Why would the Blair-thing want to isolate the group?
Forum member: "I think Blair was a human when he smashed up the radio room, why would a thing want to isolate the group?"
For a speculative explanation, Blair-Thing would want to isolate the members of the American camp from the rest of the world since those humans now know it is a dangerous, invasive alien.
And more importantly, the humans now know it's abilities to assimilate humans, dogs . . . and likely all other Earth species. Any humans having the knowledge of the thing-alien's covert advantage, takes away it's primary offensive tactic, a master of subterfuge.
By smashing the radios, tractors, and choppers, the humans only means of getting word to the outside world to warn them, is on foot - little chance of survival there.
But even if they did attempt it, it would take them days, possibly even weeks to reach the nearest camp. With Antarctic snow storms blinding visibility beyond ten feet, they would possibly never make it, lost in the storm.
More likely they would be forced to wait for other stations to escalate alarm that they can't communicate with Outpost 31.
But as Windows explains, sometimes they go weeks before establishing communications. So it would be a number of weeks before any other station to finally escalate an investigation of Outpost 31.
Meanwhile, Blair-thing coaxes from the humans, his isolation to build it's advanced flying craft and zips off to civilization.
By the time the American camp members are finally rescued several weeks after (at first, the outsiders might have a hard time believing their wild story, that is until they finally take them to the alien ship for proof - more delays), the blair-thing would have already been deeply embedded into civilization's hosts.
Then it would be like trying to find a specific needle in a huge pile of needles. . . . . SFMZ Webmaster
Child's breathing characteristics is a clue he is an Alien Thing?
Forum member: "If you watch the ending closely, MacReady's breath is visible in the cold air. Childs is not breathing air as a human would. As Childs talks and breathes silently, no air is visible from his nose and mouth.
I've watched the ending closely every time now (from the moment when Macready sits down and Childs appears, standing, a few feet behind him.)
There appears to be a second or two here and there where some breath escapes from Childs, but it is now obvious Carpenter did make the breathing of the men so different that it's a clue that Childs was assimilated.
That really doesn't makes sense. The first rule this fan theory injects, is the alien does not have to breath as an assimilated human. Fair enough, hold that thought and we will proceed on for now........
In the last scene, sometimes Child's breath is visible sometimes it isn't. I'm not sure how intermittent visible breath would be considered 'obvious.'
When Childs first walks up, his visible breath is a regular smoke stack, a constant stream. Later it can't be seen. That suggests the Alien has the function to turn on and off it's signs of breath?
And why would it do that? Seems far fetched, but if that were true, seems to defeat the purpose if it's flipping the breathing on/off switch in the presence of a human? Now we are venturing in pure silliness for any of that to be possible.
And this also suggests a thing assimilated human doesn't have to breath. Which means any signs of it breathing from the other assimilated characters throughout the movie, it's faking it with it's deceptive breath ploy?
When Norris has a heart attack, we can see it is gasping for air. So it has the resilience to continue it's deceptive breathing ploy even as its assimilated body is dying?
Additionally, you can clearly see Blair's breath while he's talking to MacReady through the shed's door portal (ahhm all better now).....unless Blair wasn't a Thing at that point. You can probably see by now these fan theories are challenged by the Domino effect.
Not to mention we also see vapor from the Bennings-Thing's breath right before it's incinerated. Why would the alien bother with it's "fake breath" ploy when the jig is up, the humans already know it's alien from it's freaky hands/arms?
The alien assimilates human physical organic and is bound by it's limitations as Norris' heart condition it inherited, implies. It's near impossible for the human body to even talk without breathing.
Try it yourself, pinch your nose shut with your fingers and force your mouth to not take in any air or exhale any air and start talking. You might get a few words out at first, but nature soon has you gasping for air to continue.
The problem with these fan generated theories, is some are really not well thought out before they present their sales pitch. Often they come unraveled from the Domino effect. They tunnel-vision on only one small aspect of the plot to prop up their theory and ignore how it effects the dynamics of the complete story.
When fans make up new rules, or in this case, alleged proof for their fan theory, it now has to be applied to other aspects of the story's continuity.
In any case, it's not obvious nor is it conclusive....at least from where I'm viewing it. . . . . SFMZ Webmaster
Internet Fan Fiction Legend: Shredded clothing is a requirment for the alien to complete an assimilation?
