There are certain films that really deserve to be seen on the big screen. Films designed to be seen when projected onto hundreds of square feet of canvas. John Carpenter’s The Thing is one.

Next week FACT will show Carpenter’s brilliant, horrible sci-fi horror film as part of a double-bill with the also-excellent An American Werewolf in London.

While the latter is rather grisly – and actually very disturbing in places – it’s very much a comedy horror film; and a very funny one at that.

Carpenter’s film is not. But it is the one we’re singling out to go and see on the silver screen. The director’s enormous, empty shots on frozen vistas were made for it.

And Carpenter’s trademark shots that play with the viewer’s expectations – just begging for something unspeakable to walk into them – are best seen writ large. When something finally does, you’ll literally jump out of your seat.

Of course, The Thing also features the best monsters in film history. Slavering, dripping, ripping, gaping, screeching creations of hideousness. None of your CGI here – Rob Bottin’s work is probably the apex of prosthetic make-up in the genre before computer-generation effects came along and ruined everything.

Yes, there’s gore aplenty. But the suspense, the dread in the first half of The Thing is what makes it. Be warned – it’s not a pleasant film. If it’s busy we’d put money on someone throwing up. But it is a landmark in the genre for plenty of reasons – and a very good film in its own right.

What’s that? You want to head down to the basement and split up? Yeah right. See you in the cinema.

The Thing and An American Werewolf in London Double Bill
Monday 16 April

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