The Thing (1982)

timespace coordinates: Antarctica 1982 

The Thing is a 1982 American science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter and written by Bill Lancaster. Based on the 1938 John W. Campbell Jr. novella Who Goes There?, it tells the story of a group of American researchers in Antarctica who encounter the eponymous “Thing”, a parasitic extraterrestrial life-form that assimilates, then imitates other organisms. The group is overcome by paranoia and conflict as they learn that they can no longer trust each other and that any one of them could be the Thing. The film stars Kurt Russell as the team’s helicopter pilot, R.J. MacReady, and features A. Wilford BrimleyT. K. CarterDavid ClennonKeith DavidRichard DysartCharles HallahanPeter MaloneyRichard MasurDonald MoffatJoel Polis, and Thomas G. Waites in supporting roles.

The Thing was released in 1982 to very negative reviews. It was described as “instant junk”, “a wretched excess”, and proposed as the most-hated film of all time by film magazine Cinefantastique. Reviews both praised the special effects achievements and criticized their visual repulsiveness, while others found the characterization poorly realised. 

The film found an audience when released on home video and television. In the subsequent years it has been reappraised as one of the best science fiction and horror films ever made, and has gained a cult following.

Thematic analysis

Dark Horse Comics published four comic book sequels starring MacReady, beginning in December 1991 with the two-part The Thing from Another World by Chuck Pfarrer, which is set 24 hours after the film. This was followed by the four-part The Thing from Another World: Climate of Fear in July 1992, the four-part The Thing from Another World: Eternal Vows in December 1993,  and The Thing from Another World: Questionable Research. In 1999, Carpenter said that no serious discussions had taken place for a sequel, but he would be interested in basing one on Pfarrer’s adaptation, calling the story a worthy sequel. A 2002 video game of the same name was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, and Xbox to generally favorable reviews. The game’s plot follows a team of U.S. soldiers investigating the aftermath of the film’s events. 

The Thing (2011)

A prequel film, The Thing, was released in October 2011, directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr., written by Eric Heisserer, and starring Mary Elizabeth WinsteadJoel EdgertonUlrich ThomsenAdewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and Eric Christian Olsen The story follows the events after the Norwegian team discovers the Thing.

In 2020, Universal Studios and Blumhouse Productions announced the development of a remake of Carpenter’s The Thing. The remake was described as incorporating elements of The Thing from Another World and The Thing, as well as the novella Who Goes There?, and its expanded version, Frozen Hell that features several additional chapters.

Although released years apart, and unrelated in terms of plot, characters, crew, or even production studios, Carpenter considers The Thing to be the first installment in his “Apocalypse Trilogy”, a series of films based around cosmic horror, entities unknown to man, that are threats to both human life and the sense of self. The Thing was followed by Prince of Darkness in 1987, and In the Mouth of Madness in 1994. All three films are heavily influenced by Carpenter’s appreciation for the works of Lovecraft. (wiki)

imdb: The Thing 1982 / 2011

1685 – Hardcore Henry (2015)

timespace coordinates: near-future Moscow

Hardcore Henry (Russian: Хардкор; also known simply as Hardcore in some countries)  is a 2015 Russian-American science fiction action film written and directed by Ilya Naishuller (in his feature directorial debut).


It stars Sharlto CopleyDanila KozlovskyHaley Bennett, and Tim Roth. Henry was played by 10 different stuntmen and cameramen including the director Ilya Naishuller, Darya Charusha, who plays a dominatrix biker, is also the film’s composer.

Max Nicholson of IGN rated the film 8.6/10 stating “Two parts FPS, one part platformer and a pinch of HowToBasic, director Ilya Naishuller’s Hardcore Henry is a recipe for non-stop, ludicrous fun. While the film’s actual story is nigh existent [sic], it’s sure to please gamers and action junkies alike with its inventive set pieces and mind-boggling action” and “Hardcore Henry lives up to the title with non-stop, off-the-wall action and a love for all things video games”. (wiki)

The video game Payday 2 had a cross-promotion before the movie’s release. It came with heists relating to the film’s plot, along with a new playable character (Jimmy) and new weapons. A poster for the game can be seen on wall of the one of the apartments where Slick Dimitri is found and Jimmy’s mask from the game can be seen in the drawer with the weapons in the strip club.

Before this film, writer and director Ilya Naishuller made several music videos for his Russian punk rock band “Biting Elbows”. The videos were shot in the same style: Fast paced, first person perspective action videos.

imdb   /  possible sequel

1556 – The Faculty (1998)

spacetime coordinates: 1990’s Herrington High School in Ohio

The Faculty is a 1998 American science fiction teen horror film written by Kevin Williamson, directed by Robert Rodriguez, and starring Elijah WoodJosh HartnettShawn HatosyJordana BrewsterClea DuVallLaura HarrisRobert PatrickBebe NeuwirthPiper LaurieFamke JanssenUsher RaymondSalma Hayek, and Jon Stewart.

Haleigh Foutch considers The Faculty as one of the most iconic 1990s teen horror movies: “Yet another win from 90s teen screenwriter in chief Kevin Williamson, The Faculty fused Williamson’s knack for snappy teen drama with Robert Rodriguez’s subversive camp to fantastic results. It’s smart without ever taking itself too seriously and campy without ever losing its cool, drawing proudly from the tradition of classic alien invasion movies and casting them in the 90s teen tradition.” – Influences and legacy – (wiki)


1486 – VFW (2019)

MV5BMjA5YzRlYzQtNjQ0OS00OGExLTg4OWUtZWZhNDM2YTQyZjZjXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyODEwMTc2ODQ@._V1_A typical night for a group of war veterans at the local VFW turns into an all-out battle for survival when a teenage girl runs into the bar with a bag of stolen drugs. Suddenly under attack from a gang of punk mutants looking to get back what’s theirs — at any cost — the vets use every weapon they can put together to protect the girl, and their VFW, in the biggest fight of their lives. (rottentomatoes)