Continuity mistake: When Mac is locked out of the complex by the rest of the team, who think he may be a 'Thing', Childs uses an axe to try and chop open one of the doors, leaving a HUGE hole in the middle of it. Later Childs returns to that same door and the hole is significantly smaller and at a completely different location on the door.
Continuity mistake: When the crew is outside and they're going to lock Blair in the tool shed, you can see someone nailing wood across the window on the front of the shed. The pieces of wood are horizontal. In the next shot (inside the shed), if you look at the window in the background, the strips of wood are vertical. When Mac goes back outside, the wood is horizontal again.
Add timeMark Bernhard
Continuity mistake: Just a couple of minutes into the movie, Gary shoots dead the crazed Norwegian and the camera returns to MacReady. Now watch closely: When he gets up to help injured Bennings, he and his Jim Beam bottle are covered up to the hilt with loads of snow. But on the next shot, a split second later, his clothes are miraculously clean and the whiskey bottle as dry as you can possibly get it.
Continuity mistake: When the stray dog is placed in the cage with the other dogs and starts to mutate into The Thing, one of the other dogs start biting a hole in the fence. We get a clear view of the hole in one close-up, and in the next shot as The Thing sprays liquid on the dog, and the hole in the fence is much bigger.
Continuity mistake: When they are all outside and MacReady has separated the three most likely suspects and orders that they be tied down and tested, he comments at that time that they are to be hit by a storm in six hours. Cut to the scene where Mac is dictating into his recorder and he comments that the storm has been hitting them hard for 48 hours. However it is the same night and at best, maybe only an hour has passed.
Continuity mistake: When the dog, aka the The Thing, is led into the dog pen for the first time we see the floor is covered in a thick layer of straw for the dogs to sleep on. This is seen every time except when Childs uses the flame thrower. We get a wide shot of the pen as it's lit up in flame and the floor is now completely bare of any straw. There are also none of the recently deceased dogs that were lining the floor, being converted into Things.
Continuity mistake: MacReady and Doc return to the research station from the abandoned shack in the helicopter. The scene then cuts to the dog watching the two exit the helicopter in the window. In the shot where the helicopter is visible in the window, the dog is looking out of the window from the right hand side. In the next shot, it is suddenly looking out of the left hand side. This mistake has nothing to do with the angle of the camera.
Continuity mistake: After MacReady and Doc have discovered the spacecraft, the scene cuts to a wide angle of them approaching one of the researchers looking into a dug up hole. Just as the wide shot ends, MacReady and Doc are standing right next to the man. The shot then cuts to a closer angle of the three and MacReady and Doc are now several feet away from him.
Continuity mistake: After the scene where the Norwegian helicopter chasing the dog through the snow ends, the scene cuts to the research station. The first shot from the research station shows a sign: UNITED STATES NATIONAL SCIENCE INSTITUTE STATION 4. This close-up shows scratching and rotting all over. A few minutes later, as the helicopter arrives at the station, the scratching and rotting over the "4" is no longer there.
00:04:30 - 00:06:15Casual Person
Continuity mistake: When the Norwegian helicopter is on its way to the research station, it comes across a dog running in the snow. The dog turns around to notice the helicopter, causing some of the snow around him to push upwards a few inches. The shot cuts to the helicopter, but when the shot cuts back, the snow is suddenly almost level with the rest.
Continuity mistake: When MacReady says they are going to find out who's who, he tells Doc, Garry and Clark to move away from the others and one of them steps forward in MacReady's direction. MacReady then raises his flamethrower around the top half of his abdominal region. The shot then changes where the camera is in front of MacReady and the top half of his abdominal region is shown, but the flamethrower is nowhere in sight. The camera cuts to an angle behind MacReady and the flamethrower is back.
Continuity mistake: When Windows breaks the glass to the gun cabinet, he takes out one of the shotguns and picks up some ammo. At the left hand side of the cabinet, there is some remaining glass in the cabinet along the side. The glass along the left side vanishes when Windows places the shotgun on the floor.
Continuity mistake: Back at the research station, the researchers are looking at some debris from the spacecraft that is placed on a cloth on a snooker table. There is a guy with a grey sweater with his hands in the debris and a guy in a brown jumper also holding the debris. In the next shot, neither of their hands are located on the debris or cloth.
