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 Brimley, T. K. Carter, David Clennon, Keith David, Richard Dysart, Charles Hallahan, Peter Maloney, Richard Masur, Donald Moffat, Joel 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.
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 Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen, Adewale 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)