It's become quite popular for fans to hold the belief that shredded clothing is a requirement for the alien to complete an assimilation. Evidence of that occurs in more than one incident.
However, not all assimilation instances follow this fan fiction 'rule.' I seriously doubt the alien gets a kick out of shredding clothes every time it assimilates a human, so if shredding clothes occurs, more likely it was out necessity.
Numerous fans online have stated they think the alien is intelligent, a top gun of deception, a master of subterfuge. Much of the film, and more so, the novella supports that. Preserving the clothes of the victim would seem like a basic tactic on the alien's part . . . if it can.
The shredding of clothes has inconsistencies throughout the film's story, or perhaps by Carpenter's sly design, that was indeed intentional. It's not necessarily the exclusive tell tale sign a person has been assimilated. There are some accounts where shredded clothing was left behind, those are apparent signs of course.
But there are others that were apparently assimilated off screen, and no evidence of shredded clothing revealed. Now of course, not seeing them does not equate to proof.
However, in Carpenter's film not all the victims clothes were shredded when they were assimilated. When Blair-Thing attacked Garry, his clothing is never damaged. In fact when it assimilated Garry and dragged off his body with Garry's face fused with Blair-Thing's hand, Garry's clothes were completely undamaged.
The alien possibly shreds them only if it's exposed in the open with humans present (no point in hiding at that point), or.....an off screen attack was a violent encounter....not a surprise ambush like when it assimilated Garry, preserving his clothes.
I mean, think of the alternative. The off screen assimilation of Norris and Palmer. If the alien was bound to the requirement of shredding clothes in order to complete an assimilation, then that suggests that camp members - their wardrobes are identical - like Einstein's wardrobe. All the same shirts, pants, shoes. No variety.
If it shredded Norris' clothes privately, apparently Norris has the exact same outfit in his wardrobe? I can see maybe Garry having the same uniform filling out his wardrobe, but all the camp members have identical clothing in their wardrobes?
Secondly, if the alien ripped Palmer's clothing privately and it had to hit Palmer's wardrobe for new clothes, I guess Palmer has another beat up sleeveless denim jacket....with the same patches.....and sewn in the exact same spots as the first jacket?
Image 1 is visuals very early in the film with the dead Norwegian on the pool table. Not even an inkling of hint that anyone has been assimilated yet. Image 2 is visuals of Palmer's jacket when they were in the Rec Room and about to begin the blood test, just before Palmer mutated into an alien-thing. Identical patches and identical locations where they are sewn on the jacket.
And if that's not enough, while it's difficult to see in these small images, freeze these frame examples on your big screen and you can see "both jackets" have the same aging patterns where the denim has faded to a dingy tan color.
To buy the fan theory that shredded clothing is a requirement to be assimilated, we would have to believe Palmer has identical jackets with the same patches and they have the exact same aging patterns. I find that unlikely. I find it more likely the alien was able to assimilate Palmer without damaging his clothes. . . . . SFMZ Webmaster
Through various movie forums I often engage in discussion on a number of topics regarding The Thing 1982. Some are quite interesting and offer different perspectives. Here are a few of the highlights.
The Thing 2011 Copied The Thing 82 Scene for Scene!
What is truth and what is misconception?
The forum comments on this claim is actually a collection of members' charges of The Thing 2011 copying The Thing 1982 scene for scene. A common pattern I noticed from the forum participants is some seem to be under the impression that many of the plot elements of The Thing Universe were originated from John Carpenter's sci-fi horror classic.
The Thing 82 doesn't get credit for plot elements it copied from the original story, the novella. If a movie is being accused of copying (Thing 2011), it would be copying the original source in some instances. Another copy (Thing 82) that copied a given plot element from the original story does not get to "own" that concept.
But that isn't necessarily the case for every claim of copying Carpenter's film. There are some instances where the prequel did indeed copy plot elements, more accurately, plot elements unique to The Thing 82 not found in the original story.
So let's get them all gathered and sort out what is truth and what is misconception in regards to accusations that the prequel, as one forum member put it, "aped The Thing 82." As commentaries go, you the reader decides whether the sorting delivers merit or irresolution.
The Thing 2011 copied Dr. Copper's introduction of the blood test from The Thing 1982!
