You know, sometimes I am amazed at how old habits from my youth still persist on surfacing.
Yesterday I had the TV on in the background while I was cleaning up, and the new version of The Thing came on. Eh, it’s ok, but not really the type of movie I enjoy watching, so it’s a good thing I wasn’t really watching it. I didn’t even give it a thought, but then after it was over, John Carpenter’s The Thing came on.
I tried. I really, really tried to change the channel. I just….couldn’t. I was frozen (heh!) to the screen as the story unfolded for the upteenth time. In my opinion, that is still one of the most frightening films ever made. Why? Not because of the Creature. Not because of the gore. Not because of the screaming and agony.
No. The reason that movie is so scary is the very last scene. After MacReady (Kurt Russell) blows up the Creature and the whole area, he is sitting outside, and Childs (Keith David) walks up. And as they speak I notice one detail: MacReady’s breath fogs, but Childs’ doesn’t!!!! And the last lines say a lot, too:
Childs: What do we do?
MacReady: Why don’t we just wait here for a while… see what happens.
I know now that HE knows, and that just scares the life out of me. Every. Single. Time. I should know better than to watch a John Carpenter movie. They never end well.
Anyway, the evening comes to an end, and we all prepare for bed, and as I lay there waiting for sleep to come, I picture the entire movie in my head once again, and feel anxiety starting to rise, and fear gripping my chest, and so I do what every single normal kid has done to ward off those hellish visions of doom.
I cover my head with my blanket and feel myself relax, the fear subside, and all’s right with my world.
Because every kid knows: a blanket can take on every monster and creature single-handed. It works every time 😉