31 Days of Terror: John Carpenter's The Thing
What's to say what hasn't already been said about John Carpenter's The Thing? It's a brilliant re-imagining of the 50s classic, The Thing From Another World, but surpasses the original in many ways with its ability to subvert critics' opinions and gain a more prominent following than its predecessor nearly thirty-five years later.
When a dog being chased by a Norweigan chopper is sheltered by a US research center in the Antarctic, the inhabitants of the research center are befallen to an extraterrestrial evil that can replicate human tissue and suddenly, they can't determine friend from foe.
This is gonna be kind of a rush job because The Thing is so near and dear to my heart that I could go on about it for about as long as a Godzilla film. There's so much to talk about: John Carpenter, Kurt Russell, Keith David, Ennio Morricone's score, the effects. UGH, the effects! Just know that this film's effects are what every horror movie should strive to achieve. There are some some scenes that people might find dorky or cheesy (Norris's spider-head comes to mind) but you can't argue that the practicality and imagination are wildly groundbreaking. The Thing consuming and absorbing the dogs is horrifically heartbreaking, Palmer caught to be an alien and starts transforming in his chair, the autopsy scene and the iconic "You gotta be fucking kidding me." All of it is exceptional.
The most interesting thing about this film is that it was poorly received, financially and critically, but is now held as one of the greatest horror films of all time. Individual scenes from the film alone go up into the millions, which horror classics like A Nightmare on Elm Street haven't accomplished. If that isn't a reason to check it out, then you're the Thing and I can't trust you.