Follow TV Tropes

Following

History Film / TheThing1982

Go To



* BodyHorror: This film is infamous for its transformation sequences. Once a Thing is forced to reveal itself, EldritchAbomination is the most charitable way of describing what pops out - a severed head growing extra eyes on stalks and skittering away on spider legs is perhaps the most ''tame'' example.[[note]]That particular scene had such a level of {{Gorn}} and NauseaFuel that Carpenter actually had to cut in a PrecisionFStrike to make it watchable by his standards, and was extremely unhappy cable airings cut it out.[[/note]]

to:

* BodyHorror: This film is infamous for its transformation sequences. Once a Thing is forced to reveal itself, EldritchAbomination is the most charitable way of describing what pops out - a severed head growing extra eyes on stalks and skittering away on spider legs is perhaps the most ''tame'' example.[[note]]That particular scene had such a level of {{Gorn}} and NauseaFuel that Carpenter actually had to cut in a PrecisionFStrike to make it watchable by his standards, and was extremely unhappy cable airings cut it out.[[/note]]



* MindScrew: Despite having a narrative that's more or less easy to follow, it really leaves out a lot of crucial details that the audience is left to fill in. To this day fans of the movie still debate on [[spoiler:who got to the blood, whether Blair was infected before or after he was locked up (which, depending on how you look at it, can provide wholly different interpretations of his actions over the course of the film), how Fuchs ended up being burned to death outside, and most of all whether the Thing really was defeated, or if perhaps one, both, or neither of the survivors have been assimilated]]. Also helps create an EXTREME case of ParanoiaFuel and NightmareFuel.

to:

* MindScrew: Despite having a narrative that's more or less easy to follow, it really leaves out a lot of crucial details that the audience is left to fill in. To this day fans of the movie still debate on [[spoiler:who got to the blood, whether Blair was infected before or after he was locked up (which, depending on how you look at it, can provide wholly different interpretations of his actions over the course of the film), how Fuchs ended up being burned to death outside, and most of all whether the Thing really was defeated, or if perhaps one, both, or neither of the survivors have been assimilated]]. Also helps create an EXTREME case of ParanoiaFuel and NightmareFuel.



* MusicalEpisode: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8faq5amdK30 John Carpenter's THE THING: THE MUSICAL]] is [[LighterAndSofter a very cheerful and upbeat]] nutshelling in spite of the movie's gratuitous {{Gorn}} and {{Squick}}—all in the musical style of Music/FrankSinatra.

to:

* MusicalEpisode: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8faq5amdK30 John Carpenter's THE THING: THE MUSICAL]] is [[LighterAndSofter a very cheerful and upbeat]] nutshelling in spite of the movie's gratuitous {{Gorn}} and {{Squick}}—all in the musical style of Music/FrankSinatra.



* NighInvulnerability: Part of what makes the film so terrifying and such ParanoiaFuel is that it only takes ONE cell for the creature to survive. The fact that it's basically a virus that spreads its cells to others makes it that much worse and nearly impossible to kill.

to:

* NighInvulnerability: Part of what makes the film so terrifying and such ParanoiaFuel is that it only takes ONE cell for the creature to survive. The fact that it's basically a virus that spreads its cells to others makes it that much worse and nearly impossible to kill.



* ParanoiaFuel: InUniverse and out.

to:

* ParanoiaFuel: InUniverse and out.InUniverse, as the Thing's ''modus operandi'' causes the scientists' fear to escalate to the point where they can no longer trust each other.



* SortingAlgorithmOfMortality: Absolutely smashed to pulp in the first half an hour. The Dog-Thing first attacks the base's sled dogs, and what it does to them is absolutely pure NauseaFuel. What the Dog-Thing doesn't do, [[spoiler:Blair does with an axe later.]] It's the first real warning that this story will defy most expectations of a horror flick.

to:

* SortingAlgorithmOfMortality: Absolutely smashed to pulp in the first half an hour. The Dog-Thing first attacks the base's sled dogs, and what it does to them is absolutely pure NauseaFuel.nauseating. What the Dog-Thing doesn't do, [[spoiler:Blair does with an axe later.]] It's the first real warning that this story will defy most expectations of a horror flick.


