The Thing (1982 film)
Theatrical release poster by
|Edited by||Todd Ramsay|
The Turman-Foster Company
|Box office||$19.6 million (North America)|
The Thing is a 1982 American
Production began in the mid-1970s as a faithful adaptation of the novella, following 1951's popular
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. Reviews both praised the special effects achievements and criticized their visual repulsiveness, while others focused on poor characterization. The film earned $19.6 million during its theatrical run. Many reasons have been cited for its failure to impress audiences: competition from films such as
The film found an audience when released on home video and television. In the years since, it has been reappraised as one of the best science fiction or horror films ever made, and has gained a
|R. J. MacReady|
In Antarctica, a Norwegian helicopter pursues a
Clark kennels the sled dog, and it soon metamorphoses and absorbs the station dogs. This disturbance alerts the team and Childs uses a flamethrower to incinerate the creature. Blair autopsies the new creature and learns that it can perfectly imitate other organisms. Recovered Norwegian data leads the Americans to a large excavation site containing a partially buried alien spacecraft, and a smaller, human-sized dig site. Norris estimates that the alien ship has been buried for at least 100,000 years. Blair grows paranoid that the creature could assimilate all life on Earth in a matter of three years. The station implements controls to reduce the risk of assimilation.
The "dead", malformed humanoid creature assimilates an isolated Bennings, but Windows interrupts the process and MacReady burns the Bennings-Thing. Blair sabotages all the vehicles, kills the remaining sled dogs, and destroys the radio to prevent escape. The team imprison him in a tool shed. Copper suggests a test to compare each member's blood against uncontaminated blood held in storage, but after learning that the blood stores have been destroyed, the men lose faith in Garry, and MacReady takes command.
MacReady, Windows and Nauls find Fuchs's burnt corpse and surmise he committed suicide to avoid assimilation. Windows returns to base while MacReady and Nauls investigate MacReady's shack. On their return, Nauls abandons MacReady in a snowstorm, believing he has been assimilated after finding his torn clothes in the shack. The team debate whether to allow MacReady inside, but he breaks in and holds the group at bay with dynamite. During the encounter, Norris appears to suffer a heart attack.
As Copper attempts to
Childs is left on guard while the others go to test Blair. They find that Blair has escaped, and has been using vehicle components to assemble a small spacecraft. On their return, Childs is missing and the power generator is destroyed. MacReady speculates that the Thing intends to return to hibernation until a rescue team arrives. MacReady, Garry, and Nauls decide to detonate the entire station to destroy the Thing. As they set explosives, Blair kills Garry and Nauls disappears. Blair transforms into an enormous creature and destroys the detonator. MacReady triggers the explosives using a stick of dynamite, destroying the base.
MacReady sits nearby as the station burns. Childs returns, saying he became lost in the storm while pursuing Blair. Exhausted and slowly freezing to death, they acknowledge the futility of their distrust and MacReady passes Childs a bottle.