J. Dianne Dotson on why The Thing still holds up

Sci-fi/horror author and science writer J. Dianne Dotson wrote a Medium article on The Thing and why it’s still a hit today:

Knowing then that the creature is extraterrestrial and can assimilate other life forms AND imitate them, AND having been cut off from outside communications at the beginning of winter at the South Pole? That’s about as bleak a scenario imaginable. The Thing begins hunting the rest of the crew members and hiding in plain sight, creating suspicion among the team. Blair (Wilford Brimley), the biologist, realized that the creature could escape the station and head to a populated area, where it would replicate exponentially and take over the Earth. Pretty dire.

And that’s also why it’s scary: there’s a plausibility to it all. It seems very topical right now, but it also serves as a cautionary tale. As we make our way into the Universe, we may not like what we find. Perhaps some forms of life exist out on exoplanets that would not have our interests in mind whatsoever. Good thing those worlds are far away…

The Thing is my favourite horror movie for a reason. I love the tension and cabin fever amongst the crew. Even the gruesome transformation scenes are tolerable for me (body horror generally freaks me the hell out).

The Thing related: The Hateful Eight’s homage to The Thing and John Carpenter and Kurt Russell’s commentary of the film

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