Forty-one years after “The Thing” first opened in theaters and terrified audiences, director John Carpenter is still being asked about its widely debated ending. Like Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” (Is Cobb aware or dreaming?) or Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner” (Is Rick Deckard human or replicant?) Carpenter’s body horror favorite ends on a massive existential cliffhanger. In this case, it’s whether or not R.J. MacReady (Kurt Russell) or Childs (Keith David) is still infected with a body-snatching alien. The two men decide to freeze to death to prevent the alien from being unleashed onto the world.
One of the most popular and long-standing theories about the end of “The Thing” is courtesy of Dean Cundey, the film’s cinematographer. Cundey suggested that throughout the film a specific light gleam can be seen in the eyes of whichever body is currently inhabiting the alien. A light gleam can be seen in Childs’ eyes in the final scene, which would mean he’s infected with the Thing under Cundey’s theory. But not so fast, says Carpenter in an interview with.
“He has no clue,” Carpenter said about the Cundey’s explanation of the ending. “Yes, I know. I know who’s the Thing and who’s not in the very end.”
According to Carpenter, he’s the only person who knows the real answer about “The Thing’s” ending and “nope, cannot tell you. Sorry.”
“[Dean Cundey] doesn’t know. He has no idea. He puts the lights up. He puts the lights up, and we were in the snow. He has no clue,” Carpenter added. “You tell him that. Tell him he’s full of shit.”
Carpenter is currently making the press rounds in support of his new true crime horror anthology series “John Carpenter’s Suburban Screams,” which premieres Oct. 13 on Peacock. Each episode focuses on one true horror tale as told by the real people who lived through it. Their accounts are brought to life through recreations, news clips, home photos and archival footage.
As for “The Thing,” Carpenter’s classic was remade in 2011 with director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. and a cast that included Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Joel Edgerton. Carptenterearlier this year when he teased “there may be a ‘Thing 2,’” although no further details have been disclosed.