The Thing is a 1982 American science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter, written by Bill Lancaster, and starring Kurt Russell. The film's title refers to its primary antagonist: a parasitic extraterrestrial lifeform that assimilates other organisms and in turn imitates them. The Thing infiltrates an Antarctic research station, taking the appearance of the researchers that it absorbs, and paranoia develops within the group. The Thing is based on the short story 'Who Goes There?' by American science fiction writer John W. Campbell, writing as Don A. Stuart (1910-1971). It was first published in the August 1938 issues of Astounding Science Fiction magazine.