If you love movies at all (and if you don't why are you reading Cinematical in the first place?) then you probably have a strong opinion on remakes. Survey says most people don't dig remakes and it's easy to understand why -- what's the point in recreating something that already works perfectly well in the first place? I still worry, however, that a lot of people have knee-jerk reactions to these projects -- automatically assuming they're awful just because the dreaded "R" word is involved. It hasn't always been this way, as there have been some great remakes over the years. Case in point: John Carpenter's The Thing.
An updating of Christian Nyby's The Thing from Another World, Carpenter's version takes the source material (John W. Campbell's Who Goes There?) and updates it in a way that makes it both a retelling and a unique viewing experience. The film's story is set in an Antarctic research base where an alien life form that can mimic any living organism is spreading throughout the group. Kurt Russell leads an excellent ensemble cast that includes Keith David, Wilford Brimley, and Richard Dysart.
In one of my favorite scenes, paranoia is running rampant amongst the survivors. No one trusts anyone, but Russell's MacReady is still in charge -- if only because he has a pistol and a flamethrower at his disposal. Mac's come up with an idea to determine once and for all who is human and who has been taken over by the extra-terrestrial organism: a blood test. MacReady insists that everyone be tied to chairs and then submit a blood sample. He then heats a wire and sticks it into the sample -- if nothing happens, the person is human. If there's a reaction ... [spoilerville after the jump]