The Thing: John Carpenter says not even the cinematographer knows the truth of the ending

John Carpenter is keeping the secret of The Thing ending to himself and says not even cinematographer Dean Cundey knows the truth

We’re forty-one years down the line from the release of John Carpenter’s 1982 classic The Thing (watch or buy it HERE), and fans are still wondering what exactly was going on with the last two characters in the final scene of the film. Of course, Carpenter knows – and he says that he’s the only one who knows. While cinematographer Dean Cundey has previously said that he specifically lit the scene to indicate which of the two characters had or hadn’t been assimilated by “the thing”, Carpenter refuted his claim during an interview with, saying that Cundey “has no clue” what was going on in that moment.

Cundey presented what fans refer to as the “eye gleam theory”. He said that the characters were lit in a specific way throughout the movie so that the ones who were still human would have a gleam of light in their eyes. In the final scene, one character has the gleam. The other doesn’t…

But when Carpenter was asked about the eye gleam theory and Cundey’s reveal of who was and wasn’t the thing at the end, he said, “I know who’s the thing and who’s not in the very end. (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. You tell him that. Tell him he’s full of sh-t.

So can Carpenter tell us who was the thing and who wasn’t? “Nope… Cannot tell you. Sorry.

Carpenter directed The Thing from a screenplay by Bill Lancaster, which was based on John W. Campbell Jr.’s 1938 novella Who Goes There? (You can find out more about the adaptation HERE.) The film has the following synopsis: In remote Antarctica, a group of American research scientists are disturbed at their base camp by a helicopter shooting at a sled dog. When they take in the dog, it brutally attacks both human beings and canines in the camp and they discover that the beast can assume the shape of its victims. A resourceful helicopter pilot and the camp doctor lead the camp crew in a desperate, gory battle against the vicious creature before it picks them all off, one by one.

Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, T.K. Carter, David Clennon, Keith David, Richard Dysart, Charles Hallahan, Peter Maloney, Richard Masur, Donald Moffat, Joel Polis, and Thomas G. Waites star.

What do you think was happening at the end of The Thing? Do you think Cundey really gave away the secret with the eye gleam theory, or is Carpenter truly the only one who knows the answer? Share your thoughts on this one by leaving a comment below.

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