Monday, 25 May 2015

Monster Mondays #4 - The Thing

Hello and welcome this sunny Monday to Monster Mondays #4. Thank you to everyone who is joining in, be it with comments or posts, I love you all :).
Monster Mondays posts may be fiction, film reviews, book reviews or me waxing lyrical about a particular monster. Monsters can be paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy or even simply human. So basically, anything monster goes. I also invite anyone who would like to, to join in with their own post. (See end for details).
The Thing

So this week I am going for an alien monster. This creature from the depths of space is a monster that has stuck with me since the moment I first saw it and still haunts me to this day, it is John Carpenter's The Thing. No matter how many times I see this movie it still creeps me out. The first time I saw it, it had me hiding behind a cushion.

For those who have not seen it, the Thing is an alien, dug up by Norwegian scientists in the Antartic. It had been in the permafrost for thousands of years, but when they thaw it out it is still alive and attacks them. The big problem with this beastie is that is can take on and mimic whatever it attacks and absorbs.

In the original 1982 film we come in where what is left of the Norwegian party is chasing a dog through the snow towards an American outpost. The dog is not what it seems and ends up like this:

The Thing then proceeds to absorb one crew member after another while  Mac (Kurt Russel) does his best to try and stop it.

The reason I find this such a wonderful monster is how insidious it is. At first the team don't even realise there is a problem and the dog is there for ages before it transforms and it has already assimilated another member of the group by then. Just by looking it is impossible to tell who is the Thing and who is simply human.

It is also utterly disgusting, which is a good start with a monster. While it is assimilating and transforming it is horrid and slimy and goopy and all things that an evil alien should be. The part of the original film that will always stay with me no matter what is what many people refer to as the spider head.

One of the really dangerous facts about The Thing is that every cell is an organism of it's own. Shoot it and nothing happens, stab it, nothing happens - the only thing that can kill it is fire. Hence when it is discovered, not all parts have to act as one. During the movie one crew member it discovered and in defence his head separates.

At first it uses an extra long tongue to move around, but then it adapts even more:
It grows legs and eye stalks and runs away.

This creeped me out beyond belief when I first saw it and it still makes me shiver now :). This is why I think The Thing is a superb monster.

I have also seen the 2011 prequel The Thing as well and although it was okay, I found it much less engaging than the original. Maybe it was simply that I knew all the rules already and so I was expecting everything.

Have you seen The Thing? Does it creep you out? Which is your favourite part? If you haven't seen it, had my post about it managed to raise any goosebumps? ;)

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  1. I regret to say I still haven't seen this movie, but I will one day! Probably without my wife, because I can't imagine convincing her to watch that...

    1. My husband and I snuggle up on the sofa to watch movies like this so we can both attempt to hide behind each other at the appropriate times ;)

  2. I've never seen this movie but those are some disturbing images. *hides*

    1. I don't know what it is, I really dislike slasher films, but I love monster movies even with grisly monsters - I think it's the disconnect from reality that I enjoy :). This one is definitely of the most grisly kind.

  3. Carpenter's take on the 'Thing From Another World' is still pretty well-done and really brought a strong dose of HPLovecraft into things. It's fun to watch this one after the classic movie with James Arness as the malevolent space vegetable-creature. Excellent double-feature.

    1. I remember seeing a clip from The Thing From Another World, but I don't think I've every seen the whole thing - I really should rectify that at some point :).

  4. Wow! That spider head!! Yeah, I've never seen it, either. Looks way scarier than the cover ever let on! I'll have to pick it up one day. :)

    Alex Hurst, A Fantasy Author in Kyoto

  5. It looks like a movie I couldn't watch even now. When these came out I was very young, so they scared me too much. Now, I could probably handle them, but not sure about this one.

    1. I love a good scare, but I do watch things from behind cushions a lot of the time :)


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