Tag Archives: The Thing

What do you mean ‘the alien killed the dogs’ ?!

john-carpenter-the-thing-movie-posterOver the summer, I showed Phoebe one of my favorite movies of all time, John Carpenter’s The Thing. I thought it would be a good one to show her because the effects, while still looking good, aren’t as realistic as some of the more modern movies. I also thought she’d like the psychological guessing game – wondering who survived and who was an alien.

It surprised Dipper and I when it took me two tries to get through the movie with her. As it turns out, The Thing is a little too heavy on talking, and a little too light on the alien massacres. She wanted less discussion and more alien transformations. The second time through, I prepped her that once the proverbial ball got rolling, it was a bloodbath. That seemed to satisfy her. She picked out a craft, and we continued the movie.

Just like with Ridley Scott’s Alien, Phoebe was all about the animals. In fact, the movie opens with a helicopter flying low over the snow, shooting at a beautiful husky. I would be doing her a great disservice if I said she was merely disturbed. I think the phrase, “losing her shit”, while a bit crass, is a better approximation of her reaction.

“MISS HOLLY!” she squealed.

“Yes, Phoebe? What —“

“WHY ARE THEY SHOOTING AT THE DOG, MISS HOLLY? ARE THEY GOING TO KILL IT?” Now, it’s important that at this juncture, I point out that her speaking in capitals is not because she was yelling. Her eyes were the size of the moon, and her body was very still. She was speaking very carefully, emphasizing every single word.

“Phoebe, it’s great that you ask questions and you’re curious, but you’re gonna spoil the movie for yourself.”

“I don’t care. DO THEY KILL THE DOG?”

“Not that one.”

“THEY KILL OTHER DOGS?” Shit. I shouldn’t have let that slip.

“Well, not the humans. More like the alien comes and kills the dogs.”

“Oh. Do the humans kill the alien?”

I was at a loss. I was about to spoil most of the movie. Having learned my lesson with Ridley Scott’s Alien, I proceeded thusly:

“The whole fun of this movie is that at the end, you don’t know if the alien is gone or not. Yes, the alien kills all the dogs –“

“MISS HOLLY!”

“Hang on, let me finish…”

“Ok.”

“Yes, the alien kills all the dogs. But the alien also kills most of the humans. And the humans give the alien a helluva fight.”

She considered that for a moment. I could tell she still wasn’t happy with the dogs dying. After a little more consideration, she shrugged and told me that the humans were stupid because they let the alien kill their dogs. I tried to explain that they weren’t necessarily stupid, more so that they just didn’t know what they were dealing with. I tried to explain that as the viewer, we are omniscient, and having that to our advantage, can suggest better courses of action for the characters. She then told me that if she were in a horror movie, things would be different, chiefly because she wasn’t stupid. (That, however, is a topic for another post at a later date.)

Her final decision on the movie was that it was alright. She didn’t like the alien wiping alienout the dogs, and she would have liked a better idea of who was human and who was an alien. Not knowing made it confusing sometimes. Not to mention there were several characters to track, but not much real character development to help her keep them separate. She also wasn’t terribly impressed with the special effects, until I told her that the movie was made in 1982, and without the help of computers. Once I explained how the special effects artists (Rob Bottin’s work was fantastic!) she began to appreciate it a little more. I promised the next movie would have less talking, and more straight-to-the-point killing.

Hello from Buffalo!

hubbyYesterday it was rain-slushing. There were puddles of water in the streets, and melting snow on the grass. There were people raking leaves, and everyone was wearing hoodies and fleeces. Last night the snow started a little bit more in earnest.

The flakes fell a little bit faster, and stuck on the ground longer. This morning when Chris and I woke up, we were in the process of being snowed in. Now it’s 2 minutes shy of 3pm, and snowed in we are. Neither of us went to work, and most of my coworkers called in as well. There is a driving ban for all points starting in South Buffalo. (Chris and I live in what is known affectionately as “The South Towns”). A few hours ago, Chris tried to go and chew us out of the snowdrift. Yeah, that didn’t happen. We don’t have  the ability, and more snow keeps falling. The photo to the left is Chris making an attempt. About another foot has fallen since then.

Let’s make the most of it! Chris and I are working our way through our series (currently catching up with American Horror Story), and drinking hot cocoa. As far as I’m concerned, we have food in the house, and the power is still on, which means my zoo survives (orchids, snakes, and fish).  To be continued…

…it’s 8:15 the same night. The snow has continued falling. Chris and I went out to uncover our exhaust pipe for our furnace, because high efficiency furnaces are notorious for getting covered and causing carbon monoxide poisoning (so keep yours clear!). We barely made it around the front of the house. I was climbing over the snow drifts and using my shovel to balance my weight out (like a freaking crab.) We will try again tomorrow, and tomorrow there will be more picks.

For those of you who might be snowed in (or just want to pretend you are), here are my picks for a fun snowed-in day (or week, as this isn’t supposed to let up until Thursday or Friday):cookies

1) Candy Cane Hot Coca – Oh man! This stuff is the bomb. It takes about 2 packets to make a decent cup, but it’s great. Highly recommended!

2) Snowcone Cookie Mix – The flavor is blue raspberry. And they’re amazing.

3) Z Nation – If you haven’t been watching this, well, get on it! It’s a really great show. It’s pretty traditional, but has some really poignant and funny moments. Plus the characters are multi-faceted. That’s always a bonus.

4) American Horror Story – My personal favorite is Season 1, but Season 4 is picking up nicely.

5) The Thing – Both the John Carpenter version, and the “prequel“. Either works just as well – even though I will always have special love in my heart for the original. (Go, MacReady, go!)

6) Dreamcatcher – So sue me! I freaking LOVED the movie version. The book was ok, but the movie kicked some serious ass! (And it starred Timothy Olyphant, which never hurt anyone.)

7) 30 Days of Night – HELL YES. Now THAT is being snowed in.

8) The Shining – Yes, you knew that was coming. A classic tale of being snowed in, and the damage an alcoholic can do when influenced by bad spirits.

9) The Mist – Ok, ok. So not a snow movie, but creepy as hell. And, if you’re from Buffalo like I am, the wall of white outside the window doesn’t really matter does it. Mist, snow. It’s white and you can’t get through.  (Oh, and Thomas Jane is spectacular in this one! Not to mention three Walking Dead alumni are in it – Carol, Andrea, and Dale.)

 

Whatever you’re up to, and wherever you are, be safe and be warm. I’m off to watch some TV with the husband, and then get my crochet on. Afterwards, I might keep reading a really awesome book – The Undead Haze, by Eloise J. Knapp. My favorite literary sociopath, Cyrus V. Sinclar, is back at it again. As an added bonus, he’s slogging through a winter wonderland too. (If you’re new to the series, start with The Undead Situation first!)