The Thing [Blu-ray] [4K UHD]
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The Thing's special effects were largely designed by Bottin, who had previously worked with Carpenter on The Fog (1980). When Bottin joined the project in mid-1981, pre-production was in progress, but no design had been settled on for the alien. Artist Dale Kuipers had created some preliminary paintings of the creature's look, but he left the project after being hospitalized following a traffic accident before he could develop them further with Bottin. Carpenter conceived the Thing as a single creature, but Bottin suggested that it should be constantly changing and able to look like anything. Carpenter initially considered Bottin's description of his ideas as "too weird", and had him work with Ploog to sketch them instead. As part of the Thing's design, it was agreed anyone assimilated by it would be a perfect imitation and would not know they were the Thing. The actors spent hours during rehearsals discussing whether they would know they were the Thing when taken over. Clennon said that it did not matter, because everyone acted, looked and smelled exactly the same before (or after) being taken over. At its peak, Bottin had a 35-person crew of artists and technicians, and he found it difficult to work with so many people. To help manage the team, he hired Erik Jensen, a special effects line producer who he had worked with on The Howling (1981), to be in charge of the special make-up effects unit. Bottin's crew also included mechanical aspect supervisor Dave Kelsey, make-up aspect coordinator Ken Diaz, moldmaker Gunnar Ferdinansen, and Bottin's longtime friend Margaret Beserra, who managed painting and hair work. The first thing to notice is the richer, darker colour scheme of the image – slightly darker than the Arrow version, the vibrancy in these colours from the WCG employed, especially the dashes of colour dotted throughout the film, help give the image more depth and texture. Fine detail is considerably sharper and more noticeable, without ever feeling artificially so – the first clear examples include the establishing shot of the camp at 6:22 as the Norwegian helicopter flies over it when every mast is clearly delineated against the sky on the 4K disc, less so on the Arrow version; similarly at 8:26, the Norwegian with the gun screaming after the dog has razor sharp clothing lines on the 4K, a much softer version of which is on the Arrow disc; as MacReady arrives at the Norwegian camp by helicopter at 16:39, the crisp lines of the burnt clothing at the bottom of the screen on the 4K disc are nowhere to be found on the Arrow disc; and the list goes on…
Carpenter was reluctant to join the project, for he thought Hawks's adaptation would be difficult to surpass, although he considered the film's monster to be unnotable. Cohen suggested that he read the original novella. Carpenter found the "creepiness" of the imitations conducted by the creature, and the questions it raised, interesting. He drew parallels between the novella and Agatha Christie's mystery novel And Then There Were None (1939), and noted that the story of Who Goes There? was "timely" for him, meaning he could make it "true to [his] day" as Hawks had in his time. Carpenter, a fan of Hawks's adaptation, paid homage to it in Halloween, and he watched The Thing from Another World several times for inspiration before filming began. Carpenter and cinematographer Dean Cundey first worked together on Halloween, and The Thing was their first big-budget project for a major film studio. For more about The Thing 4K and the The Thing 4K Blu-ray release, see the The Thing 4K Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on September 15, 2021 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5. Does the cast, a mixture of classic Hollywood leading men and wonderfully grizzled character actors, who all inhabit their roles, making each one unique and memorable, even with very little screentime for most, need discussing any further?deadly creature in their midst, one that can absorb and imitate any life form it so chooses, leaving Does the incredibly taut script, honed by almost laser precision into a simple propulsive mystery narrative that at once enables thinly drawn characters on paper, its almost impossibly insane special make-up effects work and breathtakingly visceral and tension-filled set pieces to all shine without detracting away from its clinical and hugely nihilistic simplicity need, ironically, any more words being spent on it?
chopper, the picture appears in fine form, offering a stable, filmic quality that holds to a fine grain structure that captures the inherent cinematic
Where Carpenter was clearly inspired by Ridley Scott's 1979 masterpiece, his own alien movie is original and intriguing in its own right. There's a rhythm and an environment that equals Scott's in every way. A satisfying example of a movie that today 18 years after looks downright muscular in its simplicity.
the image compares to the "remastered in 4K" 2018 Shout! Factory release). As so often is the case with HDR color spectrum upgrades, one of the
pronouncement, but even so there's a fine sense of general placement and detail to be enjoyed. Monster screeching, flamethrower bursts, and other Watch in awe at the scene where it walks through the hallway and stares at a human shadow, slightly tilting its head forward in stalking position like a wild wolf. This is a fine piece of animal training, sure, but that's not the point. This is as spooky as anything ever made in a horror movie.