I could ramble on with this review and waste your time, but do you really need to be told to watch John Carpenter’s other masterpiece (the first being Halloween) The Thing? The film is pure perfection in every form and it’s something that will live on for generations. I never personally tackled reviewing The Thing on this site before, because I just don’t see the point. Us horror fans know that The Thing is a masterpiece, so what could I say that you don’t already know? Nothing, to be perfectly honest with you. If you by chance live in a tiny, tiny hole and have not had the luxury of witnessing this brilliant horror film, well, then now is your chance! Scream Factory releases the definitive version of The Thing on Blu-ray and you bet your ass it is worth picking up!
RUN-TIME: 109 min
ASPECT RATIO: 2.35:1
AUDIO: DTS-HD Master Audio 4.1, 5.1 and 2.0
PRODUCTION DATE: 1982
RELEASE DATE: Oct 11, 2016
Horror master John Carpenter (Halloween, Escape From New York) delivers “a masterful exercise in claustrophobic suspense… [with] elaborate special effects [that] set a high standard for films that followed” (TV Guide). Kurt Russell’s iconic and tense performance drives this chilling version of the classic The Thing.
In the winter of 1982, a twelve-man research team at a remote Antarctic research station discovers an alien buried in the snow for over 100,000 years. Soon unfrozen, the form-changing alien wreaks havoc, creates terror… and becomes one of them.
It’s John Carpenter’s The Thing, starring a bunch of dudes and the badass Kurt Russell. It has fantastic special effects by Rob Bottin and an unforgettable soundtrack by Ennio Morricone. The films will have you on edge of your seat, wondering who may or may not be human, it features a fantastic jump scare and the ending is hands down, one of the best endings in a horror film. The movie is perfect. Review done.
This isn’t the first time The Thing has come out on Blu-ray, but it most definitely will be the last copy you’ll need to ever pick up. The new 2K transfer is supervised by the almighty cinematographer Dean Cundey, so you know that this is how The Thing should look. Some people will complain of a blue tint here and there that wasn’t in the other Blu-ray release, but this is the correct look. The transfer is purely phenomenal.
The disc also boasts three audio options, with the new 4.1 option being the best way to hear the film. Recreated from the original 70MM Six Track Dolby Stereo Soundtrack, the 4.1 option skips the centre speaker, but fills your other speakers with screams, music and alien roaring!
Okay, so we know the movie is fantastic, the video and audio will bring joyous tears to your eyes, but what about the special features? Well, there was no slacking in this department either. The first disc contains the film, three commentaries and a wonderful amount of trailers, TV spots and a still gallery. The new commentary from Dean Cundey will be the highlight for many, as he dives into the film and the history of it. Also, as we probably all know, he provides a bit of an insight into who may or may not be the thing. There is one other new commentary with co-producer Stuart Cohen. The last commentary isn’t new, but it does feature John Carpenter and Kurt Russell.
The is just the first disc of this release! The substantial features come into play when you pop in the second disc. You’ll need to set aside a lot of time with this release. The new interviews with most of the actors (Kurt Russell sadly not present) runs a whopping 51 minutes! And yes, Wilford Brimley is in fact, still alive.
As for the rest of the features, we have interviews with the special effects crew, musician Alan Howarth, who provided some additional music work (stingers, UFO sound effects), novelization author Alan Dean Foster, narration over pictures of the original filming locations and more and more and more… I haven’t even mentioned all the ported over features like the TV broadcast version (list of differences), vintage featurettes and a fairly long (54 minutes) making-of.
You should set plenty of time aside to spend in the icy cold world of John Carpenter’s The Thing.
- NEW 2K Scan Of The Interpositive Supervised And Approved By Director Of Photography Dean Cundey
- NEW 4.1 Audio Mix Created From The Original 70MM Six Track Dolby Stereo Soundtrack (5.1 Audio Mix Also Included)
- NEW Audio Commentary With Director Of Photography Dean Cundey
- NEW Audio Commentary With Co-producer Stuart Cohen
- Audio Commentary By Director John Carpenter And Actor Kurt Russell
- Teaser Trailer (1 minute)
- Theatrical Trailers (U.S. And German) (5 minutes)
- TV Spots (1 minute)
- Radio Spots (2 minutes)
- Still Gallery (Behind-The-Scenes Photos, Posters And Lobby Cards) (15 minutes)
- NEW Requiem For A Shape Shifter – An Interview With Director John Carpenter In Conversation With Filmmaker Mick Garris (28 minutes)
- NEW The Men Of Outpost 31 – Interviews With Keith David, Wilford Brimley, David Clennon, Thomas Waites, Peter Maloney, Richard Masur And Joel Polis (51 minutes)
- NEW Assembling And Assimilation – An Interview With Editor Todd Ramsay (11 minutes)
- NEW Behind The Chameleon: The Sights Of THE THING – Interviews With Visual Effects Artists Peter Kuran And Susan Turner, Special Make-up Effects Artist Rob Burman, Brian Wade And Stop Motion Animators Randall William Cook And Jim Aupperle (25 minutes)
- NEW Sounds From The Cold – Interviews With Supervising Sound Editor David Lewis Yewdall And Special Sound Effects Designer Alan Howarth (15 minutes)
- NEW Between The Lines – An Interview With Novelization Author Alan Dean Foster (16 minutes)
- NEW Back Into The Cold: A Return To The Shooting Locations Of THE THING – An Animated Photo Gallery Narrated By Todd Cameron Of Outpost31.com
- NEW The Art Of Mike Ploog Gallery (12 minutes)
- John Carpenter’s The Thing: Terror Takes Shape – A Documentary On The Making Of THE THING Featuring Interviews With John Carpenter, Kurt Russell, Special Effects Make-up Designer Rob Bottin, Legendary Matte Artist Albert Whitlock Plus Members Of The Cast And Crew (80 minutes – SD)
- Network TV Broadcast Version Of THE THING (92 minutes – SD)
- Outtakes (5 minutes – SD)
- Vintage Featurettes From The Electronic Press Kit Featuring Interviews With John Carpenter, Kurt Russell And Rob Bottin (13 minutes – SD)
- Vintage Featurettes – The Making Of A Chilling Tale And The Making Of THE THING (14 minutes – SD)
- Vintage Product Reel – Contains A Condensed Version Of The Film With Additional Footage Not In The Film (19 minutes – SD)
- Vintage Behind-The-Scenes Footage (2 minutes – SD)
- Annotated Production Archive – Production Art And Storyboards, Location Scouting, Special Make-up Effects, Post Production (54 minutes – SD)
I’m sorry if I didn’t go critically in-depth with this review, as I’m just too damn busy checking out the rest of the features on this amazing Scream Factory Blu-ray. This is the version to own folks and you would be wise to pick it up right now!