A Huge Secret About John Carpenter's The Thing May Have Just Been Revealed

There has been a mystery surrounding John Carpenter's The Thing since it was released back in 1982. Now, it's possible that the movie's cinematographer just let the cat out of the bag. Does the creature survive the events of the film? If so, which of the two men is really the monster? It turns out that there was a subtle cinematography cue that may give everything away. There's a subtle gleam in the eyes of people who are human. The Thing, not so much.

Dean Cundey has been a cinematographer for a very long time, being responsible for such films as Jurassic Park and the Back to the Future sequels. He also shot John Carpenter's The Thing. Recently, the man was interviewed by Blumhouse as part of the new 4K Blu-Ray release for The Thing. During the interview, Cundey was asked if he used any subtle photography cues to explain anything about The Thing. At first, Cundey did not answer, but then, during the blood scene, he said something quite interesting.

So we were looking for some kind of a subtle way, to say which one of these (men) might be human. You'll notice there's always an eye light, we call it, a little gleam in the eye of the actor. It gives life.

And just like that, everything changes. If there is a visual cue to tell you where the monster is, or where it isn't, then all you have to do is look for it. You don't see it here.

The Thing

However, you do see it here...

The Thing

While I haven't gone back and watched the entire film prior to this writing, the light trick apparently holds up. So, does the lighting trick hold up through the end of the movie? Yes and no. Dean Cundey specifically says that the ending was discussed and that John Carpenter specifically wanted to leave the ending open, with no definitive answer as to which man is the monster, if, in fact, either of them are. Having said that, the eye gleam is in the final scene, but only in the eyes of one actor.

The Thing

Has the ending of The Thing finally been solved, or is this just another potential answer, of the many that are out there. Which is more important, the eyes, the whiskey, or the fog of the breathe? Debate your own theory in the comments below.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.