Friday, February 11, 2011

The Thing. B

If it came out today, The Thing would probably get about a 40% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and its posters would contain blurbs from baffoons like Jeff Craig and Pete Hammond. But because it was released in the 80s, it's considered classic camp and gets the treatment of cult appreciation. People are nostalgic about The Thing. But young viewers today would not keep it on sacred grounds twenty years from now as fans do now simply because they're too accustomed to its grotesque elements. The Thing is famous because it grossed out audiences when they hadn't been fully broken in to the idea that a movie can do anything to upset your stomach. And it's not dated in the least. The movie is every bit as disgusting now than it was in 1982 (and far more disturbing than most modern horror movies, though it will be interesting to see what the new prequel, hitting theaters this fall, will dare to do). So is it a good movie? I guess. I liked it. Doesn't mean it's good though. With a movie like this, it's all relative, because for some people, it's exactly what they want in a movie, and for others, it's just another domino effect in which characters are dispatched one by one (in the tradition of something like Alien). The main area where I really like the movie is what John Carptenter does with it visually. The purpose is to make a freak so repulsive it cannot be named. If you go into the movie expecting the only good thing in it to be what the title represents, then you'll like it. On the other hand, that may be exactly what you don't want, in which case you'll want to stay away all together. This movie was fun, but I sort of wish it had been more than that. I wish it had explored deeper realms of the mind, like Alien did so effectively. Then again, could a satisfyingly intelligent movie that features something as stomach-churning as the thing be acceptable? Maybe that's the point. With a picture like this, intelligence is to be avoided all together so the focus can be on the monster. Or one could just say it's the best Kurt Russell action movie ever made, leaving stuff like Escape from New York in the dust.

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