John Carpenter’s Remake of The Thing Wasn’t a Remake

There seems to be some disagreement and misinterpretation on John Carpenter’s The Thing. I’ve read it online, spoken about the movie with other fans (as it happens to be a personal favorite), and keep hearing how it was a remake of The Thing from Another World. As a hardcore fan of these movies, I felt compelled to write about them, and how this popular opinion is contrary to what appear to be facts.

There are three renditions of the film, The Thing. John Carpenter’s 1982 version is arguably the most popular, which by majority opinion is a remake of the original, The Thing from Another World, originally released in 1951. Another addition to the franchise was introduced in 2011, which was thought (depending on opinion) to be a prequel of John Carpenter’s or second remake of the original 1951 classic.


The Thing from Another World 1951


The Thing 1982


The Thing 2011


So there are two remakes for the same film? Sure, it’s not unlike Hollywood to rehash the same thing (pun intended) more than a few times, but this isn’t the case. In the original 1951 story, scientists uncover an alien spacecraft buried under ice near an arctic research station where they work. They find an extraterrestrial pilot frozen in the ice and dig it out. The being accidentally gets thawed out, and things go downhill from there.

The story of John Carpenter’s 1982 version is in fact a sequel to the original. In the story, American scientists working at a different arctic research facility are startled by a helicopter coming toward their base, which is chasing a dog, a man firing at it with a rifle. The dog escapes unscathed and the helicopter pilot is killed in an accidental explosion while trying to kill the dog with a grenade.

When the American scientists go to the other research base to investigate the strange behavior of the unexpected visitors, they find the place deserted and mostly destroyed. They also find video footage of the scientists finding the spacecraft and the chunk of ice the creature originally escaped from.

This tells us that this is in fact a sequel, not a remake. It follows events which take place after the original film.

The 2011 version, again considered a remake, technically is. But not of the film most people associate it with. It’s not a remake of John Carpenter’s film, but of the original 1951 version. It’s the story of the Norwegian scientists who found and unleashed the alien in the first place. The movie even ends with the dog escaping (presumably thought to be the alien creature) while being chased by a helicopter. This movie could be considered a prequel to John Carpenter’s version, if anything, as it ties the events together more closely than the original 1951 version.

I hope this makes you want to watch and enjoy these movies again (or for the first time if you haven’t seen them), if only to see for yourself how they are truly connected.

Serpentine Willow – Pen of the Damned

This week on Pen of the Damned, I bring you Serpentine Willow, the story of a parent willing to sacrifice all for her child…

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7 Obscure Disturbing Movies You Might Regret Watching


Fans of horror cinema love their movies. Most of us are always looking for that next film that puts us on the edge of our seat—literally. Once you’ve seen the worst of the worst it’s hard to get a good scare out of even the most terrifying scenes. There’s another way to achieve success in finding things that will scare even the most seasoned horror fan—find movies that aren’t necessarily horror, but unsettling in the worst ways. Stuff that makes you question your choices in movies, things that stick in your memory like a photograph, moments you know you will never forget. For the rest of your life…

Upstream Color


In the movie’s description, it’s classified as a cerebral science fiction piece. And it is…but not one for the faint of heart. Some of the scenes are downright disturbing as hell. To put it simply, a thief uses hypnosis drugs obtained from a rare plant to violate and steal people’s money. The drug turns into a parasitic worm that must be removed from the victim. Once it’s removed it’s placed inside a pig. From then on, the person wakes up from the hypnotic state and has no memory of what happened, but retain a psychic connection to the pig who has their parasite inside it. The man who takes care of the pigs, (dubbed ‘the pig farmer’) touches the pigs and can see through the eyes of whoever had that pig’s parasite. The pig farmer breeds the parasite infested pigs and drops the piglets in a river. When the bodies decompose, the drug is reintroduced into the flowers where the hypnosis drug came from in the first place. It’s a difficult movie to understand. There’s very little dialogue, and much of the film is shot in short scenes that jump from one character to the next. It’s like pieces of a puzzle that you have to put together through interpretation, and the film as a whole can be seen from different perspectives.

I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore


This movie starts out as a quirky but well-made independent film, but has its unexpected moments that get absolutely gruesome. The plot revolves around a woman whose house is robbed. She calls the police but gets no help. She ends up meeting an oddball neighbor down the street who helps her track down her stolen laptop, but when they get it back, they discover the people who had it bought if from a pawn shop and weren’t the thieves after all. They go on a quest to find the thief and things go from weird, to bad, to an all-out WTF moment…

Fire in the Sky


This was based on a true story, where a man named Travis Walton claimed to be abducted by a UFO and was subjected to terrifying and agonizing medical experiments. It isn’t exactly considered a horror movie in general terms, but it’s quite possibly the most realistic cinematic representation of an alien abduction ever created. The scenes of Travis Walton inside the spacecraft, the experiments and strange tools, and the physical appearance of the extraterrestrials themselves, are enough to induce nightmares in even the most seasoned horror fan.