Resolving a Misconception: The blood test was not originated from The Thing 1982, it was introduced by the original story. That's not copying The Thing 82, both films copied the original story for that concept.
The Truth: The concept of using stored human blood, now that's original to The Thing 82. In the original story, the camp doesn't have stored human blood, or there is no mention of stored human blood.
However . . . in The Thing 2011, stored human blood is not mentioned or suggested to use for the test. They use the camp members' own blood. Sander makes the comment, "Exposing our uncontaminated blood to the cells of the creature might cause a reaction of some kind." Adam, "So we take blood samples from everybody and we test each one of them."
Verdict: The Thing 2011 is NOT GUILTY of copying the blood test in any capacity from The Thing 82, it used it's own original avenue for the proposed blood test. Therefore, the only copying here was from the original story.
The tests proposed by Copper (Thing 82) and Halvorson (Thing 2011) were never realized because they were sabotaged in both films. Which brings us to . . . .
The Thing 2011 copied the sabotage of the test from The Thing 1982!
Resolving a Misconception: The sabotage of the test by the Thing-alien was not originated from The Thing 1982, it was introduced by the original story. That's not copying The Thing 82, both films copied the original story for that concept.
The Truth: The alien in the original story sabotaged the test that novella Copper suggested. And unlike both films, the novella Copper actually carries out the test. However through subterfuge and the alien's "other abilities," it manipulated the blood test in a way that created misleading results, sending the humans off in a fog of doubt.
I say "other abilities" to not give away all the natures of the alien for those who haven't read the novella, and wish no spoilers. Anyway, the sabotage of the test by the Thing-alien is indeed from the original story using deception for a misleading test.
However, The Thing 82 deviated from the original by injecting a blatant display of sabotage. There were no deceptions or trickery to alter the test. It simply destroyed the means for them to conduct the test before the humans even got a chance to put it in place.
The Thing 82 alien tampered with the stored blood, releasing the supply to a blood pool on the floor. There was no attempt to hide it was sabotaged, hence a blatant display of sabotage. And this is where The Thing 2011 copies The Thing 82, by also portraying a blatant display of sabotage.
Verdict: The Thing 2011 is NOT GUILTY of copying the sabotage test, both films copied that from the original story. The Thing 2011 is GUILTY of copying The Thing 82's unique plot element of a blatant display of sabotage. However, an asterisk to add, The Thing 2011's blatant display of sabotage was different by setting the entire lab on fire. So you have a guilty, a not guilty, and an asterisk to weigh into the equation.
The Thing 2011 copied the use of flame throwers as a weapon against the alien from The Thing 1982!
Resolving a Misconception: The use of flame throwers as a weapon against the alien was not originated from The Thing 1982, it was introduced by the original story. That's not copying The Thing 82, both films copied the original story for that concept.
The Truth: The novella describes one or more scenes where a flame thrower (they were called blow torches in the novella) is definitely used as a weapon against the Thing-alien. Therefore, both films copied this plot element. Another fact, the flame throwers crapping out at a crucial time was a 100% original plot element of The Thing 82. No such incident ever occurred in the novella.
Verdict: The prequel is NOT GUILTY of copying this plot element from Carpenter's film, it copied it from the original story. However this is where the misconception ends and a series of plot elements of The Thing 82 were certainly copied by the prequel surrounding the failing flame throwers.
In fact, in similar scenes between both films, there's a whole cluster of similar matches: 1) flame throwers crapping out; 2) and at the moment of the creature's big reveal; 3) and in the rec room; 4) and most of the main characters were corralled in one big convenient spot to witness the big reveal; 5) and they were held prisoner by another character; 6) both Carter and MacReady held the other characters at bay with a flame thrower.
All these Thing 82 plot elements appear in the prequel, including the same scene and succession. Not to mention, in both films the flame throwers never failed during other scenes - burning the remains in pits, burning bodies no longer a threat.....they both only crapped out for the big suspense scene. Thing 2011 is GUILTY of copying a whole suite of plot elements from The Thing 82 surrounding the broken flame thrower theme.
The Thing 2011 copied from The Thing 1982 locking up a character(s) in a shed/storage to isolate them due to possible threat!
Resolving a Misconception: Locking up threatening characters in a shed/storage was not originated from The Thing 1982, it was introduced by the original story. That's not copying The Thing 82, both films copied the original story for that concept.
