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YMMV: The Thing (1982)
  • Adaptation Displacement: John W. who?
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Many Norwegian viewers see the movie as a group of brave Norwegians being killed by ignorant Americans, who then get their just deserts. Hell, anyone who realizes what the Norwegians were shouting at the start of the movie will probably see it in this light.
    • In defense of the Americans, the Norwegians legitimately look like they're crazy—firing their gun willy-nilly and dropping explosives all over the place, all to kill a dog, ending with one of them shooting Bennings in the leg accidentally. Also, giving a warning is all well and good, but it doesn't really help if you're giving it in a language the people you're yelling at can't understand. Even if they could, it probably would have done no good, because of the reasoning above. After the incident, the team would still go to investigate the wrecked research station, the Dog-Thing would still make its Gorn-soaked appearance, etc.
    • The movies are actually full of this trope. After watching, you know who has been assimilated, but not always when they were. For example, did Blair destroy all that equipment in a desperate attempt to keep the Thing contained, or had he already been assimilated and was out to prevent the others calling for help? Also, Norris turning down taking a leadership role. Was it because of his heart condition as initially implied, or was he already a Thing at this point and knew being leader would inevitably focus a lot of unwanted attention/suspicion on himself?
    • The Thing itself is heavily subjected to this since we aren't told anything about where it came from or what it's motivation is. See the WMG page for more, but put simply, one could interpret it as being malevolent, or simply acting in self-preservation, or it's a life form seeking to spread its species.
    • Forms the basis for this short story.
  • Awesome Music: The original score by Ennio Morricone. It may be shocking to learn that it actually got nominated for a RAZZIE, though like the rest of the film, it was originally slated by critics (who accused Morricone of being lazy and just copying John Carpenter's score for Halloween (1978)), and has been Vindicated by History.
  • Broken Base: As evidenced by many of the sticky posts on the Outpost 31 forums dedicated to the movie. The lack of solid information on the Things and other unanswered questions have led to some rifts amongst the fandom. Some have 2 main points of contention. Others have hardly anyone at all agreeing with anyone else's ideas.
  • Even Better Sequel: John Carpenter's film is often regarded as one of the greatest remakes ever made, with many even feeling it surpasses the original.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The movie initially didn't do so well in the U.S., but, according to Guillermo del Toro, it was very successful in Mexico.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The Thing is an undisputed master of this. It doesn't speak in the Voice of the Legion, it screams with it.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Keith David's character starts calling MacReady out on his "Voodoo bullshit!"
    • A man nicknamed Mac has trouble with his computer and destroys it, while a man nicknamed Windows has trouble sending messages to the outside world. Neither the Macintosh nor the Windows operating system existed at the time this film came out. To add another layer to the analogy, when he's most needed, Windows freezes and gets his head eaten in the process.
  • Idiot Plot: Defied. Normally, in a monster film, the monster is so successful because the cast makes stupid mistakes. After the first human victim, they figure out more or less what it's capable of, and go out of their way to burn not just the bodies of its two known incarnations of the creature, but all of its targets. It still isn't enough...
    • And because nobody trusts anybody, everybody is weary of taking some decisions. What's worse is that the The Thing can influence a group into making decisions it wants. It comes dangerously close to the group killing MacReady after planting very good evidence.
  • Magnificent Bastard: For an alien parasite, The Thing is dangerously intelligent and is very capable at outwitting our heroes, who are not idiots themselves. Hell, it kills off most of the cast and we still don't know if it got to MacReady or Childs or what.
  • Magnum Opus: Generally in contention with Halloween (1978) for being this for John Carpenter. Carpenter himself considers this film to be his favorite of his movies.
  • Narm: "Maybe we at war with Norway."
  • Nausea Fuel: And plenty of it.
  • Paranoia Fuel: This film is made of it, runs on it, and will take you over with it.
  • Signature Scene: Two. The blood test scene and the scene with the defibrillator.
  • Special Effects Failure: While the majority of the effects have held up magnificently, it's a little sad that during the otherwise flawless blood-testing scene that when Windows is being ragdolled by the Palmer-Thing he is obviously, well... a ragdoll.
    • In the defibrillator scene, when the Thing bites Copper's arms off, his arms just sort of break off above where the Thing's teeth are sunk into them, rather than being cut through by the teeth.
  • Vindicated by History: A huge flop when it was released, and initially received mixed to negative reviews. Then The Nineties rolled along, and people started picking it up on VHS and DVD. It's now considered to be one of the greatest horror films in history and maybe even John Carpenter's best film.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The film is packed with terrific animatronic and makeup effects which have held up magnificently.
  • The Woobie: Norris. Fat unassuming guy who is among the least argumentative team members and has a heart condition. Probably why the alien assimilated him, because he drew little suspicion. Given that Palmer shares a room with Childs but Norris has a single, he was also most probably the person the Dog-Thing infected that first night, and was thus really an alien imitation for most of the movie.


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