Put yourself into this scenario.
You’re five. Bit of an “indoor” kid. You have two older cousins who are sort of ahead on the mature movies sliding scale and an uncle more concerned with keeping us shut the fuck up so he could play conga than in entertaining us himself.
The kids watch Scarface, Nightmare on Elm Street, Invasion USA, The Last Dragon, Alien, more Scarface.
You get the idea.
Then one day HBO comes on. Their old theme music plays ( see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1NKoMNy5bY). Real quick – that still gives me the fucking heebie jeebies.
Anyway, that theme ends and The Thing starts.
You watch a solid forty five minutes and nearly shit your pants.
You run upstairs WEEPING.
Your cousins laugh.
You can’t be in the room when that HBO music starts for two more years.
You don’t watch the movie again until you’re fifteen.
It still scares the living shit out of you.
I consider Carpenter’s version of The Thing to be a masterpiece of scifi horror. The only movie that beats it is the original Alien. The imagery, the tension, and the cast – top notch.
That imagery, though. The first time you see a dog’s head split open. The “test” with the wire. That final dog/Brimley/Diabeetus monster – good lord.
To this day, The Thing scares me. The imagery, the body horror. It all totally bleeds into a lot of my writing. Between this and Cronenberg’s version of The Fly, I had an immense fear of metamorphosis.
I wouldn’t give that up for the world, though.
So, if you’ve never seen The Thing (Carpenter’s version – the original and 2011 versions are GARBAGE) please, please, please change that.
Especially if you’re the type to be easily scared. This is one of the gems customer built to give you a proper, traumatizing scare.