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thing

Logline: At a remote Arctic outpost, a group of scientists and American Air Force officials discover a blood thirsty alien being.

In the 1950s, science fiction and horror were closely tied to one anotherThe Thing from Another World is one of the most famous sci-fi/horror mashups from that decade.  Based on John W. Campbell’s short story “Who Goes There?”, the film was directed by Christian Nyby and the uncredited Howard Hawks who also produced.

The alien being in the film is essentially a giant vegetable man, who feeds on blood and is able to regenerate limbs and reproduce by spreading seeds.  More interesting is the varying ways the characters react and behave as a result of this alien discovery.  The film has the snappy dialogue one expects from a Howard Hawks production.  Also present are the seeds of the Cold War paranoia that would soon engulf the nation.

The Thing from Another World was remade in 1982 by horror master John Carpenter.  It is one of the few instances in which the remake is far superior to the original.  Still, the 1951 version, while nothing remarkable, is a solid film in its own right.

Rating (out of ****): ***

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