James Cameron really out does himself with The Abyss. I honestly had no idea what I was in for when looking at the trailer, but I can say that I am not disappointed. The setting for the movie itself is the best. A lot of people fear the ocean; it’s size, it’s darkness, it’s lack of familiarity. All of these aspects really make it a well done movie.

When this submarine encounters aliens, we know that something new and unexpected is coming to the screen. The pictures, some of the shots, and the situations not only make this film intense, but it also makes it an enjoyable watch.

This movie brings all of people’s fears into play; claustrophobia, death, the unknown, betrayal, etc. Not only does it make it a suspenseful journey to see the outcome of our beloved characters, but it also highlights on emotions that later affect the audience.

James Cameron focuses on all these situations and encounters that people fear, therefore, making The Abyss a haunting and stressful movie experience. But it definitely shows how film making progressed into themes that delved more into human emotions and just advancement in new ideas.

No one ever considered the abilities of going underwater, talking underwater, etc. Cameron wanted to set the level in developing new ideas for the film industry. It was far from being one of his big accomplishments, however, he managed to do something others didn’t even think about doing. That’s what makes this film so enjoyable  to watch. I wish he would have continued making more movies like this instead of Titanic, but oh well.

I found a video of Cameron talking about this movie and I think it really sums up the amount of experience and knowledge he gained from making a movie like this.

I also read that the movie has an alternate ending that is available on one of the DVD’s. Cameron had to change the ending to fit the Hollywood idea of a happy ending; but from what I hear, the original ending is what really makes this movie so distinct from all the other movies in the 80’s. I haven’t seen it, but I definitely plan on it.

Man is the Warmest Place to Hide

First of all, the phrase I used as my title was one of the taglines for the film The Thing. I don’t understand this though, because in the film, the “thing” doesn’t like heat–it prefers the cold. Therefore, this tagline is misleading. Of the taglines I saw, the UK version seemed best: “Look closely at your neighbours. Don’t trust anybody.” (Notice the spelling of neighbors.)

I actually really enjoyed this film. The plot line, though a bit jumpy, made sense and kept the viewer engaged in the film and the special effects (ignoring the opening title scene) were impressive for the time. 

We mentioned in class when discussing Wall Street that when the scene is shot from the subject’s viewpoint it heightens the intensity and provides foreshadowing for that character’s role in the film. This film was no exception. Spoiler alert: there is a scene that is shot from the dog’s point of view and suggests that it is stalking its prey, before we know the dog’s role. This film also uses the age-old menacing darkness, which becomes even more menacing because the film is set in Antarctica where if the lights go out it’s total darkness. In multiple scenes the viewer realizes something bad is about to happen because the lights go out or they are simply turned off.

The concept of the film in itself is actually quite frightening. Like the tagline above implies, the “thing” eats and then imitates its victims, so it could look like a dog or even your best friend. An interesting aspect of the “thing” is that if broken apart, the smallest piece acts as its own separate creature. In one part of the film, MacReady (Kurt Russell) decides to test each member’s blood to find out who is real and who is the “thing” by drawing blood and touching the samples with a hot wire. When the wire touched one member’s blood, the blood seemed to scream and then proceeded to jump out of the petri dish and roll away.

Video 1

As a comparison, this weekend I plan on watching the 2012 version of the film and I’ll let you know what it’s like.