Other mistake: The brief chess game (four moves) shown in the beginning of the movie makes absolutely no sense. For instance: There are no white bishops on the board, but after the human player taps a few buttons, the computer says that he just moved one. Within the two moves described first, the positions of the pieces change completely. In addition, some pieces are now gone and there are new pieces on the board. It's like an entirely different game. The final move is said to have been made with a black rook, which is impossible. In the shot shown before this move, there is not a single position available to that chess piece that would result in an instant checkmate. Nothing in the editing indicates that these few short shots are supposed to be viewed as separate games. (00:04:50)
Visible crew/equipment: After MacReady says, "The generator room," toward the end of the film, he, Garry and Nauls walk down a flight of stairs. Then Garry and Nauls walk down a set of three steps whilst Mac is holding a flare. As they walk the shadow of a guy holding a boom mic is clearly visible on the floor. (01:30:05)
Continuity mistake: When Mac is locked out of the complex by the rest of the team, who think he may be a 'Thing', Childs uses an axe to try and chop open one of the doors, leaving a HUGE hole in the middle of it. Later Childs returns to that same door and the hole is significantly smaller and at a completely different location on the door.
Continuity mistake: When the crew is outside and they're going to lock Blair in the tool shed, you can see someone nailing wood across the window on the front of the shed. The pieces of wood are horizontal. In the next shot (inside the shed), if you look at the window in the background, the strips of wood are vertical. When Mac goes back outside, the wood is horizontal again.Mark Bernhard
Continuity mistake: Just a couple of minutes into the movie, Gary shoots dead the crazed Norwegian and the camera returns to MacReady. Now watch closely: When he gets up to help injured Bennings, he and his Jim Beam bottle are covered up to the hilt with loads of snow. But on the next shot, a split second later, his clothes are miraculously clean and the whiskey bottle as dry as you can possibly get it. (00:09:00)
Continuity mistake: When they are all outside and MacReady has separated the three most likely suspects and orders that they be tied down and tested, he comments at that time that they are to be hit by a storm in six hours. Cut to the scene where Mac is dictating into his recorder and he comments that the storm has been hitting them hard for 48 hours. However it is the same night and at best, maybe only an hour has passed.Mercury
Continuity mistake: When the thing is on the lab table, and the severed head starts walking away, Mack torches it with a flamethrower. At one angle, you can clearly see that fire is not coming out of the hose. It is just a fire going off in the doorway. (01:17:20)
Revealing mistake: When MacReady burns the one "Thing" with the split head, in one shot it walks by MacReady in the foreground, and you can tell in that shot that it is just a still dummy burning, as it isn't moving at all. It just sort of floats past with its arms at its sides, while in the previous and next shots it is wildly moving around, arms flailing.
Continuity mistake: When the stray dog is placed in the cage with the other dogs and starts to mutate into The Thing, one of the other dogs start biting a hole in the fence. We get a clear view of the hole in one close-up, and in the next shot as The Thing sprays liquid on the dog, and the hole in the fence is much bigger. (00:27:45)Mortug
Continuity mistake: When the remaining men find Macready holding a flare to a bundle of sticks of dynamite, the sticks go from being loosely and haphazardly bundled together to tightly tied together and then back again in a matter of seconds. (01:12:45)