Celebrating Great Films

Monday, February 02, 2009

The Thing

The Thing#174 at time of writing.

John Carpenter’s sci-fi horror movie about a shape-shifting alien is as chilling now as it was when I first saw it almost a decade ago, inducing an unshakeable sense of paranoia.

This remake of 1951 film The Thing from Another World somehow manages to make the lonely ice sheets of the Antarctic feel breathtakingly claustrophobic. Much of it was filmed high in the mountains near Stewart in British Columbia.

In August 2003 a couple of hard-core fans, Todd Cameron and Steve Crawford, ventured to the remote filming location and, after 21 years, found remains of the Outpost #31 set and the Norwegian helicopter. The rotor blade from the chopper now belongs to Todd and rests in his collection of memorabilia from the film.

The special effects - which have dated somewhat, but are still unsettlingly creepy - were considered a new high-water mark at the time this film was released, all the more impressive when you discover that effects designer Rob Bottin was only 22 when he started the project.

Comically, There is a character name "Mac" and another named "Windows"; since the film was made in 1982, this is purely coincidental.

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