Check this two-part video analysis of ending of The Thing, particularly the question of whether or not Childs is a duplicate. A few stretches, but it does a good job of illuminating spots where the director is trying to tell us something. I mean, why two long shots of a coat rack?
To keep people arguing about it for thirty years. That’s why.
I must confess that by the end of the movie, I don’t really care who’s a fake and who’s not. The last scene is more about the emotion than the puzzle, the creeping nihilism that forms the foundation of the story’s world. These two guys are going to freeze to death. Maybe one’s an alien who will wait in the ice for another hundred millenia. What does it matter?
All of MacReady’s readiness, his clever strategies and brave actions, didn’t save the day. Maybe he kept the alien from infecting the world, and maybe he didn’t. Either way, there’s a race of creepy dudes out there who can end all human life in very little time. They are very good at staying alive. All we can do is hope they continue to ignore us.
Which leads me into my next post in this series – The Thing and Lovecraft. Tune in tomorrow!