Science Fiction Movie Club

Joined: Aug 2004
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Oh, it's Alien vs. The Thing? Alien, unquestionably. The difference for me is in how the two movies present and define their characters. With The Thing, the movie rushes early on to establish its characters in the broadest strokes. As a result, they mostly end up being cardboard caricatures, and it's very clear from the beginning that Kurt Russell is our central antihero who's going to make it to the end, however ambiguous that ending may be. Alien never tips its hand that way. With Alien, the movie doesn't rush the character development. We're constantly learning more and more about them by how they learn about and react to the threat. In The Thing, none of the deaths or reveals were ever surprising or shocking to me because none of them involved Kurt Russell; he just reacted to them. In Alien, it's never really clear until the end who will survive, and there are a couple deaths/revelations that are really shocking.
Aug 24, 2017 12:45 AM
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Joined: Nov 2003
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If it just goes down to what I enjoy more, and what I'm more likely to put on at any given moment, The Thing is always going to be one of my favorites. But in regards to what I think is technically the better film, I tend to think Alien has much richer characters, a greater sense of mood and it manages to create nearly an entire world inside of the enclosed space of the Nostromo, and so give it the slightest of edges.
Aug 24, 2017 12:52 AM
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Thief12And I've said it before here, but I'm probably one of the few who would put 28 Weeks Later above Days.

I like 28 Weeks Later, but I feel like 28 Days Later has more merits and layers to it. Could you elaborate on both films though? I'm interested to hear what you think of them.
Aug 24, 2017 1:30 AM
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Joined: Jan 2015
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BadLieutenantOh, it's Alien vs. The Thing? Alien, unquestionably. The difference for me is in how the two movies present and define their characters. With The Thing, the movie rushes early on to establish its characters in the broadest strokes. As a result, they mostly end up being cardboard caricatures, and it's very clear from the beginning that Kurt Russell is our central antihero who's going to make it to the end, however ambiguous that ending may be. Alien never tips its hand that way. With Alien, the movie doesn't rush the character development. We're constantly learning more and more about them by how they learn about and react to the threat. In The Thing, none of the deaths or reveals were ever surprising or shocking to me because none of them involved Kurt Russell; he just reacted to them. In Alien, it's never really clear until the end who will survive, and there are a couple deaths/revelations that are really shocking.

I remember a scene early on in the film which showed MacReady playing a game of chess with a computer only to dump a cup of water into it, frying its circuits. I feel like one person hit the nail on the head when he mentioned that the film feels like MacReady playing a chess game with the other characters in terms of him fighting them when they become infected. I feel like him frying the computer's circuits represented him using a flamethrower. I also thought it was pretty cool how MacReady was the only one who ever burned an alien in the film. I felt like Carpenter intended to base the movie around him. It seemed to be about him fighting back more than it was about the other characters fighting back against the alien. I agree that it's clear MacReady will make it to the end from the beginning. However, I feel like Carpenter intended for the film to be like this due to the chess scene. I enjoyed this concept as it was an interesting idea to show how MacReady was the only main/primary character. You'd think that none of the deaths would be surprising as a result, but I think the movie made up for this with the well-done buildup and execution. A lot of the kills were unexpected such as the defibrillation and the blood test scenes. There were also several characters who I felt were infected, but the movie kept my anticipation high over when it was going to happen/if it was going to happen (this led to a few surprises). Anyways, this is why I don't have an issue with what you're talking about. I feel like both of these movies are brilliant, but I enjoyed The Thing slightly more.
Aug 24, 2017 2:06 AM
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