The Thing

BookThe Thing

The Thing

Devil's Advocates


January 7th, 2014



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Consigned to the deep freeze of critical and commercial reception upon its release in 1982, The Thing has bounced back spectacularly to become one of the most highly regarded productions from the 1980s 'Body Horror' cycle of films, experiencing a wholesale and detailed reappraisal that has secured its place in the pantheon of modern cinematic horror. Thirty years on, and with a recent prequel reigniting interest, Jez Conolly looks back to the film's antecedents and to the changing nature of its reception and the work that it has influenced. The themes discussed include the significance of The Thing's subversive antipodal environment, the role that the film has played in the corruption of the onscreen monstrous form, the qualities that make it an exemplar of the director's work and the relevance of its legendary visual effects despite the advent of CGI. Topped and tailed by a full plot breakdown and an appreciation of its notoriously downbeat ending, this exploration of the events at US Outpost 31 in the winter of 1982 captures The Thing's sub-zero terror in all its gory glory.

‘Jez Conolly’s footnotes are just as fascinating as his main text. Among the various subjects that he touches on is comparisons of The Thing with Scott and polar explorations in general, comparison of the film to The Shining, how subsequent fandom for the thing works and evolved, and various crazy things that served his inspirations for the film plus a lot of detail about the special effects and the team that created them.’
Douglas Holm, Film at 11

Author Information

Jez Conolly is Head of Student Engagement with University of Bristol Library Services and author of The Thing and co-author of Dead of Night in the Devil's Advocates series. He is co-editor of three books in the 'World Film Locations' series (covering Dublin, Reykjavik and Liverpool) published by Intellect and is currently a regular contributor to Beneficial Shock! Magazine.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
1. 'Now I'll show you what I already know'8
2. 'I know how this one ends'16
3. 'First goddamn week of winter'24
4. 'What is that... is that a man in there... or something?'34
5. 'What the hell are you looking at me like that for?'46
6. 'Weird and pissed off whatever it is'62
7. 'It's not dead yet!'76
8. 'Why don't we just... wait here for a little while... see what happens...'92