* FlyingSaucer: The guys find one in the bottom of an enormous crater. There was also [[spoiler:the Blair-Thing's homemade craft, though it is blown up before it can be used. Also some have speculated that it would actually work more like a hovercraft as a means of getting to the coast so that it could find more life forms to assimilate]].

to:

* FlyingSaucer: The guys find one in the bottom of an enormous crater. There was also [[spoiler:the Blair-Thing's homemade craft, though it is blown up before it can be used. Also some have speculated that it would actually work more like a hovercraft as a means of getting to the coast so that it could find more life forms to assimilate]].used]].


* ArtisticLicenseGunSafety: Well, flamethrower safety, and averted. Almost every time the flamethrowers are used in doors, two characters are standing by with fire extinguishers, and put the fire out immediately. [=MacReady=] has to command them otherwise when he realizes FireKeepsItDead thanks to FromASingleCell.



* DeathIsDramatic: Averted in a few cases: Bennings gets one hell of a death scene, while Copper and Windows' deaths are easily missed, what with all the TransformationTrauma going on simultaneously. We ''never'' find out what happens to Mac, Childs, and Nauls, but it's strongly implied that they all die. That is one ambiguous movie.
* DecapitationRequired: Averted horribly. [[UpToEleven The Thing decapitates]] ''[[UpToEleven itself]]'', separating its head from a burning body in an attempt at survival.

to:

* DeathIsDramatic: Averted in a few cases: Bennings gets one hell of a death scene, while but averted otherwise. Copper and Windows' deaths are easily missed, what with all the TransformationTrauma going on simultaneously. We ''never'' find out what happens to Mac, Childs, and Nauls, but it's strongly implied that they all die. That is one ambiguous movie.\n* DecapitationRequired: Averted horribly. [[UpToEleven The Thing decapitates]] ''[[UpToEleven itself]]'', separating its head from a burning body in an attempt at survival.



* EvilDetectingDog: Actually averted. When the Dog-Thing is first put in the kennel, the other dogs accept it as just another dog - at first. Only when it turns its eyes pitch-black and starts making HellIsThatNoise do the other dogs finally rouse themselves and begin growling and snarling at the newcomer. It's possible the Dog-Thing would have rearranged its internals first, which would have promptly given it an [[UncannyValley alien scent]] that the other dogs pick up on. And all too soon, the snarling turns to ''screaming''...



* HollywoodHeartAttack: Averted. Norris has a sudden heart attack, but only ''after'' he collapses (having been thrown aside by one of the other men following a TakingYouWithMe threat). There's no chest clutching dramatics or anything- the only indication that something's wrong is a very brief, easy to miss moaning noise, followed by another man suddenly realizing he isn't breathing. [[spoiler: Interestingly, in the very next scene he's revealed to be a Thing. One theory is that his heart attack was the result of his assimilation being completed, though there are arguments that it just simulated the heart attack because that's what would happen to him if he was human]].

Added DiffLines:

* AlarmSOS:
** When the dog-Thing starts to transform in tke kennel, [=MacReady=] hears the real dogs' terrified barking and howling from several rooms away, and pulls the fire alarm to get the attention of the other members of the team so they will come and help out.
** Windows discovers that Bennings has been attacked and copied by the Thing, and tells [=MacReady=] and Fuchs. [=MacReady=] looks out a window and sees the Bennings-Thing running away. The fire alarm is pulled again to bring the other team members, but it isn't shown who did it.

Added DiffLines:

* {{Redshirt}}: Essentially the dogs fill this role, dying so the characters and audience can start to understand what the Thing is and what it does before any of the major characters start to get killed off.


