Thursday, October 28, 2004

4 Days Before Halloween....Scary Movie #4

The Thing

Some people might dispute this pick...they might say that this is not a horror movie thus not being a Halloween movie. But to those folks I say, "BAH!". A Halloween movie is one that can scare you, first and foremost. For example if you're afraid of prostitutes and horse teeth than your top scary movie would be Pretty Woman obviously! Anywho, The Thing is a terrifying film thus is a very appropriate Halloween movie. From the very first shot of the Antarctic tundra with it's vast, empty plains of ice you feel alone and isolated. No one is coming to help you out there and that means you are screwed if anything bad happens...and seeing as this is a Halloween movie something bad WILL happen. Those of you not familiar with the film let's quickly go over it. The setting is an Antarctic Research Station and the players are a twelve man research team just starting a 6 month tour...when everything goes to shit! An alien entity that can take the form of anything and leave no sign of it's existance gets into the camp turning man against man. The film is a remake of the Howard Hawkes film, "The Thing From Another Planet" which was in turn an adaptation of a science-fiction story called "Who Goes There?". The book and the original movie played like a Mccarthur era Red-Scare cautionary tale, as all good '50s sci-fi was. But the John Carpenter remake takes it to a whole different level of complete terror and horror. The Red Scare is replaced by the threat of disease and AIDS but really only if you look beyong the surface. On the surface though The Thing is a taught, suspenseful thriller with plentiful amounts of gore. The film is 22 years old and the effects still stand up remarkably well. Watching it you're struck by how great the practical effects are, knowing in the back of your mind that if it were made now CGI effects would drench the end product. The film has become a cult hit, growing more and more popular by the year. When it came out in the summer of 1982 it was released within weeks of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. Audiences lined up for E.T. and ignored The Thing. Shame, but in the end it has gotten the attention and appreciation that it truly deserves. Very, very scary.

No comments: