There is a 7-minute filmed introduction to the movie here:
Roger Ebert doesn't like it:
THE THING is a great barf-bag movie, all right, but is it any good? I found it disappointing, for two reasons: the superficial characterizations and the implausible behavior of the scientists on that icy outpost.
The Thing is an odd case of a film defying what is generally considered poor filmmaking sense – all special effects, minimalist characterization – and still emerging as a great film despite.
The New York Times calls it
a foolish, depressing, overproduced movie that mixes horror with science fiction to make something that is fun as neither one thing or the other.
1000 Misspent Hours praises it, saying
it pleases me to see that finally, after most of twenty years, this movie has started getting some of the respect it deserves. Having been staunchly in The Thing’s corner for about fifteen of those twenty years, I’d like to take a moment now to say, “I told you so.”
DVDTalk says, "As a series of exciting scares, Carpenter's show has few equals."