John Carpenter’s 1982 Horror classic The Thing is one of the most influential sci-fi films ever made, and its conclusion has been a subject of debate for decades. The Thing is undoubtedly a landmark cinematic movie that remains in vogue even more than forty years after its release. The effects of the highly acclaimed film have ensured that its incredible horror remains strong, with the effect that Thing still sounds for many years.
The Thing Foundation makes the real nature of its characters hard to see, especially as the film’s sequel unfolds. However, The End of the Matter, in particular, has been the subject of much controversy over the years, as it continues to undergo regular testing and new fan theories. Although The Thing’s fate is deliberately unclear, we have much to say about the movie and its story.
The Thing (1982): Synopsis
In Antarctica, a dragonfly chases a sled dog to an American research station. The Americans testify as the passenger accidentally blew up a helicopter with him, while the pilot shot the dog and shouted in Norwegian to the Americans, but they could not understand him and he was shot dead defending station commander Garry.
American helicopter pilot, R.J. MacReady, and Drs. Copper goes to investigate the Norwegian background. Among the burnt ruins and frozen corpses, they found the burnt remains of a bad humanoid found at an American station. Their biologist, Blair, examines the fossils and finds a common set of human organs.
Clark catches the sled dog, and quickly changes and sucks the channel dogs. This distraction alerts the team and the Kids use a fire extinguisher to burn the creature. Blair explores the new Dog-Thing and learns that it can perfectly replicate other living things.
Data obtained from Norwegian sites lead Americans to a large excavation site containing a lightly buried outer space, Norris estimates it has been buried for more than 100,000 years, and a small excavation site the size of a human. Blair grows confused after using computer simulations showing that a creature could measure the entire life on Earth over a period of years. Channel uses controls to reduce match risk.
The bad humanoid still includes the single Bennings, but Windows disrupts the process and MacReady burns the Bennings-Thing. The team also tied Blair to a tool shed after destroying all vehicles, killing the remaining sled dogs, and destroying the radio to prevent him from escaping. Copper proposes testing for infection by comparing staff blood with contaminated blood stored in a blood bank but after hearing that blood stores have been vandalized, the men lose faith in Garry’s leadership, and MacReady takes command.
He, Windows, and Nauls found Fuchs’ cremated body and thought he had killed himself to avoid similarities. Windows is back to basics while MacReady and Nauls are exploring the MacReady shack. On their way back, Nauls left a MacReady snowball, believing he had been eaten after finding his torn clothes in a shack.
The team is debating whether to let MacReady in, but he breaks into holding the team with dynamite. During the reunion, Norris appears to have a heart attack. As Copper tries to pull out the Norris fibrillate, his chest turns into a huge mouth and bites Copper’s arms, killing him. MacReady burns Norris-Thing, but its head catches up and tries to escape before being burned. MacReady thinks the Norris-Thing head showed that every part of the Thing is a kind of individual life with its own sense of survival.
He proposes to test blood survivors for each survivor with a hot wire and each man holds himself but is forced to kill Clark after stabbing MacReady with a scalpel. Everyone succeeds in the test except Palmer, his blood flows in the heat. Exposed, Palmer-Thing shifts break its bonds, and infects Windows, forcing MacReady to burn both.
The children remained alert while others went to check on Blair, but found that he had fled, and he was using parts of a car to assemble a small flying saucer. When they returned, the Childs were missing and the generator was damaged, leaving the men without heat. MacReady thinks that, without escaping, Thing intends to return to the dormitory until a rescue team arrives.
MacReady, Garry, and Nauls decide that Thing can’t be allowed to escape and set off explosives to destroy the station, but Blair-Thing kills Garry and Nauls disappears. Blair-Thing transforms himself into a giant creature and breaks an explosive device, but MacReady detonates explosives with a dynamite stick, destroying the channel.
The children return as MacReady sits next to the burning remains, claiming he was lost in a storm while chasing Blair. Tired and slightly cold to death, they admit the futility of mistrust and share a bottle of Scotch whiskey.
The Thing (1982): Ending, Explained: What Happened At The End of the Film?
After seeing The Thing’s skills, the men in the research center began to take turns slowly. One of the first to break is Wilford Brimley’s Blair, which is damaging their transport in an apparent attempt to divide the Thing. As the creature continues to kill and unite men on the ground, their mistrust grows. Once MacReady has developed a smart test using hot needles and blood samples to detect the virus, survivors are reduced to MacReady, Garry (Donald Moffat), Childs (Keith David), Nauls (T.K. Carter), and Blair.
Seeing that it was too late for Blair to infect him, the remaining men tried to destroy the camp, only Garry and Nauls should be killed. MacReady is able to kill Blair-Thing and stumble into the cold, where he meets Childs. The two men sat watching the new camp, waiting for the cold to die, knowing that there was no way they could trust anyone. It is not yet clear if the Children are a human or a Thing, and although the audience knows that MacReady is virtually free of viruses, Children have no reason to trust him, which leaves the end of The Thing open with a cut. “The Thing.”
What Is The Real Meaning Of The Thing?
The conclusion of John Carpenter’s The Thing is infamous, but that is exactly the point. The fact that it is impossible to separate a person from Thing is central to the film’s structure, and the conclusion challenges viewers to put themselves in the position of MacReady and Childs.
While the risk of infection is not yet measured, the final answer is that it is impossible to know, and that is exactly what is happening in the minds of MacReady and children. Since they cannot fully trust each other, they acknowledge that the only way to resolve the problem is to “wait and see,” knowing that this will mean that both of them will die of frostbite.
There lies another meaning at the end of the Verse. Whether one of Keith David’s characters or Kurt Russell is really infected, the point is that Thing wins. When it comes to the final test, no one can commit to a particular situation, and the only reasonable course is to let the cold catch them both.
This means that if a person has the virus, or if the Blood-Thing or other cells survive, the organism will freeze and survive to spread over time. In the end, MacReady’s fight was in vain, as The Thing’s finale proves the creature won.
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