Added DiffLines:

** Before it occurs to anyone else, either the computer or Blair types out: "PROBABILITY THAT ONE OR MORE TEAM MEMBERS MAY BE INFECTED BY INTRUDER ORGANISM: -75%-".


** The crazed Norwegian uses an HK93 to try and shoot at a dog, before turning it on the men of Outpost 31.

to:

** The crazed Norwegian uses an HK93 [=HK93=] to try and shoot at a dog, before turning it on the men of Outpost 31.


* BrokeYourArmPunchingOutCthulhu: [[spoiler:The characters are able to make a stand against the monster, but by the time they're done all but two are dead, and the survivors are likely to freeze to death. It's also not entirely clear if they actually succeeded in destroying the Thing or if they've only temporarily contained it, and there is a faint possibility one of the two survivors could be a Thing]]. To make things even darker there's an AlternateEnding where [[spoiler: a dog is seen running away from the ruins of the camp, implying that the thing escaped, and [=MacReady's=] efforts were for nothing]].

to:

* BrokeYourArmPunchingOutCthulhu: [[spoiler:The characters are able to make a stand against the monster, but by the time they're done all but two are dead, and the survivors are likely to freeze to death. It's also not entirely clear if they actually succeeded in destroying the Thing or if they've only temporarily contained it, and there is a faint possibility one of the two survivors could be a Thing]]. To make things even darker there's an AlternateEnding alternate ending where [[spoiler: a dog is seen running away from the ruins of the camp, implying that the thing escaped, and [=MacReady's=] efforts were for nothing]].



* DownerEnding: In some versions edited for broadcast on TNT/TBS, an AlternateEnding is included that is much grimmer than the original cut. After fading to black on the [[spoiler: burning camp, the camera fades up again on a husky running across the Antarctic landscape. So not only is everyone dead but the Thing definitely survived.]] [[http://youtu.be/2Xu2cFljkPw?t=3m32s Can be seen here.]] Blair did say earlier that a dog couldn't make it very far, so there may be hope yet.

to:

* DownerEnding: In some versions edited for broadcast on TNT/TBS, an AlternateEnding alternate ending is included that is much grimmer than the original cut. After fading to black on the [[spoiler: burning camp, the camera fades up again on a husky running across the Antarctic landscape. So not only is everyone dead but the Thing definitely survived.]] [[http://youtu.be/2Xu2cFljkPw?t=3m32s Can be seen here.]] Blair did say earlier that a dog couldn't make it very far, so there may be hope yet.


* SpiderLimbs: The disembodied head of [[spoiler:Norris-Thing]] growings a set of Spider Limbs after its original infected corpse becomes compromised.

to:

* SpiderLimbs: The disembodied head of [[spoiler:Norris-Thing]] growings grows a set of Spider Limbs after its original infected corpse becomes compromised.


* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: As mentioned above, when The Thing first reveals itself in the Kennels, the Dogs become utterly terrified, so much so that one tries to escape by biting through the fence. You can even see it glance at the fence and back again, as if realising the futility of the situation.
** Two of the Dogs do indeed get away, and they don’t stop when they’re out of the kennels.

to:

* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: As mentioned above, when The Thing first reveals itself in the Kennels, kennels, the Dogs dogs become utterly terrified, so much so that one tries to escape by biting through the fence. You can even see it glance at the fence and back again, as if realising realizing the futility of the situation.
** Two of the Dogs dogs do indeed get away, and they don’t stop when once they’re out of the kennels.


* PracticalEffects: One of the more iconic examples of the benefits of using practical effects, ''The Thing'' especially benefited as the effects were more horrifying than cleaner computer-generated imagery, and the less refinement made the Thing seem even more alien.

to:

* PracticalEffects: One of the more iconic examples of the benefits of using practical effects, ''The Thing'' especially benefited as the effects were more horrifying than cleaner computer-generated imagery, and the less lessened refinement made the Thing seem even more real and alien.


