After all these years we are still learning new things about John Carpenter‘s classic 1982 sci-fi horror film The Thing. During a recent interview with Dean Cundey, the cinematographer on the film, there was always a way you could tell who was the monster and who was human.
While talking to Blumhouse to help promote the 4K Blu-Ray release for the film, Cundey was asked if he used any subtle photography cues to explain anything about The Thing. He explained that there’s a subtle gleam/light in the eyes of people who are human. He made sure that gleam wasn’t there for anyone who was the monster. He said:
“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.”
How freakin’ cool is that! The answer was right in front of our eyes the whole time, but none of us were really looking for that. That little detail changes everything! Now I need to watch The Thing again with this new detail about the film in mind. Here are a couple of examples:
In case you’re wondering if the creature survived at the end of the film, I included a clip of the ending featuring MacReady (Kurt Russell) and Childs (Keith David) at the end of the movie. Are one of these men the monster? The movie was left open-ended, but as I watched this final scene I saw the gleam in the eyes of both men at certain points, so it’s safe to say that they were both human.