THE THING (1982) – Story Beats

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I love John Carpenter’s The Thing – the 1982 remake of the awesome 1951 Howard Hawks classic film of the same monicker. This is the definition of a creature feature and Carpenter’s version delivers the goods firing on all cylinders.  From the opening credits this movie is on rails as it speeds through the action and jumps you straight into the story without over explaining or setting things up. No flashbacks, no voice overs, no soul searching or brooding teenage love drama. Characters behave and unfold naturally, acting like actual scientists would – and not like modern day movie scientists are portrayed – crafted by writers that grew up watching too much TV. The makeup and special effects of the THING itself takes center stage and Carpenter pushes the limit of what he can do with his cell replicating morphing THING monster. The movie is plotted with expert pace and manages to stay lean, tense and fast, packing in quite a few thrills and action set pieces while still delivering a fully realized science fiction horror story with great characters. If you are looking for a contained horror thriller with an iconic creature based monster that transcends the genre – this is one to study.

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