic. A film that manages to mix sci-fi with horror and comes out on top. If you have never watched it, you need to and you need to do it soon.
4 days ago