The Thing 
Suitable for 18 years and over
USA / English
John Carpenter's apocalyptic The Thing
was released in cinemas just two weeks after E.T.
in 1982. The two movies could hardly have presented more contrasting ideas about extra-terrestrial life, and it was Carpenter's uncompromisingly bleak vision that lost out at the box-office. But his audacious remake of the Howard Hawks 1951 B-movie The Thing from Another World
has since been acknowledged as a classic in its own right, not only for its pioneering makeup and special effects techniques, but also for its bold treatment of an alien "infection" that eerily foreshadow s AIDS-inspired blood contamination scares. Whizzkid Rob Bottin was responsible for the surreal and stomach-churning make-up effects that are so crucial a part of the film's success--without his utterly convincing creations Carpenter would never have been able to make a monster movie without a "man in a suit"--and filming on a glacier in British Columbia ensured the complete authenticity of the Antarctic setting. Kurt Russell leads a strong all-male cast who powerfully convey their isolation and distrust of one another--in more ways than one this is a film about alienation. The uneasy atmosphere is enhanced by an icily monochrome score from Ennio Morricone, as a series of unforgettable horror set-pieces lead to a wonderfully downbeat finale.
On the DVD:: The bonus features are exemplary, notably the excellent 80-minute documentary, "Terror Takes Shape", which covers all aspects of the production; and the relaxed, friendly, informative commentary by director John Carpenter and star Kurt Russell--a model for how all commentaries should be. There's also an outtakes reel with some tantalising stills of unused footage. Text and stills-based montages illustrate the location design, conceptual artwork and various other aspects of the production. The sound mix is Dolby 5.1, although the non-anamorphic widescreen picture is not all it could be. --Mark Walker
||Danish; Dutch; English; Finnish; French; Norwegian; Portuguese; Swedish
||English Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
|Nr of Disks/Tapes