The Thing

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The Thing, also known as John Carpenter's The Thing, is a 1982 science fiction horror film about an Antarctic science base which is infiltrated by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of the people that it kills. Ostensibly a remake of the 1951 Christian Nyby film The Thing From Another World, Carpenter’s film is more faithful to the original novella “Who Goes There?” by John W. Campbell

Directed by John Carpenter. Written by Bill Lancaster, based on the story Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell Jr..
Man is the warmest place to hide taglines


  • Somebody in this camp ain't what he appears to be. Right now that may be one or two of us. By spring, it could be all of us.
  • Also... When this Thing turns... it turns slowly at first. I think we can handle it in that state. But if it ever got to full power... from what I saw of that Norwegian camp... well, I just don't know... It would probably take it an hour or more to get like that. So no matter what anybody's doing, we all return to this room every twenty minutes. Anybody gone longer than that... anybody trying to leave... we kill 'em.
  • Okay, Windows, you come with us. Norris... you stay here... (refers to tied-up men) Any of them move - you fry 'em. And if you hear anything, anything at all you let loose the siren. We all meet back here in twenty minutes regardless. (pause) And everybody watch whoever you're with. Real close.
  • [talking into tape recorder] Nobody... nobody trusts anybody now, and we're all very tired... there's nothing more I can do, just wait... R. J. MacReady, helicopter pilot, US outpost #31.
  • Watching Norris in there... gave me the idea that maybe every part of you bastards is a whole. Every piece of you is self-sufficient, an animal unto itself. When a man bleeds it's just tissue. But blood from one of you Things won't obey. It's a newly formed individual with a built-in desire to protect its own life. When attacked, your blood will try and survive - and crawl away from a hot needle say.
  • [finding a partially-assembled spaceship beneath the tool shed] Blair's been busy out here all by himself.
  • [Just before throwing a bundle of dynamite at what may be the final incarnation of the Thing] Yeah, well fuck you too!


  • Whenever it was revived, it... Well, The Thing was probably disoriented... and realised it couldn't survive for long in our atmosphere. But being the incredibly adaptable creature it was... it tried to become something that could. Before the Norwegians killed it... it somehow got to this dog.
  • You think this Thing wants to become an animal? Dogs can't make it 1000 miles to the sea. No skua gulls to imitate this time of year... No penguins this far inland... Don't you understand?! It wanted to become us!
  • Can't you see...? If one cell of this Thing got out it could imitate every living thing on Earth. Nothing could stop it! Nothing!
  • [Calmly eating beans in the tool shed with a forgotten noose strung from the ceiling] I don't want to stay out here anymore. I want to come back inside.


  • Garry: I've got six dead Norwegians on my hands, a burned up flying saucer, and we've just destroyed the scientific find of the century. Now fuck off!
  • Garry: [after passing the blood test] I know you gentlemen have been through a lot. But when you find the time... I'd rather not spend the rest of the winter tied to this fucking couch!
  • Palmer: [after Norris' head sprouts legs and tries to walk away] You gotta be fucking kidding.
  • Childs: If I were an imitation, a perfect imitation, how could you tell if it was really me?


Garry: How long have they been stationed there?
Fuchs: Says here about eight weeks.
Garry: That's not enough time for guys to go bonkers.
Nauls: Bullshit. Five minutes is enough to put a man over down here.
Palmer: Damn straight.
Nauls: I mean Palmer been the way he is since the first day.

MacReady: Hey, Sweden!
Dr. Copper: They're not Swedish, goddamn it, they're Norwegian.

Garry: You reach anybody yet?
Sanchez: We're a thousand miles from anybody else, man. It's going to get a hell of a lot worse before it gets better.

Norris: Magnesium of some type... or some kind of strange alloy. And those poor dumb bastards had to go and blow the hell out of it.
MacReady: So what do you make of it?
Norris: You know damn well what we both make of it.
MacReady: No chance it could have been some new kind of test craft?
[Norris shakes his head]
Norris: Seismic activity has been pushing this from way down for a long time... This ice it was buried in... It's over a hundred thousand years old.

Childs: Okay now, Mac, run this by me again. Thousands of years ago this rocket ship crashes, right...? And the...
MacReady: Look, I'm just guessing...
Childs: Well, go on.
MacReady: ... So it crashes, and this guy, whoever he is, gets thrown out, or walks out, and ends up freezing.
Childs: I just can't believe this voodoo bullshit. You believe this voodoo bullshit, Blair?
Palmer: [rambling] Happens all the time, man. They're falling out of the skies like flies. Government knows all about it... Chariots of the Gods, man... They practically own South America. I mean they taught the Incas everything they knew.

Childs: So, MacReady, come on now. These Norwegian dudes come by... find him and dig him up...
MacReady: Yeah, they dig him up and cart him back. He gets thawed out, wakes up and scares the shit out of them. And they get into one hell of a brawl...
Childs: Now how's this motherfucker wake up after thousands of years in the ice, huh?
MacReady: [annoyed] I don't know how. Because he's different than we are. Because he's a space guy. What do you want from me, anyway. Go ask Blair.
Childs: You buy any of this, Blair?
Blair: It was here... got to that dog... It was here in this camp...
Garry: So...? So what? It's over with.
[Blair turns to them. A pause.]
Bennings: [edgy] Well, isn't it?

MacReady: How you doin', old boy?
Blair: I don't know who to trust.
MacReady: Know what you mean, Blair. Trust is a tough thing to come by these days. Just trust in the Lord.

Dr. Copper: Somebody got to the blood... sabotaged it.
MacReady: Was it broken into?
Fuchs: No. Somebody opened it. Closed it. And then locked it.
MacReady: Well, who's got access to it?
Dr. Copper: I guess I'm the only one.
Garry: And I've got the only key.
MacReady: Would that test have worked?
Dr. Copper: I think so.
Norris: Somebody else sure as hell thought so.

Childs: You're gonna have to sleep sometime, MacReady.
MacReady: I'm a real light sleeper, Childs.

Childs: So you're the only one who made it.
MacReady: Not the only one.
Childs: Did you kill it?
MacReady: Where were you Childs?
Childs: I thought I saw Blair... went out after him... got lost in the storm. The fire's got the temperature way up all over camp. Won't last long though.
MacReady: Neither will we.
Childs: Maybe we should try and fix the radio... try and get some help.
MacReady: Maybe we shouldn't.
Childs: Then we'll never make it.
MacReady: Maybe we shouldn't make it.
Childs: If you're worried about me...
MacReady: If we got any surprises for each other... I don't think were in much shape to do anything about it.
Childs: Well... what do we do?
MacReady: [slumping back] Why don't we just wait here a little while? See what happens.


  • Man is the warmest place to hide.
  • Look closely at your neighbors. Don't trust anybody.
  • The ultimate in alien terror.


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