31 Nights of Horror

31 Nights of Horror – The Thing (1982)

If anyone was going to remake this classic and do it justice, it had to be John Carpenter. The film takes place between two research bases in the middle of Antarctica. In the opening scene a helicopter is pursuing a sled dog as it makes its way to an American research base. The occupants of the helicopter seem to be trying to warn the Americans about something with a lot of shouting and hand gesturing but in true American fashion, they shoot the Norwegians. I mean, talk about an overreaction. MacReady and Dr. Copper from the American base set out to investigate the now abandoned Norwegian base where they find some charred corpses of something that looks kinda’ human but kinda’ not. Meanwhile, the sled dog has absorbed all of the other dogs on base through some creepy, alien metamorphosis. This part was legit upsetting, I know it’s fake but all of the dogs are whining as their limbs get sucked into this giant blob, gag. The dogs make such a ruckus that the Americans burst into the kennel to discover the alien blob and blast it with a flame thrower. Through the power of an autopsy (and ColecoVision) the Americans determine that the organism can imitate any life form that could infect all of mankind and immediately become suspicious of one another.

Is that Kurt Russell, you ask. Why yes, it is. While assessing the data that had been left behind by the Norwegians, the Americans discover a crash landed UFO. From there, it’s pretty much your average alien humanoid, mystery virus, everyone could be infected sagas during which everyone loses their shit. It’s a tense movie, you don’t really know who is infected at any given moment and you try to keep track of who was left on their own for too long. The alien blob is totally disgusting, crawling around with partial limbs and half-formed human features. Gag.

We don’t really know if the survivors actually end up surviving, they do blow up the base and you assume that they probably killed the alien blob but this doesn’t get overtly stated. Also, now that the two survivors are completely without supplies or communication, they probably die. It’s a disgusting, can’t look away, roller coaster of a movie. Any film or book that is set in isolated places like Antarctica, Greenland, the Rocky Mountains immediately give me the creeps. On top of all of the stuff that could go wrong in any horror flick, you have the man vs. nature drama. I think it’s a fantastic remake and a terrifying romp in its own right, definitely recommend!

Blowzy night-frumps vex’d Jack Q.

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