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John Carpenter’s Apocalypse Trilogy: The Thing (1982)

Halloween is coming! So I decide to check out John Carpenter’s Apocalypse Trilogy: a series of three films that has nothing to do with each other, but these films have something to do with the end of the world in one way or another. First, let’s check out the famous 1982 The Thing.

At this point, I think I don’t have to tell you the plot or anything like that since it becomes a classic horror by today’s standard. So why am I here? Well, I’ll tell you reasons why this becomes one of my all-time favorite horror films (besides The Shining and original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre).

Horror all-in-one
When you think of horror film, what comes to your mind first? Jump scare? Gory effects? Slow but effective build-up? Twist ending? This film has all of them! And, no, it doesn’t heavily rely on jump scare, first half of the film creates suspense atmosphere and makes audience wonder what’s going on. At first, we see a guy on helicopter shooting a dog for no reason. Then, few scenes later, a dog turns into a monster. This raises the attention of audience and paves way to background of the story really well.

Plus, who can forget those scary alien scenes? To me, this proves us why practical effect is better than CGI. It looks more realistic and easier to convince audience that the monster you see right now is real.

And speaking of atmosphere…

Characters conflict
This is the same method that makes us love Night of the Living Dead. The coflict between characters happen because they have a feeling that one of them is possessed by The Thing, so we have nervous breakdown and confrontation between characters who believes that he’s definitely not The Thing. Hell, even one of them says that “If we’re wrong (about killing someone that’s not The Thing), then we’re wrong!”. This dialog tells us that the crew doesn’t give a damn about right or wrong anymore, they jsut want to kill ANYONE who could be The Thing.

And what about hero, Mac? He’s basically a dictator.He orders everyone to do things, otherwise he’ll blow up the whole place. This leaves us for a debate whether dictatorship is good or not in situation like this.

Science issues
If you were alien, would you invade the world in a sneaky way or ID-4 way? To me, this is the realistic way of how alien invades Earth: tries to conquer human body as much as possible. For those that still confuse after watching this film, The Thing works by using cells to invade a victim (when or she is alone with The Thing). Then, the cells will attack victim’s cells and imitate a replica one. We have no idea that a victim knows about invasion or not, but we all know who’s a victim by looking at clothes. While The Thing invades victim’s body, his/her clothes are torn apart.

This is a really interesting subject to debate. Can alien invade our body by using this method? Will we have epidemic like this? By the way, some people might draw a comparison between The Thing and the fear of Communism around the time, but that’s another story.

Overall, this film still scares me although I’ve seen it many times. And if you’ve never seen it, you know why I try to avoid posting gory images from this film. Don’t google those pictures !, just watch the film and prepare yourself for the one of the most thrilling experience in your life.

Thumbs up.


Next week: It’s Prince of Darkness. Get ready for a rant from me.

About The Author
Nuttawut Permphithak
Nuttawut Permphithak
A student who's studying in marketing. He usually spends his free-time on watching movies, listening to music, reading books, and creating things you're probably reading/listening right now.

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