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Discussion Starter #1
"In space, no one can hear you scream."

That's the tagline for one of our entries in this next battle. Very few Horror films that try to combine a Sci-Fi theme with genuine Horror really work. The results are usually very cheesy and not scary at all. I'm happy to say that the next contestants in our battle of the grue, do not fit this description. Both work as bonafide fright films and are two of the best "space" movies ever to be made for cinema. John Carpenter has had two entries in this film fest, alas his first was trounced in round six, maybe JC will do better this time around. Here in all their Lovecraftian glory I give you:

Alien

vs.

The Thing

Keep in mind that the latter film is John Carpenter's version not the one starring James Arness as an overgrown carrot; and munch on this scene for a bit. Let the slime and screaming begin.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sorry dude, but the carrot is out. He couldn't handle an assault mounted by something that could easily transform itself into a giant carnivorous rabbit and make short work of this refugee from some insane farmer's garden in Idaho! :D
 

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Alien all the way. The Thing was a cool remake of what was still a great classic sci-fi horror movie but it was not better than the original. Nonetheless cool and innovative in terms of special effects. But Alien is an original. A haunted house horror film in space. Very little science fiction even relevant. And sure this is mostly true of The Thing too, the little sci-fi element. But Alien had the first chestburster scare and though The Thing was effective, Alien is still cooler, and better. Okay plot, very good characters, and in that sense it has another advantage over Carpenter's The Thing, which has basically no plot really. Alien forever over Thing '82.

1 vote for Alien.
 

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This is a kinda tough one for me. Both movies have pretty incredible special effects and numerous sci-fi scares. One is a completely original idea and the other is a remake of a movie I didn't care for in its original incarnation.

I think my vote has to go with The Thing. Despite the fact Alien has more of a plot than The Thing, I believe The Thing is the better movie in terms of scares and suspense. The paranoia of who's been taken over and who hasn't is what does it for me.

Alien does have a few slow parts that I think could have been trimmed down to make a more lean movie, and maybe that's where my problem lies, because once the carnage begins it is a great movie. The Thing, on the other hand, never lets up and doesn't slow down.

Alien - 1
The Thing - 1
 

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Doctorthingit said:
The Thing was a cool remake of what was still a great classic sci-fi horror movie but it was not better than the original.
1 vote for Alien.
Thank you! (You knew I was going to latch onto this one, Sin.)

But, seriously, I can't play this round (not that I have played many rounds): I never saw the "Alien". Now let's let the gasps die down a little.
 

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*potential spoilers*
Zombie-F said:
I believe The Thing is the better movie in terms of scares and suspense. The paranoia of who's been taken over and who hasn't is what does it for me.
The Thing was very shocking, and I guess part of why is because you most likely didn't expect it to be so hard-hitting and visceral. But also in that arena, I feel it was riding on what Alien established. Because Alien had already shocked people that much, only more effectively. And another great thing about Alien is that it never repeated one of it's shocks twice. One shock has the creature bursting from the chest and the violence is the shock. The next is basically the reveal of the creature hidden in a scene where you felt the character wasn't really in any danger and the cat's hissing is the only giveaway to this fact. In that scene you weren't expecting to see the creature at all, that scene is the creature's first reveal, and the creature doesn't strike automatically because the film with the camera and the monster, is showing you a full glimpse at the threat, and then it strikes fast and hard. And in the space before the next scare scene, the film is building up the audience's fear/empathy for the characters and someone has to volunteer to find it so you're thinking he's probably doomed, and here we don't see it strike but we know we lose contact with the crew member. In terms of suspense, there is no way The Thing outdoes Alien.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hey Spaulding, I already told you you could borrow my Alien Quadrilogy; it's most unfortunate you don't live in Florida anymore. Anyway my friend, I recommend that you check it out ASAP. It's a film experience you won't soon forget.

By a narrow margin, I also choose Alien. There was a definite H.P. Lovecraft feel over the whole production. The atmosphere aboard the Nostromo, the derelict spacecraft and its cache of eggs was superbly crafted to feel like something was always behind every corner whether it was or not. I'll bet Clive Barker got some inspiration from this film when he made Hellraiser. Everytime I see harry Dean Stanton make his way through the coolant area where those chains are hanging, I'm sure of it. This one is always on my Halloween veiwing list and one of the best Haunted House movies ever made though it does take place aboard a space craft.

