Wednesday, April 13, 2011

THE THING (1982)

Two films based on alien subject and theme released the same year in 1982. Where Spielberg’s film portrayed alien as one of the friendliest creature that Hollywood had ever seen, the other film directed by John Carpenter became one of absolutely terrible alien film that in a long run proves to be a cult horror. ‘The Thing’ begins with chilly tension in almost isolated Antarctica and we see a strange man in flying helicopter constantly shooting a dog running around US Research station. Within moments we witness an unknown terror of uncontrollable intruder organism that strikes from outer space that assimilate and imitate the life forms of any other live organism and spread its infection. It started with dogs followed by humans.

It’s not like those high on special effects kind of run on the mill alien entertainer, instead it’s more built on tension which is shifted from unknown to known. The doubt and danger of infection turned the team of researchers suspicious and hostile to one another. It could be anybody where trust is the least expected word. The second half is paranoia set free in that claustrophobic setting of frigid and isolated Antarctica where they’re cut off from any sort of contact with outside world. On one hand we see grotesque and bizarre creature like those Cronenbergian degenerative body horrors and on other it has edge on the seat rolling fear of strange happenings and its aftermath out of human control.

Undoubtedly one of that horror which raised the bar of its genre and remains haunting in memory for long time.


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