The Truth: In both the novella and Carpenter's film, Blair is locked up for his own safety and the safety of others due to him becoming deranged. Never is it mentioned in the novella or The Thing 82 that Blair was locked up due to suspicion he was an alien.
Verdict: Since The Thing 2011 copied this plot element from the novella, it is NOT GUILTY of copying Carpenter's film. Furthermore, the characters in the prequel (Carter and Jameson) were not locked up because they were consider mentally unstable, they were indeed suspected of being Thing-aliens.
The Thing 2011 copied from The Thing 1982 regarding a hurt human turns out to be an alien, then has body parts animate and attack the others!
Resolving a Misconception: This claim by a forum member, a rather broad claim by the way, needs to be dissected to properly sort. So let's first address the alien has body parts animate and attack others. Well right off the bat, this was not originated from The Thing 1982, it was introduced by the original story. That's not copying The Thing 82, both films copied the original story for that concept.
Not to mention the alien's very nature in The Thing universe centers on it's shapeshifting abilities and attacking victims. Other sources - the video game, comic books, etc., all modeled the alien on it's ability to shapeshift, and.....guess what.....attack others! A rather strange accusation.
The Truth: In The Thing 82, the character in question would be Norris, who appeared to have a heart attack and then the big moment of the alien popping out of it's chest. In The Thing 2011, the character in question would be Edvard, who was rendered unconscious from a torch tank blast and the shapeshifting extravaganza begins.
In the novella, it goes without saying the alien is a shapeshifter and attacks other characters. However, there is no instance where an infected character was suffering from any human related ailment or injury prior to mutating. That plot element would be unique to The Thing 82.
Verdict: Nothing more to be said than what's already mentioned above . . . the prequel is GUILTY of copying the injured/ailing human revealed to be alien, and NOT GUILTY of copying Carpenter's film for having the alien mutate and attack others.
Conclusion: As you can see above, there are a number of instances where it's a misconception that The Thing 2011 'aped' Carpenter's film. In reality, it employed elements that The Thing 82 also copied from the novella. The writer/director of The Thing 82 cherry picked certain plot elements of the novella to create their own unique version of The Thing universe resulting in a highly regarded sci-fi horror classic.
And this is perhaps what the prequel is most guilty of . . . it cherry picked a number of The Thing 82's unique plot elements instead of tapping more into the original source. The novella still has unexplored plot elements that the film makers could have used to create their own unique story in The Thing universe.
Sure, being a prequel, certain plot elements had to remain due to the introduction of Norwegians by the Carpenter film, but there's more to the story that the prequel could have called it's own, such as the unexplored nature of the alien realized in the novella.
The prequel came close to that unique prize with a significant scene exploring the mystery of the alien ship . . . which was realized in the original prequel script and it holds the same eeriness as MacReady and Copper exploring the Norwegian camp. This scene was not even in the novella, making it a truly new and original concept introduced into The Thing universe.
Unfortunately, those in control of what we see at the theater, decided in their infinite wisdom this original and unique plot element wasn't box office material. Go figure. It's been reported that a screen test audience didn't favor the mummified alien pilot in the ship. Hindsight, perhaps that risk might have paid off. . . . . SFMZ Webmaster
Childs is an Alien Thing!
Forum Member: "(I believe) Carpenter leaves clues as to different visual arrangements of coats hanging on a wall where Child's is when Doc Blair supposedly imitated him. The two shots are almost identical in that the coats are different from shot #1 to shot #2.
Meaning Blair assimilates Childs and he has to change coats. They are very careful to wear the same costumes the whole movie, so when MacReady sees Childs at the end, watch closely, his coat is a different color then what he wore in the previous scene!"
Sorry, but I don't think that claim really works. The problem with that theory:
In shot 1:
1 - There are a total of 6 coats hanging on the wall shown on screen.
2 - The coat colors - 1 deep blue, 1 green, 1 light olive, 2 cream color, 1 black (can barely be seen stuffed between the two cream colored coats).
3 - 3 pairs of boots - one pair in the room corner, toes pointed out; 2 pairs shoved under the bench, toes pointed in.
4 - Coats are placed on various hangers.
5 - Childs (looking out the window) is wearing a medium blue coat.
