John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982, dir. John Carpenter)
While John Carpenter’s The Thing is more badass than scary, I still saw it at such a young enough age that it had a pretty strong effect on me. The idea that an alien that could take on the shape of anything it came in contact and mimic it perfectly until it decided to take another form is pretty creepy.
Now add into the mix that you’re stranded at a research station in Antarctica and you see what makes The Thing terrifying. Some stand out scenes from this are the dog pen, the autopsy, the literal WTF moment, and the moment between Childs and MacReady at the end.
That last scene I referenced – I always wondered what would be worse, facing the alien or freezing to death?