• Graveyard Shift

Small But Compelling Details In John Carpenter's 'The Thing'

List RulesVote up your favorite tidbits on the classic creature feature.

In 1982, John Carpenter's The Thing opened in theaters to a mediocre box office and bad reviews. Based on the novella Who Goes There? and a remake of Howard Hawks' The Thing From Another World, the story of a parasitic creature from a distant world who threatens mankind was a triumph in special effects, but failed to garner much notice. 

But despite its initial reception, Carpenter's space invasion saga was able to eventually find an audience on home video, and later on television. Thanks to a revived interest in the movie, The Thing was able to successfully morph from box-office dud to one of the most respected and revered horror films of all time.  Over the last four decades since its release, critics have reassessed their initial reception of the film and now regard the creature feature as "ahead of its time" and a milestone of the horror genre. 

As the film reaches new audiences, fans have rewatched the film again and again, in search of subtle details and missed moments. Here are a collection of small but interesting details people have shared about The Thing.

  • 5


    Posted by u/lurker1125:

    In The Thing (1982), [R.J.] MacReady calls the chess computer a cheater and pours liquor on it. This is supposed to show what kind of person he is, but due to an editing mistake, the computer did actually make an impossible move.

  • 6

    Observant Canine

    Posted by u/AdoorAbowlA**:

    I just watched and noticed that before they put the dog in the kennel, it spent a lot of time observing everyone. This is maybe why it was so convincing at impersonating the crew.

  • 7

    Window's Mistake

    Posted by u/Faddishbigfoot:

    In The Thing (1982), Windows is sent to lock up the blood bank and after returning finds Bennings being converted. In his shock, he drops the keys. It's not shown, only audio of the keys dropping is heard. Later in the movie, the blood bank is destroyed.

  • 8

    Palmer's Tell

    Posted by u/Madas5:

    The Thing (1982): During the blood test scene Palmer loses the [gleam] in his eyes. That shows the thing has fully assimilated him. Revealed by [cinematographer] Dean Cundey.