One Hour Photo


When one thinks of a movie starring Robin Williams, titles like Patch Adams, Jumanji, and Mrs. Doubtfire come to mind—movies full of good laughs. But late in his career Robin Williams began to explore darker roles in movies like Insomnia and The Final Cut. But none of these films compare to the horror of One Hour Photo. The film is about a painfully lonely man who works as a one-hour-photo technician. He becomes obsessed with a particular family who over the years have had their film developed where he works. He has an entire wall in his apartment covered in every photo the family has ever taken, lit up by industrial spotlights. It’s by far the most disturbing role Robin Williams ever played, and just the fact that it’s him makes it even more unsettling.



Anyone who knows the name David Lynch has seen some messed up stuff that doesn’t really make any sense. Even if you try to rationalize what you see in his films, it just doesn’t add up; there are always loopholes. But his first film is undoubtedly his most horrifying. The entire atmosphere is filled with unsettling sound and desolate images. But the ending is what burns into your memory. It’s something you’ll probably remember as long as you live. There’s speculation on what the true meaning of the film is, even though it makes more sense than most of his other work.

The Lobster


This film is extremely unusual and the reality it portrays is terrifying. It’s set in a world where being single is unacceptable by society and is even prohibited by law. If you’re single for a certain period of time, you’re sent to a rehabilitation center with other single people and given a short deadline to find a mate. If you can’t find one, they use a strange technology to turn you into an animal of your choice. The main character chooses a lobster, and enters the center with his dog (who is actually his brother turned into a dog). He tries and fails to find a partner. In fear of being turned into an animal, he escapes and finds a band of rebels living in the forest outside the facility, who ironically are opposed to being in a relationship and punishes its members if they don’t stay single. He’s thrown from one extreme to another, but finally finds love. And pays a high price…



David Cronenberg is known for making some of the best and most memorable horror films out there. And although none of his movies are on this list, he’s worth an honorable mention. And because his son, Brandon Cronenberg made this movie. It’s set in the future, where obsession with celebrities has become a disturbing phenomenon. When celebrities get sick, or get a disease, fans can purchase the disease and experience it themselves, making them feel closer to their favorite star. A company purchases blood samples directly from sick celebrities and infect customers with it. If that isn’t twisted enough, there are butcher shops that cell cloned human meat, and it’s cloned from the cells of their favorite celebrities. In this sick world, one can actually eat their favorite movie star, singer, or other famous person. But the ending of the movie is where it crosses the line. I won’t spoil it for you. See it for yourself…

Death Should Be Remembered, by A.F. Stewart on @PenoftheDamned @scribe77

The Road to Nowhere...

Death Should Be Remembered

by A.F. Stewart

When I arrived, the gate to the graveyard was open, wrought iron swinging on its hinges. I hesitated. I didn’t like company when I visited. I preferred to be alone, to stand at the headstones in the silence.

Should I go in?

I looked over my shoulder, back down the road.

I could go home. Come back another day.

No. I needed this. Needed to remember death, relive what happened, hear the screams again. It would help ease the pressure until…

Yeah. Take a chance. Could be someone just forgot to fasten the latch properly. You can always lie if you meet someone.

I passed through the gate, shutting it behind me. I decided to visit Patricia today. Her family buried her in a secluded spot on the east side of the graveyard.

Less chance of being seen.

A silence settled on the…

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The Lift – Season 2, Episode 11

The Lift is back with a new episode!

‘Seeing Everything’ by Samantha Pleasant LeBas.

After losing her brother, Milo, to his struggles with Shell Shock after WW II, Mary-Anne finds her way to a certain building where a wise-beyond-her-years young girl named Victoria awaits. A ride on Victoria’s Lift leads to an unexpected reunion, and allows her to see how her actions have resulted in Milo being unable to find his final rest.

Crying – Pen of the Damned

This week on Pen of the Damned, Jon Olson brings you a special treat! Read his latest tale, titled Crying.

Some parents are blessed with patience. Then there is James…

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Pen of the Damned is a collection of dark tales told by those who freely dive into the maw of damnation and live to tell their stories. Every Tuesday a new story is posted to the site by one of its handful of eclectic writers. And once or twice a cycle, the members write their interpretation of a photo prompt as a group post. The stories are short and not so sweet, with a lingering aftertaste of terror.

If you haven’t checked out the site I dare you to take a look into the pitch black, if only to see if you can find the light again.