The Thing | Chicago Reader

The Thing

John Carpenter's only official remake (1982) of a Howard Hawks film turns out to be his least Hawksian effort. There is no cohesion within the male group at Carpenter's antarctic research station; when the shape-shifting monster comes in for the attack, it's every man for himself. And although the group members are played by familiar, well-defined character actors, the terse banality of the dialogue makes them all sound and seem alike—it's hard to tell who's being attacked, and hard to care. Carpenter's direction is slow, dark, and stately; he seems to be aiming for an enveloping, novelistic kind of effect, but all he gets is heaviness. With Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Richard Dysart, and Richard Masur.



  • John Carpenter


  • Kurt Russell
  • A. Wilford Brimley
  • T.K. Carter
  • Richard Dysart
  • Richard Masur
  • Donald Moffat
  • David Clennon


  • Bill Lancaster


  • Wilbur Stark
  • David Foster
  • Lawrence Turman

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