Blu-Ray Review: The Thing

The Thing is one of those films which is a cult classic whilst being part of mainstream culture. It’s a good remake. Arguably the best remake there’s ever been. It’s a John Carpenter film which is not only a good John Carpenter film (arguably his best above Escape from New York, Halloween and They Live) it’s almost universally considered to be a defining genre moment. It’s based on a book (John W. Campbell, Jr.’s novella Who Goes There?) but it outstrips the source material in every conceivable way. The Thing is a masterpiece. The new restoration is beautiful.

When a helicopter crashes whilst in pursuit of a dog near an American research station in Antarctica, everyone is puzzled. MacReady (Kurt Russell), and Dr. Copper (Richard Dysart) are despatched to the Norwegian camp to find out more. They discover it deserted apart from corpses, but bring a strange charred specimen back from examination. Whilst they try to figure out what happened, strange events begin to disrupt the harmony of the group. And they may not be alone.

The Thing is a tense mix of sci-fi and horror which brilliantly uses the claustrophobic station to instil the feeling of terror and dread. The effect work from Rob Bottin and Stan Winston in phenomenal whilst Dean Cundey’s cinematography is breathtaking. What makes The Thing such a classic is the great supporting cast (including Wilford Brimley, David Keith, T.K. Carter and Joel Polis) and Carpenter’s ability to keep the suspense going throughout. The Thing is a must-see for all fans of horror and sci-fi cinema.

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
• Outtakes
• Behind-the-scenes
• Trailers, Teasers, TV and Radio Spots
• Still Galleries
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gary Pullin

The Thing is released on Blu-ray by Arrow Video on 20 November.

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