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UHD Review A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Thing (1982) -- in 4k UHD Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Johnny Angell

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Upbeat? It’s like some of the scariest 15 minutes of all time. And how does it all end? Family loses their home and are crowding into a single room at a Holiday Inn with a completely uncertain future.

Poltergeist also had some unsettling gore/gross effects
I think, IMHO, and this is not stated as an absolute truth…that some films are very scary on the first viewing, subsequent viewings not so much. I (meaning I and not you or anyone else) put Poltergeist in this category. While it still retains much entertainment value and has much to recommend it, the terror has faded. Others films like Carpenter’s The Thing and Alien still retain, for me (meaning me and not your or anyone else) retain levels of terror and fright.

Did I make it clear I was not stating an absolute truth but simply IMHO? ;)
 

ManW_TheUncool

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And the common retort is always “ If I said it, obviously it’s just my opinion”.:laugh:

Obviously! ;)

Com'on. There's been plenty of waaay scarier stuff by the time Poltergeist came along. Although The Thing technically came (just a couple weeks) later, I'm sure that was scarier (and more gross) than Poltergeist for most folks. Cripes! Poltergeist's just a PG-rated flick whereas The Thing was actually R-rated at the same time -- yes, those ratings are subjective and far from perfect, but they're not as meaningless/worthless as we often like to make them seem. And com'on, as Roger Ebert (sorta) complained, even w/ The Thing, much of that stuff's been done before like Alien, which was (and still is) waaay scarier than Poltergeist.

A fair amount of the effects actually come off a bit goofy instead of truly scary anyway while there really wasn't that much graphic shown (nor quite that much tension ratcheted up... except for something like the clown doll, but even that wasn't really that much) for what would be all that scary -- it's a lot of implied things that don't really get particularly, explicitly scary/thrilling resolutions unlike many other horror flicks. The sequel (the 1st one anyway) was definitely more explicit/graphic and visually scarier IMHO... though it's a clunker otherwise.

I mean... were there really all that many people (other than kids brought to a PG movie) who found it quite that scary... at least relative to many other horror flicks? I don't think so.

Obviously, any such opinions, no matter how true and widespread applicable, will run into exceptions... ;):D

_Man_
 

Robert Crawford

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Can we get back to talking about Carpenter’s The Thing as there is a Poltergeist thread with its upcoming 4K release?
 

dpippel

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There is a LOT of cross-mojination going on with several of these threads.
 

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Can we get back to talking about Carpenter’s The Thing as there is a Poltergeist thread with its upcoming 4K release?
Is it possible to LOVE THE THING, LOVE POLTERGEIST and still think ROSEMARY’S BABY is even scarier than either? Maybe it’s because I live in NYC? Nevertheless I’ve really been thrilled and haunted by all of them…Can’t wait for the 4K fright fest with BOTH THE THING and POLTERGEIST! I saw POLTERGEIST in a sneak preview at the Warner (formerly Cinerama) in Pittsburgh and we screamed and saw THE THING on the first day, I believe at the Rivoli in Times Square. Thrilling!
 

jayembee

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Some friends and I went out to see The Thing on its original release. When we got back to our house, my housemate Jack was still rather unnerved by it. I didn't help any when I saw Jack's cat Cisco (who is one of the mellowest cats one could ever come across) and said, "Jack? How do we know that Cisco is really Cisco, and not a Thing?"

As for the film itself, I love the final scene of Kurt Russell and Keith David sitting across from each other, not trusting that they're both human. Carpenter has gone on record saying that it wasn't intended,
but if you watch that scene closely, as they're talking, Russell's breath is billowing, while David's is not. It's no doubt a trick of what relative direction the set fans are blowing, but it definitely looks as if Keith David may not be human.
 

Robert Crawford

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I'm not going to assume everyone that is reading this thread has seen this movie. Therefore, I added a spoiler to the previous post because it contains the film's ending.
 

WillG

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Some friends and I went out to see The Thing on its original release. When we got back to our house, my housemate Jack was still rather unnerved by it. I didn't help any when I saw Jack's cat Cisco (who is one of the mellowest cats one could ever come across) and said, "Jack? How do we know that Cisco is really Cisco, and not a Thing?"

