A Thing of Irrelevance

John Carpenter’s an interesting fellow. Creator of some of the most beloved cult movies of all time in Big Trouble in Little China, Halloween, and Escape from New York, he’s also managed to make a considerable number of mediocre flops. Often times he’s strangely insisted on creating the musical “compositions” for his works, a travesty that regularly plummets them into the realms of absurdity (I’m looking at you, They Live). He fortunately did not do the music for The Thing, a movie that stood out in 1982 as a masterpiece of suspense and horror and today has the sort of cult following that has made it his highest rated movie and even one of the top 250 on IMDB. It’s a bit goofy and campy at times, but only enough to entertain you up until the genuine thrills start. And honestly, who can complain about a sombreroed Kurt Russel in giant black shades and leather jacket piloting a helicopter? It’s also a showcase of awesome practical effects, giving us some of the most gruesome alien imagery in cinema. So, despite the looming IGF submission deadline, up until which my crew and I were to be working feverishly and without rest, I wanted to be front-seat for the Norwegian-made premake The Thing (ooo, clever) to bare witness to what could be a subtle well-executed thriller, but was far more likely to be a screaming, shrieking, CG-infested craptacular.

Boy was I in for a surprise.

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