“Let’s get this straight. I hate The Thing. I hate it, hate it, hate it. I think it’s the shittiest horror film ever, and John Carpenter should be ashamed of everything about it.” That was me for years up until yesterday, when I finally watched my new Amazon copy of The Thing on Blu-Ray for the first time. Now I love it, although I don’t think it’s as good as John Carpenter’s masterpiece Ghosts of Mars, obviously. I also think the late Charles Hallahan, who plays Norris here, was much better in The Pest. But here is my theory after watching it about who became infected exactly when, as people know this movie leaves infection points pretty ambiguous throughout. After all, where would the surprise element be otherwise, right?
People have praised John Carpenter’s Halloween and The Thing as his crowning achievements, acknowledging them as groundbreakers in the genre of horror, with Halloween often credited with spawning a slew of slasher flicks that saturated the 1980s into today, while The Thing supposedly changed the shape (pun most certainly intended) of movie monsters. At the same time, people forget to appreciate the film that represents the true pinnacle of Carpenter’s career, a culmination of all that he has hoped to achieve in the realm of horror ever since the inception of his career. That film is 2001’s Ghosts of Mars.