Isolation In John Carpenter's The Thing

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What makes a monster truly terrifying? Is it the monsters ability to make you feel helpless against a seemingly unstoppable force and creating a sense of isolation? Giving you that fear that can only be obtained when your life is put in danger. Building on your fear and slowly turning it into paranoia to the point where you’re not sure what is safe or not and ultimately leads to you being truly alone. The best example of this isolated horror is from the cult classic 1982 film, John Carpenter’s “The Thing.” The Thing is a monster that represents the paranoia people have to things that at first glance seem safe and familiar but have the potential to be dangerous and horrifying. Authors like Stephen King and Stephen T. Asma know the true meaning behind…show more content…
It uses this to hide in plain sight and to plant the seeds of paranoia to the people its hunting. The Thing is a monster that presents a tremendous threat and makes it possible to see how actual people react to it; it creates realistic characters and an atmosphere that most horror movies don’t have. In the movie, the people are isolated far away from any civilization or help in an Arctic research facility, where these men are pushed to their breaking points. Stephen Asma stated in his article that “Monsters can stand as symbols of human vulnerability and crisis” (Asma 2). The Thing does a perfect job of showing how vulnerable people are when their backs are against the wall. The creature puts them in a position of self-doubt and helplessness. While The Thing has only a few moments of screen time in the film, it is still able have a huge presence because of its effect on the men in the movie. You can see how the monster is slowly eating away at their sanity, resulting in these men turning on one another. The Thing shows just how close people are to really losing themselves to their
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