YMMV / The Thing from Another World

YMMVs in the 1951 film:

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is the Thing the vanguard of an Alien Invasion, as the soldiers speculate? Or is it a frightened being stranded alone on an alien world, viciously attacked immediately upon regaining consciousness, and justifiably working to defend itself?
    • One might believe that at first, but the alien had many opportunities to either leave or make its peaceful intentions clear. It didn't do either.
    • On the flip side of this, the team lead by Captain Hendry. Are they really valiant defenders of Earth's humanity? Or are they intolerant small-minded bigots that attack whoever and whatever they don't understand?
    • Notice even the teams most innocent and jovial comments are laced in a condescending or dismissive tone when it comes to the Thing. Not once does Hendry ever reprimand the young solider for shooting the alien when it awoke. Not to mention everyone noting how creepy it looks while frozen. It's obvious from the beginning they're not "bad" people. But it's very apparent that they're products of their time.
      • More specifically, by destroying the pods, were they eliminating an invading army from outer space? Or murdering innocent alien infants? The fact that it was the professor and not the Thing who was growing them doesn't help to clear up the issue.
  • Director Displacement: There is some controversy on whether Christian Nyby really directed the movie or producer Howard Hawks was calling the shots.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Watch the skies, everywhere! Keep looking. Keep watching the skies!"
  • Nightmare Retardant: The buildup for the Thing is incredibly skillful - the scene where they find the flying saucer, for example, is still one of the more chilling images in any movie. That said, the Thing itself is basically a clumsy albeit strong dude made of plants who slowly stumbles in the heroes' direction. At the time, Lumbering monsters were the thing as opposed to today's speed demons.
    • Save one scene, in which The Thing is right behind the door!
    • There's also the scene where The Thing gets doused with gasoline and set ablaze, and continues to rampage around a cramped, darkened room, setting everything else on fire in the process.
    • Part of the problem is time. A lot of the Horror techniques we see every day were invented in this movie. In the early 50s, they were absolutely shocking. The fact that it still can give chills so many years later is a testament to how well it was done.
  • Narm Charm: "An intellectual carrot! The mind boggles..."
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: General consensus is that the movie does not work that well as a thriller in modern times, particularly compared to its remake.

YMMVs in the comic series:

  • Ass Pull:
    • Both Erskine and the helicopter pilot suddenly turn out to be infected in the second half of the first comic, even though the Pybus-Thing didn't seem to get close enough to either of them to infect them, and there would have been no reason for them not to assimilate MacReady while they were trying to find the Argentinian base. One could argue that one (or both) of them became a Zombie Infectee during the fight with the Pybus-Thing and we just didn't see it, with full assimilation not happening until after they'd been found by Childs and the Argentinians, but this leads to another example...
    • Pybus himself is implied to have gone from being fully human to being fully assimilated in a matter of minutes, all from touching a Thing's remains through a glove. On top of that, he then destroys the evac helicopter for no readily obvious reason, other than to provide an action sequence.
    • The revelation in Eternal Vows that Things can not only change their own form at will, but kill someone and change the victim's body into a copy of their own, is something that comes out of absolutely nowhere.
  • Bizarro Episode: Eternal Vows differs from both the film and the previous two comics in so many ways (particularly in the first issue, which doesn't feature MacReady or anything else readily identifiable from its predecessors) that many fans have speculated it wasn't actually a Thing (from Another World) story originally, and was hurriedly turned into one so that Dark Horse could shove it out the door before the license came up for renewal.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Agapito from Climate of Fear, due to his badassery (including slicing off his own arm and being hardly slowed down) and being by far the most intelligent original character from any of the four comics.
    • To a lesser extent, Detective-Sergeant Rowan from Eternal Vows, for being a rare instance of a helpful and comparatively intelligent authority figure.
  • Idiot Plot: In sharp contrast to the 1982 film, this is the one thing that even the better ones suffer from. The stupidity of the characters is the driving force of the stories.
  • Inferred Holocaust: In Climate of Fear. The Thing has made it not just South America, but a pretty well populated jungle. Given that the film made it very clear it was game over if the Thing ever made out of the Antarctic, then regardless of what happens to the ones that take over the humans it's probably a safe bet that there are Things assimilating everything around them and getting ready to take over.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: The biggest criticism of the first comic is that it doesn't really add much over the film, other than MacReady taking on the Thing with a lot more in the way of military hardware.
  • The Scrappy: Dr. Viale from Climate of Fear due to being a token female character, constantly displaying extreme stupidity, and an attraction to MacReady which comes out of nowhere in the third issue, and then is never followed up on in the fourth.
  • Sequelitis: None of the comics are considered nearly as good as the film. Within the series though, Eternal Vows is generally considered to be a major drop-off in quality from the first two stories due to how badly it butchers continuity with the film and earlier comics. Questionable Research is more of a Contested Sequel, with some fans disliking for being short and somewhat clichéd, along with the idiotic behavior of the characters, but others praising it for staying true to the spirit of the film and yet telling its own story.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Despite having noticeably worse art quality than the first comic (and Eternal Vows, for that matter), many consider Climate of Fear to be the best of the four stories, for being the truest to the film and also doing some original things with the Thing. Some also consider Questionable Research to be this to, at the very least, Eternal Vows.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Eternal Vows has some interesting ideas — setting the story mostly from the Things' point of view and having differing factions of "feral" Things and ones with more controlled behavior — but they mostly fall apart in execution due to the writer clearly not understanding the film that well.
    • Questionable Research develops on the film's storyline and captures its mood well, but its short length and the disproportionate amount of time given to the scientists just yelling at each other prevent it from being as good as it could be.
  • The Woobie: Cruz from Climate of Fear, who has a brief Heroic B.S.O.D. after he shoots Dr. Deseado dead in defense of Agapito. It goes From Bad to Worse when it later turns out that Deseado was infected, and likely assimilated Cruz and fellow soldier Escobar when they tried to bury his "corpse"... although there's enough ambiguity that it's possible that Cruz himself was actually the infected one, and knowingly shot Deseado dead, then infected his body while there was still enough life for a Thing infection to take hold, which would make it a subversion of the trope.