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The Thing (1982)

Released on 10 October 2011

Featuring: Kurt Russell, Bill Lancaster & Albert Whitlock

Format: DVD | Rating: 18 years & over

5.0 out of 5 (57 customer reviews) | Write a review

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Horror-meister John Carpenter teams Kurt Russell's outstanding performance with incredible visuals to build this chilling version of the classic The Thing.

In the winter of 1982, a twelve-man research team at a remote Antarctic research station discovers an alien buried in the snow for over 100,000 years. Soon unfrozen, the shape-shifting alien wreaks havoc, creates terror and becomes one of them...
  • Suitable for 18 years and over. Not for sale to persons under age 18. By purchasing this product, you declare that you are 18 years of age and over.
  • Making of documentary
  • Feature Commentary with director John Carpenter and Kurt Russell
  • Production Background Archive
  • Cast Production Photos
  • Production Art & Storyboards
  • Location design
  • Production Archives
  • Outtakes
  • Production & Post-Production Notes
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Interactive Menu
  • Scene Access

customer Reviews

 Average rating (57 reviews)

 "Hello, Sweden!"

| | See all farnzy's reviews (164)

Top 10  Reviewer Top 10 DVD Reviewer

"The Thing" is the darkest of the Kurt Russell trilogy of Carpenter's science fiction films and the beginning of his "Apocalypse" cycle which took in "Prince of Darkness" and the excellent "In the Mouth of Madness". It is a master class of pessimism nearly unrivalled in cinema and a bleak critique on the nature of humanity itself-inspired no doubt by the Reagan administration and Carpenter's first foray into studio film making.
The plot is more closely related to John W. Campbell's novella; "Who Goes There?" than the earlier Hawks production of "The Thing from another World." Special effects allow the shape shifting alien to be realised in all its bloody glory, which in turn gives Carpenter the freedom to develop a claustrophobic atmosphere of mistrust, fear, and eventual nihilism.
In the earlier movie the scientists and soldiers work together to destroy the visible threat of the thing as they eventually did with Communism. There is a unity mostly derived from the fact that they are white and embody a people fresh from the moral victory in WW2. America in the 50s was still perceived as the 'good guys', the 'land of the free and the home of the brave'.
With Carpenter's creature everyone could be the thing and as a consequence an enemy. The group are less bound by rules, they are insubordinate, and have no clear rank structure or respect for elders. They are more ethnically diverse and class lines are less formulated. They represent an America less sure of itself after the moral defeat in Vietnam, where they turned from liberators to tyrants. Carpenter reflects the America of vast social and racial difference, the alarming decline of the inner cities, and the increasingly high crime rate.
It is little wonder then that at the heart of the team's descent into their collective paranoia that the unofficial leader becomes Russell's helicopter pilot, R.J. MacReady. Mac is part Eastwood and part Wayne and harks back to a time when a single man could make a difference. He is respected because as a pilot he is a man of action but also a man of learning. He plays chess against a machine but can outwit it with a highly illogical move (pouring bourbon into the hard drive) just as he will against the thing by destroying the compound and in the process eventually himself and Childs. He also gives Childs a swig of alcohol at this point covering his bases just in case Childs is the thing. This would lower his body heat and bring death on quicker in the snow.
More like Eastwood than Wayne Mac doesn't have the unwavering support of the entire group. It is Keith David's Childs that slowly begins to challenge Mac's anti-hero authority, emerging from the background of the 12 men to become a major character as the film develops. Childs refuses to be sidelined as other black sidekicks have been in other genre films-doomed to meet a heroic death in defence of their white partner/master. He is no sidekick but a credible alternative to Mac; a forerunner of Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx, and Will Smith.
The Thing is Carpenter's darkest moment and perhaps his best. He is unhindered by a love interest, revels in his material, and is aided by the late Stan Winston's surreal special effects. But the most frightening moments are the most human. Sitting amongst the flaming ruins of the compound with freezing to death a near certainty Childs says, "How will we make it?" to which Mac replies, "Maybe we shouldn't."

 Why isn't there a prequel ?

| | See all ElmoBlatch's reviews (18)

Top 100 DVD Reviewer

This is what you get when a director is at his best....unfortunately Mr Carpenter hasn't done anything good since I'm sorry to say , but this is just AWSOME...great cast , great script and memorable (pre CGI) specical effects that would put some modern films to shame.
This is a must for any sci-fi / Horror fans out there....its a shame that they didnt do a prequel about what happened to the Norwigian camp but only if Carpenter was to do it and regain some much needed credability.

 absolute classic

| | See all denirosmole's reviews (17)

in my opinion this is the greatest sci-fi/horror film ever made. the special fx are unbelievable for a film made 20 years ago, with plenty of shocking and gory moments. the suspense will keep you cowering under the duvet on more than 1 occasion, and you are never sure what is going to happen next. the musical score is so simple but so effective for this type of film and creates a nerve shredding atmosphere. the film hasnt dated 1 bit and easily stands up against most of the horror films made in the last few years. a brilliant,timeless classic that has rightly gone on to achieve cult status with fans.

 Timeless!

| | See all MikeOfThunder's reviews (45)

The Thing... this film was made 7 years before i was even born and yet it still holds ground with me! Its a brilliant story about an alien creature that lands on earth is trapped in ice and awakens when a team of scientists uncover it... The team is killed and the alien goes on to another base just around the corner to carry on...

This is such a good film its un-true! Okay the graphics are a little dated now but what do you expect coming from a film made decades ago???

I hope that a remake is made of this in say 5/10 years... however i hope i'm involved because i wouldn't want hollywood to screw it up!! Haha!!

 MAN IS THE WARMEST PLACE TO HIDE !

| | See all SECTION8's reviews (1336)

Top 10  Reviewer Top 10 DVD Reviewer

In the summer of 1982 two aliens went head to head in the cinema. The people chose the little lost alien and cast the nasty shape shifting beast into the cold, it was hated by the critics, and this is where it remained until it's video release. 25 years later this film has gained the classic status that the film is. To be honest the film has aged far better than E.T. The bleak cold setting is superb. This film reminds us that at his prime John Carpenter was the master of horror, and this is his best movie. It's also a sorry reminder of how the once master of terror has now slipped into "B" movie hell ! This film is a paranoid classic and can stand up to Alien as the best Sci-Fi horrors ever put to film. The real star is the incredable special effects, all old school, and made way before C.G.I. The film's tag line is trust no one, but trust me buy this movie now and relive the terror !

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ActorsKurt Russell, Bill Lancaster, Albert Whitlock, Keith David, Wilford Brimley, T. K. Carter, Richard Dysart & Richard Masur
DirectorJohn Carpenter
Certificate18 years and over
Year1982
ScreenWidescreen 2.35:1
LanguagesEnglish - Dolby Digital (5.1)
Additional LanguagesFrench ; Italian ; Polish ; Spanish
SubtitlesCzech ; Danish ; Dutch ; English ; Finnish ; French ; German (Menu Only) ; Norwegian ; Portuguese ; Swedish
Duration1 hour and 43 minutes (approx)
RegionRegion 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.