10 best quotes of the thing
As horror fans start looking for classics for the Halloween season, many will surely revisit John Carpenter The thing. The sci-fi horror masterpiece has gone from a critical and financial flop to one of the genre’s most beloved films, and it’s not hard to see why.
With incredible monster effects, The thing is a well-written movie with many memorable quotes. Some show the film’s sense of humor amid the terror, others highlight the paranoia of the story, and some shudder audiences. Each of these quotes cements more The thing like a horror classic.
ten Nauls: “Maybe we are at war with Norway.”
The film wastes no time getting into the plot as members of the US outpost come up against members of the Norwegian crew trying to kill a runaway dog.
After one of the Norwegians is shot, the others try to piece together what happened. Nauls suggests they might be at war. It’s a fun line that sets the looser atmosphere of the previous scenes, but also reminds audiences how cut and set the characters are. The thingscary isolated frame.
9 Blair: “How long were you alone with this dog?” “
One of the most memorable scenes in the movie is the alien’s first transformation from adorable dog to hideous monster. It’s a moment that really raises the stakes and hints at the characters they’re dealing with.
Blair is the first character to really contemplate what this creature could be. After asking Clark about the dog, Blair asks him how long he’s been alone with the animal. It begins the movie’s theme of mistrust as Blair realizes the enemy might be among them, mixing the monster movie with a paranoid thriller story.
8 MacReady: “If it takes us, then there are no more enemies, there is no one left to kill him. And then it’s won.”
Kurt Russell’s MacReady is an excellent hero who can be identified with at the center of the film. He is a man who is not in his element but who is also pragmatic in his thinking. When it becomes clear what the team is up against, MacReady gives a very pragmatic pitch to the survivors.
MacReady exposes the threat, and in doing so, the audience gets a very understandable motivation for the monster. He is surrounded by enemies and the more he is able to gain the upper hand, the safer he is. The film wisely understands that this is all the necessary explanation.
7 Childs: “Well then we are wrong! “
Carpenter does a great job of making the threat in the movie not just the monster in their midst, but the humans themselves. Knowing that any of them could be an enemy, the group stops trusting each other and begins to turn on each other.
Carpenter doesn’t try to make these characters too heroic. The team suspects MacReady to be the monster and decides to lock him up in freezing weather. When someone suggests he might be wrong, Childs simply accepts the possibility, willing to take the risk.
6 Palmer: “Oh, you must be fucking kidding!”
The drawings of creatures in this film are surely the most iconic aspect of The thing. As well as being awesome practical and horrifying effects, they keep changing, with each form more terrifying than the last. It becomes another way for the film to keep audiences on their toes.
After the alien transforms from Norris’ body, the head peels off, pushes off its legs, and begins walking like a nightmarish spider. Palmer’s grim comedic reaction seems to speak for the public right now, just as they think they’ve seen it all.
5 MacReady: “No one trusts anyone now, and we are all very tired.”
Even if Carpenter sprinkles in the moments of lightness to break the tension, The thing has a unique hopeless feeling which is very effective. Whenever the team burns down one of these monsters, it becomes clear that it has already spread elsewhere. We begin to feel that the heroes are fighting a losing battle.
MacReady sums up that feeling nicely as he does a vocal recording for the discs. He seems to see the situation for what it is as they are overcome with mistrust and exhaustion with the threat still very present among them.
4 Garry: “And when you find the time, I’d rather not spend the rest of the winter tied to that fucking couch!”
The infamous blood draw scene is perhaps the best and most intense moment in the film. While several suspects are tied up, MacReady tests their blood to see if they are the monster. The timing is also funny in the reactions of the men who have turned out to be human.
While Childs has a big reaction once he’s in the shelter, screaming to be untied, Garry seems to be more measured about it all. He calmly and politely admits that everyone is a little stressed before they also lose their cool.
3 MacReady: “We’re not getting out of here alive. But neither are we.”
MacReady might be a somewhat reluctant hero, but he’s proving heroic nonetheless. As the film’s sense of hopelessness begins to set in even more, MacReady is the first of the remaining survivors to acknowledge the situation for what it is.
Realizing that the alien wants to hibernate and freeze the remaining humans, MacReady sees himself and the others as the only thing preventing him from reaching the outside world. He knows they won’t survive, but thinks they can die taking the alien with them.
2 MacReady: “Yeah damn you too!”
Whether Kurt Russell is in his Western roles or battling aliens like this, he truly is a movie hero like no other. And MacReady might be his nicest hero. It’s fun to cheer on someone who will do whatever it takes to save the day but also hates that it’s him.
His frustrated hero schtick reaches its peak as he’s seemingly the only one left standing. As he confronts the alien, the creature lets out an angry roar and MacReady responds perfectly with “Yeah, fuck you too!”
1 MacReady: “Why don’t we just hang around here, see what happens? “
After the compound is destroyed, MacReady is left alone in the cold outside as Childs emerges. Although Childs explains that he was separated from the others earlier, it’s clear that MacReady isn’t exactly in a confident mood.
However, the film retains its desperate theme as MacReady concludes that if one of them is the alien, there is nothing the other can do at this point. Childs asks what they should do and MacReady suggests that they just wait and see what happens, leaving a chilling ambiguous ending.
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