For all the grand guignol overload of its computer graphics, the component is first and important an atmospheric movie, one predicated on the claustrophobia and paranoia generated by means of its remote antarctic-base placing. It’s there that a systematic group discovers, then falls prey to an alien which can assume the form of any residing being it touches, forcing the men stationed at the base to impeach the true identities of these around them. This is becoming fabric for director john chippie, who ironically used his largest finances to go back to the kind of small-scale, inward-searching horror of assault on precinct thirteen and halloween. However if the bodily scope of the movie is slender, its tone is considered one of sizeable, cosmic terror, motivated in no small component with the aid of h. P. Lovecraft.
Camera movement, apart from a few speeding factor-of-view pictures, is stately and affected person, as bloodless because the base’s frigid environment. Carpenter’s scientific surroundings gives a bedrock of visual calm that handiest makes the amorphous, motive-defying nature of the alien threat all of the extra disruptive. In preference to reflecting the mania of the characters, the digital camera is an goal viewer, which casts a nihilistic pall over the aspect by way of telegraphing the hopelessness of the characters’ state of affairs.