Back in the 80’s, most science fiction and horror films gained popularity for their special effects. Films such as Alien, E.T and The Blob amazed and terrified audiences with their use of stop-motion, puppeteers, mechanical effects, animatronics, and makeup. These are known as practical effects. This is very different from how most modern films are achieved their effects which is usually done through computer-generated imagery (CGI). In the 1980’s this technology was not advanced enough and was not capable of achieving the lifelike results that were needed for films. These effects take great technical and creative skills by the likes of practical effects legends such as Rick Baker, Tom Savini and Dick Smith. But none of these fore mentioned artists were the reason for the effects in the cult classic, The Thing. That title alone goes to the practical effects artist Rob Bottin Not only is using practical effects a very difficult thing to achieve but it’s also a onetime opportunity to shoot the scene. I think that’s what makes practical effects unique, you’re like a mad scientist trying things hoping it would work the first time and if you did hopefully you captured it on film. I’ll give this movie five stars because the effects were achieved really well and the plot was exceptional and it’s a great combination of sci-fi and horror and I don’t think anyone can do better than that.
Another thing is that they made a prequel to it, also called “the thing” but it is directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr in 2011. In this prequel, it is mostly based off from how the Norwegian scientists came in contact with the thing at their base and how it ended up in Antarctica in the 1982 “The Thing.” Not as much practical effects were used but more computer-generated effects. Many people were expecting great practical effects because of the first movie but many people were disappointed when they saw the film because of the overuse of CGI. The company that was in control of the special effects was Amalgamated Dynamics, they were in charge of all the practical effects in the film they all worked hard to make the animatronics and props they did but when they finished filming it something happened and they didn’t end up using almost all the props they made by hand but used CGI instead and many people disliked that because the 1982 version was great and I think many people had great expectations for this movie and they just weren’t satisfied at the end. I also think that CGI should be used when necessary but not for the whole movie but that’s in my opinion. Another thing that was different was that they used a female character in the prequel. In the 1982 movie the protagonist is Kurt Russel and in the 2011 movie its played by Mary Winstead. Once again many people were angry because they used a female protagonist and not a male like in the original movie but in my opinion Winstead did a great job in the movie.
If you haven’t seen any of these movies, I would recommend watching them. It would leave you feeling paranoid and freaked out because the practical effects look so real. Its grotesque, gross and scary and it deserves praise for all the hard work they put into it. Kurt Russel’s performance is impressive and the movie overall is awesome, not only is the plot good and the cast is great but it would leave you feeling uncomfortable even after you watch it many times. It will engage your mind and get you involved in the movie such as not knowing who is who or who is infected and how did they get infected and that is what I think makes a movie a great movie. I think Carpenter executed this remake very well and I don’t think it got the recognition that it needed. Even though it was a remake he still kept the original essence but made it unique In his own way. That is why I believe that this movie gets five out of five stars.
Carpenter, John “The thing”
In this movie, a group of American scientist in Antarctica are doing research they then took a dog in not knowing what it is, but they soon find out it’s not just an average dog.
Fahy Richard Thomas “The philosophy of horror”
In this book it discusses how people who watch horror movies love the feeling of being scared and also why do we go back to watching them if we are scared.
Finance, Charles & Zwerman, Susan “The visual effects producer understanding the art of business of VFX” 2015
In this book it discusses what is the differences between practical effects and computer generated imagery also known as CGI and how visual effects are taking over.
Heijningen Jr. Van, Matthijs “The thing”
A group of Norwegian researchers are in Antarctica when their vehicle breaks the ice and they discover a spacecraft in the ice. They then hire a group of American researchers to find out what it is, the thing then escaped and it began attacking the group one by one, not knowing that it can take form of humans they began to become paranoid and accuse each other.