I just watched "The Thing" on DVD, need some help w/ the ending (spoiler potential)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Scott McAllister, Feb 24, 2003.

  1. Scott McAllister

    Scott McAllister Stunt Coordinator

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    Can anybody jump in and give me a little bit of explanation regarding the end of The Thing? Maybe I'm just stupid, but I don't really understand what I'm supposed to think. I don't want to say too much, but is Childs a Thing or not? What exactly do him and MacGready do when they just sit there?


    If anybody wants to chime in with your take, I'd appreciate it.
     
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    They die -- unless Childs is a thing, in which case, MacGready dies and Childs lies dormant waiting to be rescued.

    It's purposely left unresolved.

    M.
     
  3. Paul Arnette

    Paul Arnette Cinematographer

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    Basically, everything I will have to say could be considered a spoiler, so spoiler mode on!

    I think the end is purposely ambigous. You are not supposed to know who is the Thing or if either of them are the Thing. It is a bleak ending, but one of my favorites. Essentially, it is a happy ending because whether one of them is the Thing or not, chances are remote either of them are going to make out alive anyway. I've always said a truly twisted ending would have had them being rescued, normally a "happy" ending, but never knowing whether the Thing was escaping with them.
     
  4. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    I think you should focus less on what you're supposed to think, and have more admiration for the ambiguity of the ending that allows you to think for yourself [​IMG]
     
  5. Patrick Mirza

    Patrick Mirza Supporting Actor

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    The film has to end with one of the two being the thing. Carpenter's body of work tends to always lean to the pessimistic side of life - and "The Thing" is indeed part 1 of the "Apocalypse Trilogy," as Carpenter calls it (the other two being "Prince of Darkness" and "In the Mouth of Madness"). My suspicion has always been that Childs is the thing. He was gone too long. And anyway, the audience has been following MacReady around while he's been blowing up the camp... not exactly something a "thing" would do.

    They both freeze, the replacement team arrives months later, Childs thaws out, and the entire planet is taken over withing months.
     
  6. Simon_Lepine

    Simon_Lepine Supporting Actor

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    While I'm a big fan of the movie, something always bothered me about the ending ...

    I'm not sure why they blow up the camp in the first place, it doesn't really make sense to me... are they hoping the Thing will die in the explosion? Because they are basically killing themselves and they know that the Thing will survive in the ice like in the Norwegian camp. So basically they kill themselves and not the thing...this move doesn't make sense to me... unless it's the thing (Mc Ready) that blows up the camp to be thawed later, since it has no way of leaving the camp and almost everyone is dead already. But listening to Carpenter and Russel on the commentary, they don't even seem to know who the Thing is so who knows...
     
  7. Scott McAllister

    Scott McAllister Stunt Coordinator

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    Oh! The commentary, I forgot about that totally. I'm going to watch it tonight.
     
  8. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    Simone,
    Remember a sinlge particle is enough for The Thing to live.

    If someone who was infected had lost a finger and it was left in a hallway, youd have another Thing around.

    The only way to make sure under no circumastances that The Thing would survive, they had to destroy everything.

    I read somewhere that they filmed a scene of MacReady and Childs being rescued, but Carpenter liked the open ending better
     
  9. Matt Pelham

    Matt Pelham Screenwriter

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    From the imdb:

    "According to "The Thing: Terror Takes Shape" documentary on the The Thing DVD, an alternative ending was shot. In this ending, Kurt Russell's character was rescued and was in a doctor's office. His blood had been sampled, and he was not infected. Carpenter liked the story as he had told it and decided against using this ending."
     
  10. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    In Response to Simon
    SPOILER
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    The Thing (Blair one would presume) had already destroyed the generator which would keep the outpost heated. Without it, they knew they would freeze to death. The plan was to take the Thing with them via the destruction of the camp so that no one else could come later and re-discover the Thing
     
  11. Simon_Lepine

    Simon_Lepine Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Wil and Jon, makes more sense now, although I'm not 100% convinced with this explanation. What bugs me is the explosion had little chance of totally disposing of the Thing (specially if it was controlling one of the remaining human)... but since they were doomed anyway, it makes sense, I guess it was worth a try.
     
  12. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    Doesn't this belong in the Movies section?
     
  13. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    Spoilers
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    Yes, but after the blood test scene, they had confirmed that whoever was left alive was human (with the exception of Blair) They eventually surmised that Blair was the thing (finding the makeshift spaceship below the shed) and assumed that there was only one Thing left to destroy. What happened between then and the very end with Childs, no one knows
     
  14. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    It doesn't matter who was infected. They'd freeze, but when summer came around they'd investigate, and if they found just one malshaped form, they'd thaw it out and everybody would get it.

    Glenn
     
  15. Patrick Barrett

    Patrick Barrett Auditioning

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    I think this is one of the coolest endings of all time. I also like to believe that Childs is indeed the thing. But if you think too deeply about it, it might not hold up depending on your interpretation. Earlier in the movie MacReady says 'if you were all one of the those things, you'd just kill me,so some of you must be human.' So following that logic if Childs is one of the things, he would just kill MacReady. The only other thing I can think of is the creature does not want to risk at this point having a confrontation with MacReady as everything is burning and there might not be another host to jump to.

    I don't have the DVD but I assume some of you have it. I downloaded it somewhere though and seen the extended ending of the next day showing the camp burning and the loan husky running away and pausing to look back at the camp.

    BTW here is probably the best 'The Thing'
    web site.
     
  16. Milan J

    Milan J Auditioning

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    One of the greatest endings ever. Carpenter likes to use the open Hitchcock style endings. I recall one of the ways the thing could infect someone was by sharing food or drink. In the end, Childs and MacReady are sharing a bottle of whiskey so if either one of them was the thing, in the end they were both infected. I remember in the commentary Carpenter said the only sequal he wanted to make was following a comic book story line where MacReady and Childs were picked up by a submarine crew and the thing is unleashed in the sub.
     
  17. Ken Seeber

    Ken Seeber Supporting Actor

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  18. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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  19. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    One thing interested me about the Thing and how it procreates. It occurs to me, as it did MacReady, that any portion of the creature has a will to survive. Do you suppose that it procreates by dividing into separate versions? What is to stop it from diving into a spinning fan blade and making 10 extensions of itself?

    I wonder if it tries to stay together to maintain a high amount of biomass or something. It seemed pretty weak when it was just a head, for example, while it was very powerful when it was several dogs (or Blair).
     
  20. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    Best. Ending. Ever.

    [​IMG]
     

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