The Thing is one of Carpenters best film and IS better than the original. The sense of tension and claustrophobia was so thick you could cut it with a knife. The men were trapped for hundreds maybe thousands of miles in either direction by ice bound land with a hostile otherworld organism that wanted to duplicate every lifeform on earth. You could never tell who was who, or what unless you have seen the film. It is also in my yearly Halloween fest and I think it is one of the best Horror films of all-time. It's just that I think Alien is slightly better.

So we now have Alien: 2 and The Thing: 1
 

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Sinister said:
The Thing is one of Carpenters best film and IS better than the original. The sense of tension and claustrophobia was so thick you could cut it with a knife. The men were trapped for hundreds maybe thousands of miles in either direction by ice bound land with a hostile otherworld organism that wanted to duplicate every lifeform on earth. You could never tell who was who, or what unless you have seen the film.
Everyone always says that, and it's funny. Because for all that "who is, who isn't", the scenes with the crew together are too tight, tightly squeezed-in together. And none of the characters take on an attitude that is the least bit threatening, so who exactly are the people supposed to fear? I think they fear themselves. Only the movie's not made to illustrate this point, which would have been ambitious to say the least. The movie shows characters finding victims after they've been gotten to by the thing(s), and the only one who we see fearing who is, would be MacReady. But he's not the paranoid type, that is until we see him back with the group and the scenes are constricted again. If there is tension, it's only in the scenes where the characters are grouped together, and in fact the only tension I remember feeling is the Blood Testing scene where whatever tension had been built was to distract us from thinking about the test. But when the characters are grouped together, we're seeing the end result of private fear. It's so internalized that we can't feel it, the only sense of it we get is from MacReady and during the scenes alone with him, what we do get is a sense of doom that is tainted by his apathetic attitude. In a way, he doesn't seem to care much. Technically, the men were trapped. But from the way they act, you wouldn't know why or what was keeping them there. What you're talking about is too subtle. If it's there at all, it's so understated it might as well not be there.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
************************SPOILER ALERT***********************

The whole movie more or less was centered around Russell's character. And that is why we were privy more to what was going on with him than any of the others. You could see the paranoia and tension in the other characters but not as pronounced. Windows was wound as tight as a coiled spring, Childs was always on edge and the ones who were "taken" tried to use their cunning to lure the rest of the team in a false sense of security by blowing away the only one who could throw a wrench into the machinery, MaCready, by having them think he was one of the creatures. The scene before the the blood-letting where Mac and Nauls went to the shack and the subsequent events that came after was tense as was the part in the dog kennel. The Alien was wanting to imitate lifeforms on Earth and would have found a way to do so had the research station not been brought down into the ice and the ship not destroyed.
 

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Sinister said:
The Alien was wanting to imitate lifeforms on Earth and would have found a way to do so had the research station not been brought down into the ice and the ship not destroyed.
How do you know that? I'm not doubting you, but I only saw the movie. I'm thinking as a viewer watching a movie. And the thing has no motivation nor if it had, could we have guessed what it was. Not from what I've gathered. The movie just kind of shows it being. Like an animal just doing what it does or otherwise it wouldn't exist, in the interest of it's survival. It seems like you're pulling this from some kind of lore, or literature. I think if this movie tried to show all manner of tension and claustrophobia, it failed because it's too subtle. And these characters are just kind of there, certainly the number of people is more about how many people the movie can later kill off. It's like how many of them actually serve a purpose? What do each of them do? Nothing, really. Which is all the more why it would appear they're just in the movie to be victims and the movie itself just puts them anywhere and kills them off. It also seems to me that all the substance allegedly in this movie was invented by fans.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Doctorthingit said:
How do you know that? I'm not doubting you, but I only saw the movie. I'm thinking as a viewer watching a movie. And the thing has no motivation nor if it had, could we have guessed what it was. Not from what I've gathered. The movie just kind of shows it being. Like an animal just doing what it does or otherwise it wouldn't exist, in the interest of it's survival. It seems like you're pulling this from some kind of lore, or literature. I think if this movie tried to show all manner of tension and claustrophobia, it failed because it's too subtle.
The Alien's motivation WAS wanting to imitate lifeforms on Earth, and this isn't just something I pulled from my ass or a book tackling the movie and its motivations in depth. Blair, who had been taken by the creature, in his violent rant to be thrown into a form of solitary confinement so he could work on his project, says so himself in said rant. Now, there is a chance, albeit a slim one in my opinion, that Blair could have been made into one of the Thing's out in the shed. This is unlikely since there would have been a sign of some sort of struggle and there wasn't.

