The Thing

Carpenter 1982

PLOTLINES SEASON: OVERCOMING THE MONSTER
SUNDAY 29 JANUARY 2012
THE RUTLAND ARMS, BROWN STREET

Film Notes distributed for this screening were as follows:

PLOTLINES SEASON: OVERCOMING THE MONSTER

The Thing (1982)

Directed by John Carpenter, Screenplay by Bill Lancaster, based on the story by John W Campbell Jr, Starring Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley and Keith David, Certificate 18, running time 109 minutes

Monsters come in many guises. Maybe the person sitting next to you is not what they seem? John Carpenter’s ‘overcoming the monster’ story is a remake of Howard Hawks’s 1951 sci-fi horror The Thing From Another World; both films are based on the story Who Goes There? by science fiction writer and editor John W Campbell Jr.

The film’s memorable special effects were created by a 40-strong team led by Rob Bottin (The Witches of Eastwick, Total Recall, Se7en). They place The Thing squarely in the new wave of sci-fi horror films such as Alien (1979), American Werewolf in London (1981) and The Fly (1986). But perhaps because it was released just two weeks after Spielberg’s E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, The Thing didn’t do well at the box office during its initial run. It is now a much-loved cult classic, and is even traditional viewing at the British Antarctic research stations every midwinter.

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