Who is “The Thing”

Mitchell Baltosser, A&E Writer

We here at Cine-Men like to talk about a combination of films. Both old and new, well known and obscure. Well, today we are going to talk about a cult-classic that everyone that considers themselves a fan of horror and science fiction should watch. We are talking about “The Thing.”
We are transported to a research station located in the middle of Antarctica. Sith, a group of American researchers, suddenly are thrusted into a terrifying, extraterrestrial experience.
When the titular Thing, a parasitic alien organism with the ability to assimilate living organisms, begins to kill off and transform the men one by one, they are left scared and confused asking “Who can they trust and who is The Thing?”
The film brought in just under $20 million in box office earnings off of a $15 Million dollar budget. Even with that being the case, many critics and fans have called “The Thing” a milestone in horror genre film industry. It’s been titled a classic for nearly 40 years.

My Take:

To begin with a bit of history, this film was actually based off the 1938 novella “Who Goes There?”. The film roughly follows the plot of the novella, with some minor edits.
But there was a movie already based off the novella created in 1951 titled “The Thing from Another World.”
The big difference between the two films is that the 1951 version took far greater liberties with the plot but is frankly still a pretty good movie, so much so that it grossed more money than “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” which released the same year.
This was a far different story compared to the 1982 film which was panned at the box office due to it being released the week after “E.T the Extra-Terrestrial.” Critics cited that they favored E.T’s more optimistic and friendly outlook on alien life compared to “The Thing” that had a more violent and scary outlook.
The scary part is that anyone who has heard of this film has probably already heard that its practical effects are stunning and horrifying. It is a true milestone of cinema and other films should strive to achieve that level of quality.
The fact you can look at all the sick and twisted body horror and know that it’s absolutely tangible and not the invention of a computer only makes it scarier, in my opinion.
But now let’s talk about the aspect that is most talked about. From here on out there will be spoilers for the ending of a 37-year-old movie.
The last shot of the film is two of the main characters sitting in the cold snow, and neither of them know if the other is a Thing and neither do we. People like to hyper-analyze the ending for clues and pour over interviews with the director and actors trying to figure out who is the Thing, Or if either of them even is one.
This takes away from the true meaning of the scene. It doesn’t matter who is a Thing and who isn’t, it’s that cold acceptance of death and overall ambiguity that drives the ending. It’s beautiful.Honestly, despite how much I just gushed over it, the only thing to really say about The Thing is that it’s just that good.
If you have not watched it, what are you doing reading this? Go watch it. 10 Fleshy Tentacles out of 10.
Oh, and don’t watch the 2011 prequel; it’s terrible.