Once again, you are entitled to your opinion, Thingit; though you or no one else who seemingly despises this movie will change my mind about it. It's a celluloid masterpiece and far superior to most of the junk that is labeled "Horror" and has been released in the past ten years or so. This movie along with Halloween I & II, Vampires, Escape From New York, The Fog and In the Mouth of Madness are definitive Carpenter films that his contemporaries only wish they could make anything half as good.
 

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Sinister said:
Once again, you are entitled to your opinion, Thingit; though you or no one else who seemingly despises this movie will change my mind about it. It's a celluloid masterpiece and far superior to most of the junk that is labeled "Horror" and has been released in the past ten years or so.
No, it's not. Not even close to being a celluloid masterpiece. Nor is this film invincible or beyond criticism. Furthermore, my quote-unquote "despising" of this film has nothing to do with the fact that it's a subpar entry in the genre. And neither you nor any of the other rabid fans of this film, have provided evidence that you've seen it for anything other than these things you do make up about it being meaningful and whatnot. It's a simple movie, no thought required, and it's a letdown. You only build it up because you want it to mean more. But it doesn't. It's a stupid movie that throws a bunch of guys out in the arctic and kills them off. John Carpenter's The Thing is overlong, plotless, pointless, and indescribably boring.

Honestly, people like you make me hate this movie. When usually I'm SOMEHOW able to sit through it and enjoy the special effects. All this movie has going for it are the effects. I have to side with the critics on this one, they're right.
 

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I have to go with Alien. I'm not really a big fan of either film, but I thought the whole thing with them being on another planet and not being able to escape the creature as scary. Plus, the scene with the alien coming out of John Hurt's stomach made me sick to my stomach; the first time I saw it.
 

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Doctorthingit said:
John Carpenter's The Thing is overlong, plotless, pointless, and indescribably boring.
I thought I remembered Carpenter's "Thing" being overlong and boring (that didn't come out quite right), but with you two guys arguing back and forth (is it possible to argue forth and back? - sorry), I almost am compelled to see the movie again. On the one hand, I trust Sinister, on the other, do I really want to spend two hours of what's left of my life re-watching a film I remember as overlong and boring? I will see "Alien", though - just as soon as I unpack my multitudinous video collection and locate my widescreen, extended version.
 

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Alien's boring too. You just have to watch it with a different part of yourself in front of the TV.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'm going to give Spaulding another day or two to check out Alien before I bring this thread to a close. Maybe Raxl, Omega, Pete or other forum members will jump in here and send some love and support to The Thing and put it out front. As it now stands, the Xenomorphs are leaving an acidic trail of carnage that consists of burning shapeshifter cells. Great match here guys!
 

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I never got into the ALIEN series the way lots of others did. NONE of those movies ever really did much for me.

THE THING , on the other hand, has Kurt Russel, and Wilford Brimley turns into a nasty-wormy-monster-gross-uhh..thing. And, I like the special effects in THE THING way more than in ALIEN.
I'm not gonna get to into the Carpenter debate this turned into. I like THE THING, and can stand to watch HALLOWEEN. BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA is of course, a modern classic, as is ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK. Everything else, I can do with out. So, I'm a Kurt Russel fan, more than a John Carpenter fan.
 

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You can stand to watch Halloween? :eek: What is that supposed to mean?
 

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Yeah, what is that supposed to mean? I think "Halloween" is the second best slasher movie of all time (unless "Psycho" [1960] is considered a psychological thriller, in which case "Halloween" is the best slasher movie of all time).
 
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