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The Thing


I've heard that at the end of the film theres a subtle twist, supposedly if you watch the breathing it will indicate a nice surprise. Anyone noticed this, i wouldy greatly appreciate if some1 could shed some light and agree with me on this. Also anyone know what John Carpenter's up to these days? His IMDB filmography is empty.


Apparently by the end of the film when Childs and MacReady survive the attacks, Childs' breath can't clearly be seen whereas MacReady's can. It has therefore been alleged that Childs was an alien.

I read some articles on the movie and one in which John Carpenter was directly asked about the rumours to which he explained the possible reason for Childs’ “lack of breathing” could be due to the lack of lighting, although he was still vague about the ending - so who knows...

Either way there's been many interesting little theories formulated over the years about the way the movie ended and if in fact one of the surviving characters was an imitation...
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.

Lets put a smile on that block
Thats rubbish. Its just left up to the audience to feel the same paranoia as the characters.
Pumpkins scream in the DEAD of night!

Originally Posted by Pyro Tramp
So its not official?
To my knowledge it’s not official.

But coz the ending of the movie was so open-ended people have been making their own judgements about what really happened. Popular theories around the Internet are:

Theory one: MacReady is "the thing"
Apparently in the video game The Thing (Universal Interactive), where the story follows a military rescue team sent into the frozen wastelands of the Antarctic to investigate the deaths of the team it apparently shows that Childs body is found in the snow but not MacReady's and in the end it is implied that MacReady is the Thing.

I haven't actually played the game so I can't comment really on the validity of the theory- but heck the game looks pretty darn good and id like to play it - But anyway, yeah you could say its just a video game and doesn't have to have any significance on the actual outcome of the film itself. But then the tagline for the game is "where the movie ended, your mission begins." - hmmm.

In the movie however we basically follow MacReady's every move after the group testing except for the bit at the end where it could have in fact been some hours after the last battle with the imitations, where we see him walking in the snow wrapped in blankets. Maybe he was imitated in that period? Or maybe the blood tests earlier on were switched?

Theory two: Childs is "the thing" due to lack of breathing.
See above for my previous post.

Also: Childs has been missing for several hours and has miraculously survived the attacks. Bit suss ey? Further on this apparently due to the request of the studio, an alternate ending was filmed for the movie, and in this ending MacReady is the only survivor and he returned to "civilisation" and was tested for being “the thing” and came out negative. However, the ending was rejected. (I wonder why ).

Theory three: Both men are "the thing"
If they were both imitations why are they sitting around having chitchat and not looking for a way to escape?

Theory four: Neither man is "The Thing" and are both left to die
self explanatory really. Although apparently good times were had: Loads of drinking

Theory five: a Dog is the Thing
In the TV version of the film apparently we see a dog trotting off in the snow as the last scene of the movie…

In my opinion: I think it was an awesome film. I like the fact that we just bloody don't know what happens and as was said above in another post the viewer feels paranoid. I can see some truth in how each theory could be possible but how can anyone be sure really?

chicagofrog's Avatar
history *is* moralizing
and when u think that if any of 'em, *no matter whom*, is the thing... it wins, since they commented earlier that the Thing could survive for millenia in a frozen state. so i take it it's just gonna freeze again and wait for the next people to come and awake it... mummy! i'm scared! :-000000000000000000000000000

If you have the Dvd, I believe I remebered the director along with russell actually talking about the ending and what was going on there.

Ok, i just briefly viewed the ending and apparently John Carpentor left it up in the air. Either one of them could or could not have been the thing.
They also both had guns and could have killed one or the other because of the lack of trust. No one really knows what was going to happen.

Maybe John will shed some light on the matter in the upcoming DVD release.

Originally Posted by Garrett
Maybe John will shed some light on the matter in the upcoming DVD release.
But that is where I got my answer from. His commentary on his dvd.

it's good move by carpenter, left the audience with theories! people will be talking about it for long!

IMO, they both were human! but eventually would die from freezing!

Originally Posted by Escape
But that is where I got my answer from. His commentary on his dvd.
Okay, I guess I wasn't paying attention, but I meant the upcoming DVD, anyway. The one that isn't out yet.

Anyway.. It all went down hill for Capenter after that!
'Ghosts of Mars' anyone!

Fortune befriends the bold.
The Thing is one of my all time favorites. I think a sequel would do Carpenter good. If he meant to or not the ending was left wide open. I think a smart move in a movie of this genre, you never know what it could morph into. I tend to think Kurt R is not the thing. He is the hero and would be in the second one because him and Carpenter are tight. Childs would make a better bad guy. Maybe a rescue party comes and it all starts over..... hey Carpenter, there's your storyline. The last I heard of Carpenter was I read a Bio on him in 2002 and the last film on there was Ghosts of Mars. Maybe I will Google him for kicks. Peace Twist

Fortune befriends the bold.
Ok, this is the scoop, the skinny, the sitch on John Carpenter. I read that he maybe working on something for a thing called Masters of Horror. Including John Landis, George Romero ect. It sounds like something like Tales From The Crypt. Due in February 2005 I think. Then on to "The Thing II."

hmmm ... The Thing II?

I agree with you Pyro: I'd have to say a sequel to this movie is a very bad idea. The beauty of the original film was that it had the open ending. The Thing (1982) as a stand-alone film is very satisfying with its cleverly simple and intriguing ending. You verify any of the theories about the ending of the film and you take away the mystery and the movie will no longer be magical - just tainted.

Plus I think the news about making the sequel is just a rumour.

I know this is an old thread, but I came accross something very interesting on Youtube the other day. It's an excellent analysis of the film, and offers up an intriguing theory regarding its ending, enjoy Part 1 above, Part 2 (with ending theory) below.

You ready? You look ready
Excellent find. I liked that second clip a lot.
"This is that human freedom, which all boast that they possess, and which consists solely in the fact, that men are conscious of their own desire, but are ignorant of the causes whereby that desire has been determined." -Baruch Spinoza