Tuesday, February 2, 2010
THE THING is
Most of all...
my favorite "And then there were none" story.
I don't think I've watched any movie more times ...perhaps Blade Runner.
John Carpenter's The Thing is exceptional on so many levels; isolation story - monster movie - character study...and like Witness as 3 films in one. The Thing succeeds as everything it wants to be. There isn't a second in this story that breaks character or reality...and that is impressive in any film, let alone one about an alien monster from space.
What makes this the best of the many movies that investigate small isolated groups disappearing one by one is the ambiguous ending...genius. No sequel...no happy resolution...and so completely satisfying where every other story like this one provides a concrete answer. It leaves one asking "..would I even know if I turned into something awful?..would you?"
Almost as much fun as the film is the audio track with JC and Kurt Russell, but I'm a sucker for these two together and Carpenter's early body of work is my most loved group of films next to Hitchcock's. The commentaries that blend experience with real filmmaking education are the best, and this is theirs. Assault on Precinct 13, Halloween, The Fog, and Escape from NY are simply works of art buuuut...like Blade Runner or Star Wars I do believe that the Morricone(like Jaws, simple, scary, awesome) score, the Albert Whitlock artwork, the visual palette, and the all practical all amazing effects work bring so many accomplished artistic minds together that you have, not a singular vision but a film that has literally the best talent across the board. Throw together a dozen great character actors and I think I could watch The Thing every day.