4. The Thing
directed by John Carpenter
It was always an act of supreme foolishness to remake/prequelize The Thing (itself a remake, but that rare bird, a remake that is better than the original), because John Carpenter’s 1982 classic was already a kind of self-contained trilogy, with each part gradually revealing more information until it is clear that the same thing is happening again and again. Part One — an unsteady flying saucer falls to Earth, seemingly experiencing technical difficulties; Part Two — a Norwegian outpost in the Antarctic is discovered to have suffered some kind of horrific catastrophe; Part Three — as the film’s protagonists sift through the Norwegian detritus and the spacecraft and piece things together, we begin to realize that the same fate that befell the Norwegians is what befell the aliens… and what will eventually happen to everyone else in the picture. And then it does, in ways that virtually nobody who has ever seen the film for the first time could have anticipated, thanks in no small part to the spectacularly groundbreaking work of makeup effects maestro Rob Bottin. Carpenter never made a better picture; his knack for depicting Hawksian male interaction is as assured as his knack for unrelenting body horror. The Thing didn’t fare well at the box office upon its original release — two weeks after E.T. — possibly because nobody at that time was ready for its particularly dour message: that at any given moment, your body could betray you in any of a hundred ways, some quiet, others ghastly and terrible. And what’s going to save you — a manly can-do attitude? American exceptionalism? A big stupid hat? Nope. All you can do is hope that when your number’s up, your head doesn’t fall off and grow legs. As Robyn Hitchcock said, “We are all doomed… but some of us are more doomed than others.”
One of my favourites growing up and i still love watching it to this day.