* PantsFree: During the disorder of the Kennel scene were some of the guys rush out of their rooms half-dressed, you can see Dr.Copper only wearing a shirt and no underwear.

to:

* PantsFree: During the disorder of the Kennel kennel scene were where some of the guys rush out of their rooms half-dressed, you can see Dr.Copper only wearing a shirt and no underwear.



* ParasiteZombie: The moment the Thing cells get inside a host, it's doomed. The Thing cells quickly kill and replace the host's cells, until nothing is left but a colony of Thing cells that still looks like the victim. Especially creepy because Things can access their victims' memories, allowing them to mimic them perfectly.

to:

* ParasiteZombie: The moment the Thing Thing's cells get inside a host, it's the host is doomed. The Thing Thing's cells quickly kill and replace the host's cells, until nothing is left but a colony of Thing cells that still looks like the victim. Especially creepy because Things can access their victims' memories, allowing them to mimic them perfectly.


** When the "lynch mob" break down the storeroom door to find Mac holding a flare inches away from a bundle of dynamite.

to:

** When the "lynch mob" break breaks down the storeroom door to find Mac holding a flare inches away from a bundle of dynamite.


* MistakenForDog: Played completely and horrifyingly straight when the characters bring a malamute home to their base camp and it turns out to be an alien bent on assimilating all life on Earth.

to:

* MistakenForDog: Played completely and horrifyingly straight when the characters bring a malamute home to their base camp and it turns out to be an alien bent on assimilating all life on Earth.incredibly dangerous alien.



** Averted later when Mac insists on doing the blood test for the two dead humans as well. A deleted line from the shooting script has Mac explicitly point out that Norris looked pretty dead, and he thinks the Thing is smart enough to play dead. Though it turns out that both Copper and Clark turned out to be human.
* NothingIsScarier: Mostly in the first part, with the dog wandering around, which is doing an incredible performance.
** While we get many good looks at the Thing and its various transformations, each more horrific than the last, a lot of the appeal of the film is this trope, as we don't actually ''know'' anything about it beyond what it does. Where it came from, why it's here, what its goals and motivations are (or if it even has any we can comprehend), if it's intelligent and trying to destroy us or just an animal doing what it has to in order to survive, or even if it's just trying to communicate in a manner we find horrific. . . no real answers are available. And like [[Film/{{Alien}} the Alien]], it all makes the Thing that much more memorable of an antagonist.

to:

** Averted later when Mac insists on doing the blood test for the two dead humans as well. A deleted line from the shooting script has Mac explicitly point out that Norris looked pretty dead, and he thinks the Thing is smart enough to play dead. Though it turns out ends up that both Copper and Clark turned out to be human.
* NothingIsScarier: Mostly in the first part, part with the dog wandering around, which is doing and it's putting on an incredible performance.
** While we get many good looks at the Thing and its various transformations, each more horrific than the last, a lot of the appeal of the film is this trope, as we don't actually ''know'' anything about it beyond what it does. Where it came from, why it's here, what its goals and motivations are (or if it even has any we can comprehend), if it's intelligent and trying to destroy us or just an animal doing what it has to in order to survive, or even if it's just trying to communicate in a manner we find horrific. . . horrific...no real answers are available. And like [[Film/{{Alien}} the Alien]], it all makes the Thing that much more memorable of an antagonist.


* NighInvulnerability: Part of what makes the film so terrifying and such ParanoiaFuel is that it only takes ONE cell for the creature to survive. The fact that it's basically a virus that spreads it cells to others makes it that much worse and nearly impossible to kill.

to:

* NighInvulnerability: Part of what makes the film so terrifying and such ParanoiaFuel is that it only takes ONE cell for the creature to survive. The fact that it's basically a virus that spreads it its cells to others makes it that much worse and nearly impossible to kill.

Showing 15 edit(s) of 409

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report