Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

"Why don't we just wait here for a little while... see what happens..."

I sometimes wonder what reviewers are thinking. John Carpenter's The Thing is a film often criticized for being short on characterization, and while I agree that it is sketchy at best, but I've always felt that worked in the film's favor. If you got to know these people inside and out, all warm and fuzzy, then it wouldn't fit either the isolation of the Antarctic locale nor the even colder paranoia that is so essential to the second half of the film. I feel this is a case where the superficiality of the people involved is vital to the fears that the film plays upon.

There is yet another remake in the works, and I expect that it will do all of the things that I am happy John Carpenter didn't do. You know that measured pace will be gone, no more slow fade-outs that make the audience unsure of how much time has passed, and by extension what may have happened in the interim.

The HD DVD has an outstanding image, with great detail, depth and is extremely comfortable in darkness. As usual for a Carpenter film of this vintage, Dean Cundey's Panavision photography is one of the it's greatest assets, making full advantage of the wide frame with the landscapes and spreads of characters. All this only emphasizes how amazing Rob Bottin's work on the film is. Few effects from 1982 stand up as well as his work on The Thing; my brother and I were watching this movie yesterday, my stepdad came in and watched one of the more gruesome transformations and turned green and excused himself. Every once and a while one sees something that doesn't look quite right, but I challenge a modern digital effect to be any more natural.

I can't help but wonder why Carpenter employed Ennio Morricone for the score when so much of the throbbing, electronically-driven results as they appear in the film are almost indistinguishable from his own style.
Tags: cinema, ennio morricone, film music, john carpenter, reviews
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