Almost two years ago on this blog, I watched and wrote about John Carpenter’s widely viewed and broadly acclaimed The Thing. This year, for Halloween, I decided to re-visit this incredibly disgusting movie, which was, fortuitously, part of my coursework this week. In my first post, I wrote about the rampant paranoia fostered by knowing there’s a hideous, murderous monster in at least one of the people around you, but not knowing who houses it – whose body hides the formidable “thing.” I’m not really in the mood to look up my old post, re-read it, and make sure I’m writing something new, especially since it’s one of my least read posts on this blog. So, we’ll have to trust that, two years and ample coursework later, I’m making some new observations about this sickening, human-beast amalgam as I write this post. With that in mind, let’s dive into the uncomfortably unappealing (or, perhaps, the uncomfortably appealing – for whether “the thing” is appealing or unappealing is a question that remains to be grappled with, and perhaps will be grappled with in this post!) Continue reading “Re-visiting the Grotesque: Another Look at John Carpenter’s The Thing”
Now and Then: My Changing Perspective of The Blair Witch Project
I had to double-check the release date of the original Blair Witch Project. Sometimes, my teen years seem like a jumbled haze. I knew, only, that I was a teenager when I saw the film, and after googling its opening date, it appears I was a day shy of my fifteenth birthday when the movie came out. As Michael pointed out more recently when we watched the film, The Blair Witch Project sits at the inception of the “found footage” phenomenon, a film-making trend which would be furthered by other films, like Cloverfield and the Paranormal Activity movies. The decision to create a film that appeared to be shot by the characters as the events were occurring was indeed novel, and was probably the reason so much hype surrounded the Blair Witch Project. Before re-watching the film, I recalled little of the film’s actual details, but what I did remember – still do remember, starkly – is the hype surrounding the film. It may well have been the most hyped horror movie of my time, which means it was no small decision to hide the fact that the recently released The Woods was really a sequel to the film and would ultimately be titled Blair Witch. Continue reading “Now and Then: My Changing Perspective of The Blair Witch Project”
The Thing: Isolated, Claustrophobic Paranoia
For much of my life, I had no real urge to see John Carpenter’s The Thing. Just the name of the film seemed blasé. I mean, how scary could a so-called “thing” be in a supernatural realm of ghosts, vampires, and demons? However, my interest piqued, both as I got older and as I started thinking more broadly about the horror genre. I began to wonder: Okay, so what exactly is “the thing,” and what can it do compared to other dangerous entities? After all, I’d seen Halloween, so I knew John Carpenter was more than capable of making a compelling horror film. (And, well, I love Lauryn Hill’s 90’s hit, “That Thing.” That has to matter, right?) A few nights ago, then, with those thoughts in mind, I grabbed The Thing off the rack at our local Family Video (yes, Michael and I still support brick and mortar video lenders) and the two of us settled down for what turned out to be a lengthy, in-depth study of partly-explained infestation and unchecked paranoia.
Continue reading “The Thing: Isolated, Claustrophobic Paranoia”