June 25, 2017 The Thing – 35 Years Of A Horror Classic
Before acknowledging the power and importance of The Thing, it must be noted it was notoriously ignored, fared poorly at the box-office, and as stated, was not at all a top choice for movie critics. Putting all of this into perspective, The Thing was also released just a few weeks after the now-classic movie, Steven Spielberg’s E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Clint Eastwood’s Firefox, and Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky III. Even the Action-Fantasy flick The Sword and the Sorcerer was faring better than the expectant box-office numbers of The Thing. It was nobody’s fault, of course; it just seems that, at the time, a smartly written and incredibly acted Sci-Fi/Horror film was not on anyone’s must-see list.
Sometimes brilliance needs time to be recognized. Thus, after The Thing was released on VHS, and eventually made its way onto television, it found a new audience that kept growing, and growing, and knitting, and knitting. As a result, there were new reviews praising the film, heralding it as one of the greatest Horror flicks ever made. Drastic turnaround in opinion, right? It was now that people were celebrating every nook and cranny of this slick and scary Sci-Fi flick, and because of such, The Thing became a cult classic. Which leads to the discussion, what makes Carpenter’s The Thing so good?
The story goes, Carpenter was approached to make a slightly big-budgeted film based on John W. Campbell, Jr’s 70-page novella, 1938 Who Goes There? Although a film already existed back in 1951 called: The Thing From Another World, it strayed from the actual story-line of the book. Was it a good movie?—yes, and indeed a well-acted, well-directed, and a very suspenseful one at that, but it became no match for Carpenter’s version, which would follow the book more closely.