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The Thing Blu-ray Review

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Reviewed by Chris McEneany, 26th September 2008
The Thing is a bone-fide cult classic. Much like its titular creature, the film gets inside you, and slowly takes you over. Its themes of loss of identity and horrendous bodily infection are ever-prevalent and thought-provoking. Carpenter’s strong direction is a meticulous and well-honed engine of suspense and his unique ensemble cast have created indelible characters. The Thing is much, much more than a just a sick-bag of disgusting fx – though they are obviously just as memorable – it is a convincing exhibition of distrust and paranoia in an era where those conditions exist on a global scale. Its influence can still be seen rippling throughout the genre. The smart and fun Slither took many gloopy ideas from Carpenter’s classic, for example. With the possibility of more Thing-related adventures to come, the future is looking interesting, to say the least. Gloopy … but interesting.</p>Universal’s disc has AV quality that is utterly fantastic and really gives The Thing the greatest platform with which to showcase its delirious wares. However, its perplexing handling of the once-plentiful and fantastic extras drops the ball completely. Thankfully, the cover art of the BD is a retooling of the original poster and not the woeful videogame image that crept onto releases a few years ago. But the main reason to get your hands on this edition is for the outstanding transfer.

An essential purchase, though, if you are a fan of the movie and want to upgrade to the superior lossless audio track – unless you can wait for the UK disc, which may yet be better again with its all-round package. As it stands, however, The Thing BD is a great demo disc to show what the high definition process can do with older movies.

And one final thing. For further reading, have a look at Anne Billson’s excellent study of the film for the BFI Guide.
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