7. The Thing (1982)
Can a perfect movie exist? If so, John Carpenter’s The Thing is in the running to take the prize. Just about everything about this movie has aged well, from the performances of actors like Kurt Russell and Keith David, to the still-haunting visual effects, to the very premise. The Thing is about relationships, masculinity, and paranoia. A team of men tasked with manning an antarctic outpost watch as a helicopter chasing a dog explodes. They bring the dog in only to find out much too late that an alien life form that assimilates and then imitates other life forms is living inside the dog. The men barely know each other, and the little trust they had disintegrates as they realize they have no way of knowing which of them is still human.
The questions the alien itself raises are haunting enough. How old is it? Is it truly killable? As the film ends, we still don’t know if either of the survivors are infected. The distrust and paranoia its presence causes, though, make the core of the story’s drama, and that aspect is timeless. If anything, it feels especially relevant to watch a story about being stuck indoors and worrying about who is infected and who can be trusted after being stuck indoors for two years during a pandemic. Also, the hit indie game Among Us is literally the plot of The Thing turned into a multiplayer game.