It’s still October. As you know we’re in season five and we’re talking about scary movies through the decades. Last week was the forties and The Wolf Man and this week’s episode six is The Thing from Another World. Talk about an influential film! Let’s get to it.
An Arctic outpost finds a space craft and a being trapped in the ice. Little do they know the countdown to fighting for their lives begins when they bring the filled block of ice back to their station. The creature is very much alive and looking for a blood filled meal before the conquest of Earth begins.
If you tweak the location and method of discovery, you have the basis for some of the better scary movies of the last 40 years. The Thing from Another World isn’t just the movie that plays in the background of every horror movie, it’s the favorite movie of all those directors. Christian Nyby, Howard Hawks, and Charles Ledere came together in the most memorable of ways. The dialogue is fast, overlapping, and fact-filled. The cast smoothly moves betweens scenes while walking and talking and planning. The dread built by limited creature (played by Gunsmoke’s own Marshall Dillon: James Arness) screen time and clever shadows truly builds to the end.
It wasn’t just the behind the scenes team that succeeded, the cast comes off well too. Kenneth Tobey as our hero does a fantastic job as the no nonsense Air Force Captain. Robert Cornthwaite plays the aloof scientist Dr. Carrington who believes man is worth the price of science. And Douglas Spencer as reporter Ned, the everyman, keeps the humor in the film. The outpost is brimming with personnel of all ages…even females. Each and every one has at least one line to deliver. There’s even a budding romance with Margaret Sheridan‘s Nikki and the Captain.
We all have our favorite spooky viewing traditions for Halloween. We humbly submit this for consideration. Before you pop in Halloween or The Thing this year, find that film The Thing from Another World.