John Carpenter‘s horror classic The Thing is celebrating its 40th anniversary this week, making the perfect excuse to revise the practical effects showstopper. Thanks to Fathom Events for bringing The Thing back to theaters for two nights only, there are more ways than ever to watch. But why stop there?
This week’s streaming picks are dedicated to John Carpenter’s horror films, from his cult classics to anthology collaborations.
Here’s where you can stream them this week.
For more Stay Home, Watch Horror picks, click here.
The Thing – Peacock
John Carpenter’s paranoia-laden masterpiece is a pinnacle of practical effects. Its snowy Antarctic setting plays a pivotal role in isolation, paranoia, and the fight for survival. Fleeing from the shape-shifting alien that’s infiltrated the ranks of a research team isn’t easy, thanks to its ability to assimilate the humans and the storm raging outside. This classic keeps getting better and better with every rewatch. Happy 40th!
Body Bags – AMC +, Freevee, Pluto TV, Handheld, Shout TV, Shudder, Tubi, Voodoo
Originally intended to be Showtime’s answer to HBO’s Tales from the Crypt, this anthology by John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper spun three unique tales introduced by a creepy coroner (Carpenter) involving his current cadavers. Look for horror masters Wes Craven and Sam Raimi to appear in the first segment, “The Gas Station,” and Roger Corman in the segment “Eye.” Carpenter helmed both. Also, look for appearances by Debbie Harry, Greg Nicotero, Stacey Keach, and David Naughton. Though Mark Hamill steals the entire film with his villainous turn in Hooper’s “Eye.”
Christine – Netflix
John Carpenter’s Stephen King adaptation saw a nerdy teen undergo a dramatic personality transformation after purchasing and bonding with his new car. There’s more than meets the eye with his Plymouth Fury, Christine. It turns out she’s got one severe jealousy streak, and she’s willing to kill anyone that would get between her and her owner. Christine is one slick killing machine, and her film is made memorable by Carpenter’s direction, a clever approach to the car’s resurrection, and score.
The Eyes of Laura Mars – Prime Video, Rock, Wood
Before famously helming The Empire Strikes Back, director Irvin Kershner tackled a neo-noir Giallo feature based on a treatment / source story by horror master John Carpenter. Faye Dunaway stars as the titular Laura Mars, a fashion photographer that develops a bizarre ability to see through the eyes of a killer targeting those around her. While played straight, the ending goes off the rails in the most wonderfully dramatic way. It’s stylish and studded with an all-star cast, including Tommy Lee Jones, Raul Julia, and Brad Dourif.
Masters of HorrorCigarette Burns and Pro-Life – Plex, Rock, Screambox, Tubi, Voodoo
Consider this one a two for the price of one deal. Creator Mick Garris assembled the foremost names in the horror film genre, including John Carpenter, to unleash an hour-long horror film for “Masters of Horror. Carpenter beads “Cigarette Burns” in season one, which saw a man (The Walking Dead‘s Norman Reedus) tracking down a cursed movie. It is culminated in an unforgettable finale. Season two brought Carpenter’s “Pro-Life,” a body horror episode that inside Ron Perlman’s character resort to violence to thwart his daughter’s abortion. It gets bonkers by the climax.
In the Mouth of Madness – AMC +, Shudder
Do you read Sutter Cane? Written by Michael De Luca and directed by John Carpenter, this descent into madness isn’t directly lifted from Lovecraft’s works but feels like it could be. Sam Neill plays John Trent, an insurance investigator hired to look for a missing bestselling author whose books affect his fans in brutal ways. The further into the investigation that John gets, the more surreal and dangerous things become. Hobb’s End is an insidious little town full of insanity, creatures, and death. In the Mouth of Madness closes out Carpenter’s apocalypse trilogy, this time adding Lovecraftian horror to the doom.