Every Halloween, I end the night with a “comfort food” type of horror film. Films like Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Beyond, Suspiria, The Church, Psycho, or Alien may not be considered the best horror films (although most on that list certainly qualify), but they make for a nice, familiar end to the night. Another film I often consider to end the night on is John Carpenter’s brilliant science-fiction/horror hybrid The Thing. Ask me on the right day, and I might even tell you that I like The Thing more than Halloween. While Halloween — as we’ve already discussed in this retrospective — embodies everything that is great about the horror genre and is pretty much the perfect horror movie, The Thing, however, adds another, more cerebral, layer to both the horror and sci-fi genre. There are moments throughout The Thing that are so perfectly executed — that so expertly showcase the bleak tone and evoke such a perfect tone of dread — that I could be convinced that I’m looking at a more complete and complex (and yes better) film than Halloween.