For the upcoming Special Edition Blu-Ray release of the classic John Carpenter horror film ‘The Thing,’ production company Scream Factory is beefing up the content on the two-disc pack. One of the new items they’ve included is a fresh commentary track with the film’s cinematographer, Dead Cundey. During the recording of the track, Cundey shed a night light onto a few of the classic scenes in the film that fans have long debated, including the final shot of the movie.
If you’ve seen the film, then you know the tense mystery that permeates the first half of the film, as both the characters and the audience alike try to discern which of the humans has been taken over by the alien “thing.” Fans have long studied each scene, looking for some kind of clue that the creative team may have inserted, but seemingly come up empty every time. Well, wonder no longer, my friends, because Cundey says point-blank that he and Carpenter did, in fact, put hints in the scenes – and we’ve just been missing it all these years:
“So, we were looking for some kind of a subtle way to say which one of these [men] might be human. You’ll notice there’s always an eye light, we call it, a little gleam in the eye of the actor. It gives life. But there is no eye light [on Palmer]. Let’s make it look subtle, like he’s different, and the audience won’t know until later. So, he has dead eyes.”
Check out some screen captures from the film, the first two featuring “the gleam” and the third without, and you’ll easily see what Cundey is talking about – and you’ll be super-mad at yourself for never seeing it before!
Finally, Cundey talked about the final scene of the film, and whether any clue was actually given about if one of the men was inhabited by “the thing,” and if so, whom:
“That was discussed. Should one of these guys be treated as if one of them are ‘the thing?’ But no, John very deliberately wanted to leave the question of if one, or both, or neither of these guys is ‘the thing.’”
That’s all well and good, but if you follow the rationale Cundey gave earlier about the “gleam of life” in the characters’ eyes to indicate they are human, you’ll see in the final scene that Kurt Russell’s character, MacReady, does have a gleam in his eyes – but Keith David’s character, Childs, doesn’t appear to…
Relive the final scene here as you kick yourself for not seeing it sooner.
‘The Thing’ Special Edition Blu-Ray is currently scheduled to be released in American stores on October 11, 2016.
Tony Schaab is bad, and that’s good. He will never be good, and that’s not bad. There’s no one he’d rather be than he! A lover of most things sci-fi and horror, Tony is an author by day and a DJ by night. Come hang out with Tony on Facebook and Twitter to hear him spew semi-funny nonsense and get your opportunity to finally put him in his place.