Continuity mistake: When Doc is defibrillating Norris, in the shot before he defibrillates him and we see it is actually the thing, Norris' eyes are definitely closed. In the next shot, just as Doc bursts through Norris and the Thing's intestines are revealed, Norris' eyes are suddenly open.
Continuity mistake: Just after MacReady overhears the dogs barking, he runs over to the fire alarm, breaks the glass with his beer can and pulls the fire alarm. After he breaks the glass, there is a piece of broken glass located next to the alarm. But in the next shot, as he removes his hand, the piece of glass has vanished.
Continuity mistake: When MacReady and Doc are examining the abandoned shack, MacReady comes across a portable video unit and MacReady then wipes off the snow and dust off the unit. From the first shot of the unit, we can see part of the unit is wiped so far, we are able to notice the unit itself. The visible part of the unit is located in the middle of the unit at first, but after Doc states the papers are in Norwegian and the shot cuts back to MacReady, it is now the edge of the unit that has the top of the unit visible.
Continuity mistake: When Palmer, as the thing, picks up Windows by the head his wardrobe is different as soon as he picks him up. The sleeveless motorcycle jacket he is wearing is missing and he is just wearing the green short sleeve shirt and the white sweatshirt. Then in the next shot he has the sleeveless jacket on again.
Continuity mistake: When Palmer is revealed to be a thing, he shoots up to the ceiling. Windows is ready to use the flamethrower on him. He has the flamethrower pointed up to the ceiling, yet when Palmer falls to the floor, in that split second, Windows changes into a completely different position with the flamethrower.
Continuity mistake: When Childs takes an ax to the supply room door where MacReady has broken into, there is a shot of him hitting the door high up. Then there is the shot of MacReady almost frozen. When the shot cuts back to Childs, the ax marks in the door are not consistent with the shot from a few seconds before.
Continuity mistake: MacReady leaves the room so Fuchs can continue to do his work. The shot changes to an angle from behind Fuchs where he is shown writing on his paper. There is a conical flask visible at the back of the desk with some blue liquid in it. In the next shot, the liquid in the conical flask is suddenly just clear water.
Continuity mistake: When MacReady and the two other researches first discover the the spacecraft, there is a shot where the camera is in front of the three looking downwards into the hole. All three of them have their hands by their sides. In the next shot, the researcher on the left suddenly has his arms raised with binoculars suddenly in his hands.
Continuity mistake: After the Norwegians exit the helicopter, one of them goes to throw a grenade but accidentally lets go of it, and it explodes. In the shot where the man takes cover during the explosion, the fire clears out and there is soot around the helicopter on the snow, about six feet. A couple of shots later, as the Norwegian stands up, the amount of soot around on the snow has notably increased.
Continuity mistake: After the dog has followed the helicopter to the research station, the chopper flies around the station before landing on the ground. Before landing, MacReady is shown exiting the watch tower with a bottle of alcohol in hand. When he exits, the bottle is around his hip area. Then from an angle of MacReady low down, the bottle is suddenly raised slightly up to his chest area.
Continuity mistake: Just after MacReady leaves Fuchs to do his work, there are several items on his desk, such as a lamp, conical flask and books. In the first shot shown after MacReady leaves, the lamp is about a foot away from the conical flask and the conical flask is a foot away from the books. Next shot, the lamp, conical flask and books are more closer to each other.
Continuity mistake: When the helicopter is circling the research station, the co-pilot picks up a hand grenade to throw on the ground. He picks up the grenade on the bottom row in the middle column. There is no grenade in the middle column from the second row of grenades and no grenade in the left hand column of the top row of grenades. Around 45 seconds later, in the shot after the dog leaps onto one of the researchers, the exact same shot of the man taking the grenade out of the box has been repeated a second time. He takes out the exact same grenade from the exact same row.
00:07:15 - 00:08:05Casual Person
Continuity mistake: In the opening scene, a Norwegian helicopter is flying across the Arctic. The co-pilot is half outside it. From the exterior angle, the co-pilot has a pair of binoculars and is looking directly downwards with the binoculars also positioned directly downwards. In the next shot, from a side angle, the binoculars are suddenly elevated and he is looking directly forward.
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