The Thing is a 1982 science fiction/horror film directed by John Carpenter. Ostensibly a remake of the 1951 Howard Hawks film The Thing From Another World, Carpenter's film is actually more faithful to the short story that serves as both films' source material, "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell, Jr
The Thing stars Kurt Russell, Keith David, Wilford Brimley, Richard Dysart and Richard Masur, among others. The musical score was by Ennio Morricone, a rare instance of Carpenter not scoring one of his own films.
The story takes place in Antarctica. An Americann research station receives a surprise visit from a seemingly insane pair of Norwegians, who are attempting to shoot a runaway sledge dog. The Norwegians are killed, and an investigation of the burned-out Norwegian research station reveals that they had uncovered an alien spacecraft from under hundreds of feet of ice.
It is soon revealed that the runaway sledge dog, now in the Americans' care, is infected by an alien life form that duplicates its host's cells with its own. The result is an alien predator with the ultimate camouflage, a perfect reproduction of its host. Gradually, paranoia sets in among the Americans, as none can be certain whom among them has been infected.
Many characters' names are taken directly from the original Campbell story, as is a scene in which Russell's character devises a test to see who may be infected, by exposing a sample of each man's blood to extreme heat.
Upon its release, the film was lambasted by critics for its special make-up effects, created by Rob Bottin, which were seen as excessively bloody and disgusting. The film fared poorly at the box office, only to see its reputation improve in subsequent years through home video releases. It is now regarded by the majority of Carpenter's admirers as one of his finest films. A special edition DVD was released in 1999.
In 2001, a video game was released, taking the form of a sequel to the film. The game — also titled The Thing — makes effective use of the elements of paranoia and mistrust intrinsic to the film, and was released on multiple platforms: PC, PlayStation 2, XBox, and Nintendo Gamecube.