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Showing posts from September, 2015

The Thing (pick a year, any year)

The Thing (1951) is one of the great classic science fiction B monster films. The Thing (1982) is one of the great science fiction monster films, period. The Thing (2011) isn't really in the same league as either, yet still manages to entertain. It would appear that John Campbell’s novella, Who Goes There?, has some staying power.

Campbell's story is a remarkable piece of claustrophobic suspense. Set at an Antarctic research station, it followed the efforts of a group of scientists to understand the discovery of an alien spacecraft and the body of one of its occupants. That occupant, despite having been frozen in the ice for ages, comes back to life. Dread and paranoia ensue as it becomes clear that the alien can imitate any form of life, meaning that the man standing next to you may be your best friend or an alien needing to snack on your bod.

The 1951 rendition of the story saw the action shift to the Arctic because Reasons. The thing was also not buried in the ice for milli…