(1982)5Jeremy WheelerJohn Carpenter's remake of the 1950s monster film is a grotesque exercise in how to scare the living socks off of even the most jaded viewer. Cold, claustrophobic, and expertly realized, The Thing creeps under your skin and doesn't let up until the last credit rolls. Carpenter is at the top of his game as he flexes his horror muscles once again and arguably surpasses original with an expertly crafted film that continues to ask questions of its audience decades later. Equally worthy of praise is the amazing work of the still young FX guru Rob Bottin. With free reign to let his imagination run as wild as he wanted, Bottin (fresh off of The Howling) spent a little over a year living at Universal's back-lot creating some of the most horrific images audiences had ever seen. The outrageously surreal and bloody work he created (with the brief help of another young lad named Stan Winston) has been a benchmark for practical makeup effects since its release in 1982. The Thing wouldn't be the same without the palpable dread provided by Dean Cundey coldly controlled camerawork and Ennio Morricone's Carpenter-esque score thumping in the background. Apart from its exceptionally crafted aesthetics, the note-perfect ensemble goes a long way to sell this menacing tale. From the chilling Blair (Wilford Brimley) to the cool of Childs (Carpenter fave Keith David), these are meaty characters facing a no-win situation -- with Kurt Russell as MacReady leading the motley crew. Russell is a mean quiet machine as he and Carpenter create another iconic hero to rule over the annals of cinema. Famously, The Thing flopped at the box office against the feel-good alternative - a little film called ET - yet the bleak picture found its real audience - and near-universal reverence - in the years that followed.