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The Thing$
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Jez Conolly

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781906733773

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906733773.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

‘What is that… is that a man in there… or something?’

‘What is that… is that a man in there… or something?’

(p.33) ‘What is that… is that a man in there… or something?’
The Thing

Jez Conolly

Liverpool University Press

This chapter discusses how the Thing in human form is ultimately the greatest instigator of fear. Simply not knowing who is who, but knowing what happens when a Thing is hidden inside a man contributes to the film's suspenseful, horrific effectiveness. The chapter gives a brief history of plant-based monsters on the big screen and how the The Thing might be part-plant. It discusses how the word 'man' on the tagline of The Thing may actually refer to 'mankind' which suggests a rapid and complete subsuming of all human life on Earth should the organism be allowed to reach civilization. The chapter relates the characters and how they are constructed to the political atmosphere at the time the movie was released citing the Cold War and the rising fear of Communism in the United States. It also discusses the gender politics that play out in the film.

Keywords:   suspense, horror, plant-based monsters, politics, gender politics, Cold War, Communism, The Thing

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