Previous Rank: 5
Director: John Carpenter
Cast: Kurt Russell, Wilform Brimley, Keith David
Scare Meter: 9/10
Scare Tactics: body horror, atmosphere, music, paranoia
*Listed in 101 Horror Movies You Must See Before You Die (Schneider, ed. 2009)
*Listed in Horror! 333 Films to Scare You to Death (Marriott and Newman 2010)
IMDb Plot Summary: "Scientists in the Antarctic are confronted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of the people that it kills."
The Thing is body horror at its finest. Here, the human body is taken over, destroyed, and morphed into the craziest configurations that an insane mind could come up with. And all around, the paranoia is a crushing weight. So is the isolation in that cold dark place miles away from civilization. It's a true battle for humanity, both on the individual and on the species levels. So it's not for the queasy or those who like jump scares, but it's certainly for those who like visceral horror. The recent remake was a decent effort but came nowhere close to matching the power of this true classic in sci-fi/horror.