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All reviews - Books (1)

The Thing - A Novel review

Posted : 5 years, 11 months ago on 5 August 2012 02:29 (A review of The Thing - A Novel)

"Back in July 1982 I went to see John Carpenter’s The Thing at the Ritz Theater on Clinton Street. The film had rather quickly gone from the first-run theaters to the second-run theaters like the Ritz, which offered admission for –if I remember correctly – only $ 2. Part of the reason for the film’s lack of success was the fact that ‘E.T.’ was out at the same time and everyone was going to see the kiddie film with the lovable alien, rather than the gross-out spectacle of The Thing. In today’s era of Saw movies the blood and guts aspect of The Thing may seem a bit subdued, but back in ’82 they were considered pretty intense .

Ironically, in the decades since its release Carpenter’s film has emerged as a classic of SF cinema while ET has dwindled in reputation. It’s fine with me; I thought The Thing was a great movie, and second only to Escape From New York among Carpenter’s best films.

Allen Dean Foster’s novelization of The Thing (Bantam Books, February 1982, 196 pp.) was released in advance of the feature film. The book has a suitably creepy cover, by an uncredited artist, depicting the creature pushing itself up through the snow.

I won’t divulge much about the storyline in order not to spoil things for those who have yet to see the movie. The novelization offers some expansion on various scenes in the film, as well as depictions of minor events not present in the film. There’s a bit more exposition on the possible nature of the creature and its spaceship, and the first possession of a camp member by The Thing occurs differently from what is depicted on screen. Some of this extra material is padding, and could have been excised without harming the narrative. But overall the novelization remains true to the filmed version."

Credits. Tarbandu at theporporbooksblog.blogspot.com

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