John Carpenter’s The Thing nearly had a much worse ending

The Thing is rightly considered one of the finest horror movies ever made, but the ending to John Carpenter's film was almost way worse

Best horror movies: Kurt Russell in The Thing

John Carpenter knows how to make a brilliant horror movie. Not only did he create the Halloween franchise, but he also made one of the best movies of all time in The Thing. It could all have been ruined, though, had the plan to change the ending of the ‘80s movies gone ahead.

The body horror movie was critically-panned upon release and didn’t exactly draw in big crowds at the cinema. In the years since many have warmed to the picture, and it is now revered as a triumph of storytelling, and its practical effects are celebrated as some of the most impressively gory in film.

Among the collection of deleted scenes (via Den of Geek) you can find on The Thing, there’s an alternate ending that would have detracted from the overall quality of the film’s original, very bleak conclusion.

As it is, the alien movie ends with MacReady (Russell) and Childs (Keith David) watching the flames die out on the now destroyed research centre. The tragedy for these two survivors is, once the fire goes out, they will freeze to death, but there’s little else they can do.

Turns out, Carpenter wasn’t totally confident in this bleak ending, and decided to shoot an epilogue as an insurance policy. The scene involves MacReady is seen recovering at another facility, and a blood test revealing he is still human.

YouTube Thumbnail

Now that would really have spoiled the fun, wouldn’t it? There is another version of the ending out there, too, which is sometimes used on television screenings of the dark science fiction movie, which sees the titular monster disguised as a dog, fleeing Outpost 31. Not bad, apart from some cheesy narration.

Still, any of it is better than the 2011 remake. If you’re a fan of The Thing, you should check out our list of the best monster movies, or dive into our list of the best slasher movies for more bloody horror.