‘The Thing’ fan theory has a different take on the monster’s identity

The Thing
Image via Universal Pictures

John Carpenter’s The Thing may not have wowed critics or audiences upon its initial release in 1982 but has garnered a massive cult and mainstream following since then. Fan theories are always running rampant about the film’s ending, but this fan theory posted to Reddit adds a great piece to the discussion.

Reddit user /u/No-Welcome-3707 pitched their theory to the internet on /r/FanTheories, and it adds a fascinating angle to the final film and the consequences. Mild spoilers for John Carpenter’s The Thing.

We know at the start of the movie that the Thing took out the Norwegian base so this already partly confirmed. However, in the next scene, the radio operator says that he can’t contact anyone. We know this refers to their commanding officers in South America and Australia, but then he goes on to say that he hasn’t been able to contact anyone “on the continent” for the past two weeks. I think this indicates that the Thing didn’t just wipe out the Norwegians but every other base on Antarctica. 

/u/No-Welcome-3707 on /r/FanTheories

It definitely makes sense, but it does ask more questions than answers. The most popular retort to this theory in the comments comes from the explanation that losing radio contact with the outside world is much more a plot device for isolation than anything deeper for the story.

This would dismiss the popular fan theory that both Macready and Chiles are the Thing and suggest that only one is at the end of The Thing. Whether or not this would fly with hardcore fans of The Thing is uncertain, as the following for the film is very much built upon the speculation of its ending and open-endedness.

The Thing is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and continues to amass more of a following many years after its release.