John Carpenters masterpiece, part Lovecraftian horror, part remake of an original sci-fi film that was an allegorical fable returns to a blu ray near you. Full on classic of Aliens taking over, replicating animal and human bodies badly and often then become monstrous visual representations of organisms. Its at once a powerful cerebral film and a blood and gore soaked, shock fest of the highest order.
The Antarctic research base for the US mission is isolated and remote. When the neighbouring Norwegian bases dog is chased and almost killed by a helicopter from the team, it seems that they may have suffered cabin fever. After all it is a brutal mix of cold, blanketed white horizons and oppressive silent surrounds. This can get to anyone, at any time. However all is not what it seems with the dog and when it tries morphs into a human, the fear of who and what can be trusted, shatters the crew apart.
Hawks inspired Carpenter. Carpenter inspired almost ever modern film maker of note. A touching return of respect and admiration. Carpenter is saying, I loved that film, director and story. I wanted to make my and the modern audience version of it. So we can exchange ideas and pay back something. This to me underlines talent and The Things importance. It also underlines why this is such an important film. The reboot or remake fever we are currently in (Hollywood wise that is), has been drawn not from this idea of homage and re pitching but from harsh capitalism. The Thing is a work of beauty and bravery. It failed at the time because the critical mass were shocked a little and scared a lot. Shocked that someone took on a ‘master’ and scared that it could be so powerfully realised.
Extra wise well its a winner but firstly, its a slight improvement on the US disc. It looks a little nicer in externals and in lighting. It comes into its own with the commentary but I have heard it before! The excellent Who Goes there doc and less so the 82 homage film that smells a little of young boys wanking over cult films, like geeks do. All in all if you can get it. Do so…
BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS:
• Brand new restoration from a 4K scan of the original negative, supervised and approved by director John Carpenter and director of photography Dean Cundey
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
• Original Mono and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• Audio commentary by John Carpenter and actor Kurt Russell
• Who Goes There? In Search of The Thing an all-new feature length documentary produced by Ballyhoo Motion Pictures exploring the history of The Thing, from the original novella to John Carpenter’s terrifying science fiction classic. Featuring new interviews with the cast and crew, as well as authors, historians, and critics
• 1982: One Amazing Summer an all-new retrospective documentary produced by Ballyhoo Motion Pictures about the unforgettable films released in the summer of 1982
• John Carpenter’s The Thing: Terror Takes Shape archive documentary on the background and production of the film
• Vintage Featurettes
• Trailers, Teasers, TV and Radio Spots
• Still Galleries
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gary Pullin