In shot 2:
1 - There are still 6 coats, if Childs is now a Thing, grabbed one of those coats, wouldn't there only be 5 coats left? Plus, now the coats are a mixture of different colors.
2 - Now there are 2 green coats. Where did the second green coat come from?
3 - The other four coats are all now cream colored. What happen to the black, deep blue, and olive color coats? Well, Childs-Thing might be wearing one of them, though that doesn't account for the other two colored coats mysteriously disappearing...but lets go on for now...
4 - The coats are now rearranged somewhat, on different hangers. A cream colored coat is now hanging where the deep blue coat was. The newly appeared second green coat is now hanging where the olive coat was.
5 - The 3 pairs of boots - all three pairs are now shoved under the bench....but this time all of them with toes pointed out.
So the only way that theory would hold up is if this event happen:
Blair-Thing ambushes Childs and assimilates him. The room shows no sign of struggle. Perhaps a surprise ambush that renders Childs (a large and powerful man) completely helpless. I will give some leeway there that Childs had no chance of fighting back for benefit of doubt.
But then this is what would have to happen next -
1 - Blair-Thing (or Child-Thing, whatever) takes the time to dispose of Child's medium blue coat....assuming it was shredded. Or at least it's now somewhere off screen.
2 - Grab the black coat, the deep blue coat, and the olive coat, hand carry them somewhere else in the facility where it could find 2 cream colored and another green colored, coats. Bring those coats back into the room, and rehang them. This is the only way for the colored coats mentioned for shot #2 could be there.
There was no one else there that could have possibly did all that rearranging and replacing of coats. Why would the alien bother doing all of that?
3 - Blair/Child-Thing then takes the boots and lines them up under the bench and makes sure the toes are now pointing out. Again...why would it bother with such an odd task?
The description above sounds like a shopper in a Macy's fitting room fussing over which coat and shoes to buy.
All of that is quite the illogical stretch for all those off screen events to happen, not to mention that theory turns the alien into a fussy neat freak. The alien would make someone a very efficient housekeeper/maid.
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. And sometimes an inaccurate resetting a stage with props to film another scene is just an inaccurate resetting of a stage with props to film another scene.
Now back to Childs: in the last scene, I have watched it closely countless times over the years and cannot determine the color of his coat.
First of all, it's covered with soot from the fire.
Secondly, his coat may 'appear' brown as some have claimed, but the golden sepia tinted light from the fire makes just about everything in that scene look brown.
Thirdly, the tote straps for the flame thrower are an Army green or olive green when he is in the coat room. But look at the image above, because he is covered with soot from the fire, the straps are now the EXACT SAME COLOR as the coat. So if we are expected to buy into this latest Child-Thing theory, are we to believe that not only the alien changed out coats, it went looking for matching color tote straps too?
And lastly, you can see that because of the sepia tint lighting, Child's skin now has a deep red tint to his skin, like he is sunburned. So for this Child-Thing theory to work, I guess the alien didn't quite get Child's skin tone right when assimilating him? We're now venturing beyond pure silliness.
And if all the above is not enough, here's a bonus:
Let's suppose for a moment the Child-Thing did all that obsessive housework mentioned above as absurd as that might be and it did indeed have a different coat on in the last scene. We can't just cherry pick when to apply that criteria. Once we use that as alleged proof, that now means its available to apply to other characters.....
MacReady throughout most of the movie when he's out in the cold is always wearing his brown leather light jacket, no additional protection. Even out in the frozen tundra of the alien ship site, he seems content to just wear that light leather jacket, no parka.
But in the last scene....where the entire camp is lit up with heat, he's wearing some sort of poncho or perhaps a blanket wrapped around him. Point is, where is his signature brown leather jacket? Does he have it on underneath the poncho/blanket? Or is it gone? When did he become a wuss about the cold when the whole camp is heated up?
So applying that theory of wardrobe change equates to being a Thing is based on:
We can't confirm Childs is wearing his medium blue coat he had on earlier because of the soot from the fire and the brown tint light, so therefore he must be a Thing?
We can't confirm MacReady still has his brown leather coat on because of the poncho/blanket, so therefore he must be a Thing?
That doesn't look right.....or two wrongs don't make a right.
It's a nice effort on the member's part and these Child-Thing theories are often entertaining, but off-screen illogical what-if scenarios don't really hold water from the way I see it. . . . . SFMZ Webmaster