The Thing

Members of an American scientific research outpost in Antarctica find themselves battling a parasitic alien organism capable of perfectly imitating its victims. They soon discover that this task will be harder than they thought, as they don't know which members of the team have already been assimilated and their paranoia threatens to tear them apart.

Plot hole: It's never explicitly stated or shown that the Thing reproduces with each victim until the movie is nearly over (when Palmer infects Windows). Most viewers figure it out from the context, but it's unclear just when and how the characters themselves have come to this conclusion. This was an inadvertent result of an editing decision and a visual goof: there is a deleted scene in which Blair explains much more directly that the Thing multiplies according to how many victims it takes, and in its place in the final film is a scene containing a computer simulation that director John Carpenter acknowledges was a failed attempt at explaining the organism's life cycle.

TonyPH Premium member

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Clark: I dunno what the hell's in there, but it's weird and pissed off, whatever it is.

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Trivia: The TV edit of the film differs widely from the theatrical release - lots of footage was purposely edited out, such as when the dead Norwegian on the table blinks, and there is also a narration. Director John Carpenter has publicly stated that he finds the TV edit embarrassing and a disgrace to his movie.

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Question: Was the huge monster McReady encounters, and subsequently blows up, the actual "default" form of the Thing? After all, the correspondent DVD chapter is titled "The Real Thing". Yes, they do say that the Thing could've imitated millions of different lifeforms, but it must've had a form to begin with.

Answer: At the end, the large creature presented itself as an amalgam of beings it had absorbed-part Blair, part dog, and various other beings with tentacles, insect-like legs, and a worm-like body. I don't believe that we really ever see what its true form is, if it has one.

Erik M.

Answer: In the book, it was vaguely humanoid with blue rubbery skin, a head of writhing tentacles, and 3 glowing red eyes. There is a picture of it in Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials by Wayne Barlowe.

Grumpy Scot

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