Rather than waste your money and time on the recently released The Thing, which is supposed to be a prequel to John Carpenter’s 1982 classic, go see the original. Where the newer version uses digital effects and lots of shrieking sounds to strike fear into the hearts of viewers, Carpenter’s version utilizes Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, and a much more subtle sense of dread. The story is simple—a group of researchers in the Antarctic cross paths with an alien being that can consume and then mimic its’ victims appearances. Chaos ensues. And Carpenter brings honest-to-God suspense—plus a soundtrack by the legendary Ennio Morricone and Carpenter himself—into the mix, rather than the heavy-handed, laughable appearances of the creature in the new version. Comparing the two films really makes one realize how so many filmmakers today use digital animation as a crutch to prop up a terrible plot. As one man said out loud at a theater during the credits of the recent version, “That sucked.”

John Carpenter's The Thing (1982)
Tuesday, October 25
7:15 p.m.
Portage Theater
4050 North Milwaukee Ave., Chicago