‘The Thing’ Fans Up in Arms After Disappointing 40th Anniversary Screenings: Here’s Why

by Craig Garrett

The Thing is a hallmark of 80s horror, but fans were upset after a recent screening series celebrating its 40th anniversary. Fathom Events planned to host screenings of The Thing in theaters on multiple dates, starting with last Sunday. Fans were clamoring to see the Kurt Russell starring horror film on the big screen. However, the 40th-anniversary screenings did not launch as expected. Many fans of the film have only seen it on home video. Still, they noticed a major problem with the big-screen version. Key parts of the film’s image were missing because the aspect ratio was incorrect. Horror Icon Mick Garris, director of beloved horror films like Critters 2, voiced his outrage in a now-viral tweet.

“I just got back from seeing John Carpenter’s masterpiece at the Fathom Events 40th anniversary screening,” Garris tweeted. He continued, “and I will never EVER see a Fathom Event again, and I recommend that you avoid them like the plague.” Garris expanded his thoughts with more tweets. “FIRST of all, the film was shot in the 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio, but was shown in 1.85:1, literally cutting out a third of the film,” Garris added. “Fathom Events and the theaters that run them should be ashamed of themselves, and the outrageously low-quality programs they run. The power of Carpenter’s genius movie carried us through, but I remain disgusted by this ripoff,” Garris concluded.

Event organizers pledge to show The Thing Properly

In response to fan outrage and Mick Garris’s viral tweet, Fathom Events released a statement. “Your patronage and trust are of utmost importance to us. We know you come to theaters expecting the very best experience possible and we pride ourselves in being the provider of that experience,” Fathom details. “We are aware that the recent showing of ‘The Thing; wasn’t shown in its original aspect ratio and the disappointment it caused. Wednesday’s scheduled event will be shown in the proper aspect ratio, so you can see the film in theaters, as it was meant to be seen.

The film was a remake of the classic TV late-night standard, The Thing From Another World. Though initially considered box office and critical failure on its release in 1982, it has gained a fierce cult following. The film even generated a 2011 prequel, also titled The Thing.

You can catch tickets to The Thing, shown in the proper aspect ratio… here.