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The 50 Greatest Movie Endings of All Time

23. The Thing (1982)

Director: John Carpenter
Screenwriter: Bill Lancaster

After watching most of your friends' turn into hideous aliens and ultimately get slaughtered, wouldn't you hit the bottle?

In John Carpenter's sci-fi/horror masterpiece The Thing, MacReady (Kurt Russell) is put through the ringer both physically and mentally. Trapped inside an Antarctic research station with a bunch of colleagues, MacReady's forced to fight against a shapeshifting extra-terrestrial presence that incubates inside humans before making a duplicate. At any given time, MacReady doesn't know which of his colleagues are still human and which have been occupied. With his trusty flamethrower, he sets them ablaze, all before the inevitable showdown between MacRead and The Thing itself. Thanks to a stick of dynamite, MacReady wins.

As fire burns behind him, an exhausted MacReady sits down and breathes a sigh of relief. Who knows if he'll be rescued—he's just happy to be alive. He's soon joined by fellow survivor (or is he a Thing?) Childs (Keith David). They discuss their next move. "Why don't we wait here," says MacReady, "see what happens." In comes the bottle of scotch. After all, there is no hope. —MB

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