Must See: The ThingMust-see movies are futuristic classics that shouldn't be missed. Of course, not every must-see is perfect. That's why we've rated them 1-5 on the patented "crunchy goodness" scale. Written by James Rocchi.

Title: John Carpenter's The Thing
Date: 1982

Vitals: John Carpenter's remake of the 1951 sci-fi chiller The Thing from Another World isn't just a high-water mark in pre-digital special effects; it's one of the most effective and chilling sci-fi horror films ever made, as a group of U.S. personnel at an Antarctic base are besieged by an invader from beyond who can take any shape it wishes ... and duplicate any of its victims. Mixing action, horror, big sci-fi ideas and great production design, The Thing is a true classic.

Famous Names: John Carpenter (Director) Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David (Cast).

Crunchy Goodness: 5

Elevator Pitch: "It's ... And Then There Were None with a space alien!"

Sight You'll Never Unsee: The shape-shifting Thing's unique way of escaping a fire — as a severed head sprouts legs and eyes to scuttle away. ...

Bang for Your Buck: Rob Bottin and Stan Winston's brilliant goopy creature work — perhaps the greatest achievement in pre-digital special effects.

Ebert's Review