One more vintage monster from this period is The Thing from Another World. I don’t think that anyone in this day and age would be scared seeing Marshall Matt Dillon (actor James Arness) of Gunsmoke fame as a plant from another planet. I mean, how scary can a man dressed up in a rubber suit and shuffling along à la Frankenstein really be?
Enter John Carpenter. In the 80s, this director was well known and loved by sci-fi and horror fans. Fresh off the success of Halloween (1978) and Escape from New York (1981), he seemed like the perfect choice to put a new coat of paint on this creature feature. And boy did he ever.
He basically fleshed out the story to its bare essentials (i.e. a group of researchers isolated in the Antarctic find evidence of an alien visitation) and amped up the tension to an extraordinary level. Add to this premise a stupendous cast, amazing special effects and a distressing conclusion, and you have a clear winner.