|John Carpenter's remake of the Howard Hawks 1951 classic is certainly gorier than the original, but is it better?
Doesn't really matter, since this version is still a whole lotta fun all on its own.
As with the '51 version, this is based on John Campbell's story Who Goes There? first published in 1938.
The basic premise, about a group of men terrorized by an alien force while studying in the Arctic, has stood the test of time.
A major commercial flop at the time of its release, in retrospect The Thing is now heralded as one of John Carpenter's best efforts.
Like Hawks and Christian Nyby before him, Carpenter does a good job of creating a feeling of isolation and paranoia.
Unfortunately, none of the actors really register on the richter scale, and even action hero Russell can't carry the whole 'thing' on his shoulders.
Never fear. The real stars here are the enthusiastic special effects by Rob Bottin, an explosive concoction that repulses, astounds and chills...all at the same time.
Simply great midnight fun.