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film news

Some things about John Carpenter's The Thing

Posted by Patrick Sauriol on Monday, August 22, 2011

When John Carpenter remade The Thing From Another World back in 1982 as The Thing, critics savaged it and the audience shunned it. They preferred opening their wallets to see the more benevolent space alien of the time, E.T., than Carpenter's shape-changing beast. But here we are a quarter of a century after The Thing came out in theaters and Carpenter's movie is still being analyzed and debated about by its fans.

One of the biggest mysteries than The Thing's followers wonder about is whether one of the two survivors of the American base has been assimilated by alien. We know that Kurt Russell's character MacReady is human because we just saw him blow up his camp and the Blair monster that was hidden underneath the generator room's floorboards, but what we don't know is whether Childs (played by Keith David) remained human. We saw a shape that could have been Childs take off into the snowstorm. When Childs confronts the lone MacReady he claims that he thought he saw Blair and went out after him. Both men are facing impending death by cold, so if Childs is The Thing, all he/it needs to do is freeze to death and wait for he/its remains to be found by the rescue team. And if that is indeed what happened, then it's likely bye-bye world, hello Planet of the Things.

I've watched Carpenter's movie more than a dozen times and I've come to the same conclusion every time: you can't tell if Childs is a Thing or human. My opinion's now changed in light of the brilliant analysis done by Rob Ager and posted recently on his YouTube channel. In it Ager presents a series of conclusions, backed by scenes from the film, that seems to reach a definite answer as to whether Childs was infected at the end of the movie. Furthermore, Ager's analysis also paints a clearer picture of how cunning The Thing was, as well as shows that there may have been a deeper meta layer to the story and MacCready's role in it.

Watch the two part video, "Was Childs Infected?", and see if you don't come to the same appreciation that I have for Rob Ager's insight into The Thing.

 

 

 

 

-Rob Ager via YouTube.
Quasar
Location:
Posts: 7588
Posted: 8 years 8 weeks ago

I've never seen...

Faster and faster, a nightmare we ride. Who'll take the reins when the miracle dies? Faster and faster till everything dies. Killing is our way of keeping alive. - Virgin Steele, Blood and Gasoline
Constantine
Location:
Posts: 74
Posted: 8 years 8 weeks ago

Check out "The Things", novelist Peter Watts' short story of THE THING told from the view of the Thing:

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/watts_01_10/

Very cool! Thanks to Patrick for turning me onto this!

Already plotting revenge...