The 1980s are forty years ago folks. Forty! It’s kind of hard to believe especially if you grew up at all in that decade because it’s just a nice (or terrible) reminder that you are officially old. But it also means that with four decades between then and now, we will get the 40th-anniversary runs of some classic films. And one of those, a Kurt Russell horror flick, is actually getting a second run in theaters to honor the timing. That’s right, you are going to get to see The Thing up on the big screen again and be reminded that this is one of the scarier movies made.
John Carpenter, who directed the film, made an announcement on Twitter (via Movie Web) that The Thing would be returning to theaters for a special two-day window this summer on June 19th and June 22nd. The Kurt Russell starrer will be showing in select theaters throughout the country for this limited window. Tickets are already available on Fathom Events so fans can see if it will be showing anywhere in their area. Check out the announcement from John Carpenter himself about The Thing returning to theaters.
The Thing came out in 1982 and the movie was right on the heels of John Carpenter and Kurt Russell working together on Elvis and then Escape from New York though the latter was (and is) a very different kind of movie. Set at a research station in Antarctica, Russell and his crew accidentally unearth and unfreeze a deadly alien parasitic creature that terrorizes the station. It becomes a slow burn horror because it’s never quite clear where (or who) the danger is because the alien essentially takes the shape and inhabits the crew members. It can be a terrifying movie in its concept and the danger is much more subtle and out of reach than some other traditionally scary movies of the time.
Unfortunately, at the time The Thing received significantly negative reviews from critics and the box office performance was completely underwhelming. This was for a variety of reasons, some having to do with what audiences actually wanted at the time, something more uplifting and less gory. But The Thing did find a fanbase in the subsequent years, and despite the initial derision towards the film, it is sitting at 83% on Rotten Tomatoes because folks came along later and recognized its brilliance.
Carpenter and Kurt Russell would go on to make Big Trouble in Little China and Escape from LA together over the next decade-plus. It’s unclear, right now, what the future holds for Kurt Russell who was last seen in F9 as Mr. Nobody. Giant Freakin Robot had the exclusive that he was in talks to be part of a Godzilla streaming series, though we are still waiting on confirmation for that casting. While we wait for his next production, be sure to check out The Thing in theaters this summer. You’ll see that this film most definitely holds up 40 years later even if it wasn’t necessarily appreciated at the time.