The Thing From Another World


Ignore the credits: the granddaddy of the alien invasion movie doesn’t belong to hack helmer Christian Nyby but the great Howard Hawks. Set in the frozen wastes of the Antarctic, it’s a Cold War masterpiece, paranoid tension building slowly as a team of egghead scientists and square-jawed air force officers discover a deep-frozen UFO.

Despite being spread across two discs this is extras-lite, with just an optional colorised version and a raspy yak-track from John Carpenter, director of the 1982 remake. It’s the ultimate fanboy natter, as Carpenter recounts his own boyhood obsession with the movie while teasing out Hawks’ promilitary, anti-intellectual group dynamics. It’s a cold, bleak film that finds no hope in extraterrestrial contact, just fear and loathing. Made at the height of America’s Communist panic, it’s one of the purest examples of ’50s anxiety cinema. “Keep watching the skies!”


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