John Carpenter’s 1982 remake of ‘50s B-movie _The Thing From Another World _takes that film’s central conceit of an alien organism unleashed in a remote Arctic research base and takes it to thrillingly paranoid and admirably gruesome extremes.
Carpenter regular Kurt Russell plays the gloriously hirsute, whiskey-drinking hero R.J. MacReady, who must try to work out who he can trust when he and his colleagues realise that the alien among them possesses the ability to assimilate any life form – as the original tagline so eloquently put it: “Man is the warmest place to hide”.
This deliciously tense set-up is punctuated by moments of explosive violence and grotesque body horror; the film is rightly celebrated for its now-legendary, incredibly visceral special effects by Roy Arbogast, Stan Winston, Rob Bottin, Albert Whitlock et al that still shock and horrify nearly 40 years later.
With a score from the great Ennio Morricone, and Carpenter’s taut direction, this is one of the most essential genre films of the ‘80s.
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