John Carpenter's 1982 Classic The Thing is one of the most celebrated sci-fi horror movies ever and with good reason. Thanks to Bill Lancaster's impeccably tight script, paranoia-soaked atmosphere, and a haunting accompanying soundtrack, Carpenter and his team delivered something that spoke to a fear within all of us - namely, when push comes to shove, who can you trust?
Through focusing on one anchor point in the film, that being R.J Macready, we as an audience aren't privy to all the details and movements of The Thing. That made moments like the blood test scene become all the more haunting as we never saw Palmer become assimilated.
And while speculation still runs rampant about who really is The Thing come the close of the film, today we're going to look into the events prior, in an effort to piece together who was infected and when. Don't trust your eyes, because appearances are fleeting.
9. Vance Norris
Oh Vance, we hardly knew ye.
The geologist for U.S Outpost 31 is one of the least developed characters in the film, but what we can glean from discussions from the group and his interactions with them is that he was Garry's first pick to take over command once his leadership began to falter which implies they had a good relationship, and the fact that he had a weak heart, the latter of which inadvertently leads the viewer to find out that he has indeed been assimilated (and gives us that gruesome defibrillator scene).
However, the question of WHEN he was infected is something that has been debated for years thanks to a conflicting silhouette that's seen when the Dog-Thing is exploring the Outpost. Fans speculate that this image could only be that of either Palmer or Norris (Windows is also a candidate but we all know what happens to him), and while Stuart Cohen stated that this was originally meant to be Palmer, that collar matches Norris's clothing almost perfectly.
However, here's the thing: that was the ORIGINAL plan, meaning that it has to be Norris in the final version who becomes patient zero.