As for the film itself, I love the final scene of Kurt Russell and Keith David sitting across from each other, not trusting that they're both human. Carpenter has gone on record saying that it wasn't intended,
but if you watch that scene closely, as they're talking, Russell's breath is billowing, while David's is not. It's no doubt a trick of what relative direction the set fans are blowing, but it definitely looks as if Keith David may not be human.

That spoiler has been long debunked
you can see breath coming from Childs, it’s just a bit harder to spot. Also earlier when Bennings has been taken over and does that alien howl you can see plenty of breath coming out of him, so visible breath or lack thereof is not an indication of who is or isn’t the thing
 

Neil S. Bulk

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I watched the 4K disc tonight and thought it looked stunning. It has some audio issues though, and here's where it gets perplexing.

While it's a pretty immersive track, it sounds like the left and right front channels are lower in level so it's not as wide sounding as the original mix, which isn't an option on the new disc. The scene where they're tossing the molotov cocktails starting around 1:32:18 highlights this. They're thrown off-screen and shatter panned hard left. The shattering on the new DTS:X track is too soft compared with the 4.1 on the Shout disc. Wouldn't it be nice if you could watch it in 4K with audio closer to the original? Well you can.

I redeemed my digital copy and it's 5.1 on iTunes. Except, iTunes must be derived from the new immersive mix as the molotov cocktail glass breaking effect is still soft. I then checked out the same scene on Vudu and Movies Anywhere, and would you believe they have audio that's closer to the original? The 5.1 soundstage was much wider sounding and the hard panning levels were much closer to the Shout disc.
 
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Lord Dalek

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^wonder if that fits in with my opinion that the Jaws UHD Atmos mix had its low end reduced compared to the DTS track on the blu?
 

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Like a few of you, I first saw The Thing opening day in 1982 in a lightly attended theater showing. My 20-year old daughter, who is a horror fan, couldn't believe it when I told her that. She loves the movie, has said it's one of her favorite horror movies of all time, and thought it was an immediately acclaimed classic. And here's a kicker—she has never seen E.T., and has barely even heard of it aside from me mentioning it. What a difference 40 years can make. I was blown away by The Thing in 1982 and was squirming in my seat. But I remember the mixed reviews too....

Anyway, I have not upgraded to the 4K. Anyone willing to say how big a difference there is compared to the original blu-ray?
 

Robert Crawford

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Anyway, I have not upgraded to the 4K. Anyone willing to say how big a difference there is compared to the original blu-ray?
Are you talking about the 2008 Blu-ray because since then Shout! Factory and Arrow have released Blu-rays?
 

Neil S. Bulk

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When I was comparing the audio last night, it was apparent to me that the UHD is better looking than the Arrow disc. With the caveat that I was focusing on the sound and only looking at a few scenes.
 

benbess

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Are you talking about the 2008 Blu-ray because since then Shout! Factory and Arrow have released Blu-rays?

Yes, I just have the regular 2008 blu-ray from Universal, which I probably got about 2009 when I got my first blu-ray player.
 

Lord Dalek

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The Shout had some compression issues but it generally looked good for what it was (on top of being the only release with the original 4.1 and a Criterion-level abundance of supplements). Also Old Universal blu-rays tended to suffer from aggressive DNR and edge enhancement so I don't think its fair to compare a 4k to them.
 

JoshZ

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When I was comparing the audio last night, it was apparent to me that the UHD is better looking than the Arrow disc. With the caveat that I was focusing on the sound and only looking at a few scenes.

I was very critical of the Arrow Blu-ray when it came out, to which Arrow fanboys jumped out of the woodworks to rant against me for such heresy.

Universal's 4K is the best release of the movie by a significant margin. It's far better than any prior Blu-ray edition of the film - either their own, Shout Factory's, or Arrow's.
 

Johnny Angell

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My 20-year old daughter, who is a horror fan, couldn't believe it when I told her that. She loves the movie, has said it's one of her favorite horror movies of all time, and thought it was an immediately acclaimed classic.
My wife, Stacy, who I love deeply, does not like horror and will not watch The Thing. I think she is amongst the majority of women. So I’m always a bit amazed to hear of a female horror fan who appreciates the “Yuchhy” things in life. Congrats to your daughter.
 

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