“The Thing” is a 1982 horror film directed by John Carpenter.  It provides a legitimate example of a nameless monstrosity that is also illustrated in Lovecraft’s “The Call of Cthulhu”.  The antagonist is an alien parasite that assimilates other organisms and imitates them perfectly.  By taking the appearance of the person or thing is absorbs, it causes paranoia and mistrust in a group of American Scientific Researchers while on an expedition of the Antarctic.  If the parasite ever reaches civilization it would destroy humanity.  In order to keep the aliens from assimilating all life on Earth, the scientists try to contain the parasite, however fall under attack when the parasite imitates members of the group while trying to escape.  Like the monster in Lovecraft’s story, the alien parasite is a nameless monster.  By not giving the creature a name, it takes away from our frame of reference, and adds a new element of fear. Because the Thing has no direct form, we are “forbade a very clear idea of its nature” (Lovecraft, I).  Its ability to assimilate and perfectly imitate its victims makes it even more fearful as no one knows what it really looks like, and no one can be trusted.  When the scientists discover that the Thing is an alien parasite, they learn that every piece of the alien is an individual organism with its own survival instinct.  It has a grotesque need to consume and obliterate everything in its path, in “a form which only a diseased fancy could conceive” (Lovecraft, I).

The defibrillator scene is an example of what the alien parasite does to the bodies it absorbs.  In this scene, Norris is having a heart attack and Dr. Cooper is trying to revive him.  It is revealed that Norris has been inhabited by the Thing, and he begins his grotesque transformation.

In the tainted blood scene (after Norris’s transformation) MacReady administers a blood test to determine who the Thing is inhabiting.  If he puts the copper wire in the blood and the blood reacts, that person is infected and exposed, however if nothing happens, they are safe from the alien parasite at the moment.


Lovecraft, H.P. "The Call of Cthulhu." 1928. Online. http://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/fiction/cc.aspx "The Thing". 1982. Directed by John Carpenter.