Those familiar with John Carpenter's own minimal soundtracks for his films Halloween and Assault on Precinct 13 probably would have credited the soundtrack of The Thing to the director as well. After all, the recurring theme -- a dark, heartbeat-like pulse that circles in on itself without release -- gives the film its particular tension and foreboding. But it's credited to Ennio Morricone, as is the rest of the album. The soundtrack is notable for being one of Morricone's earliest electronic scores and for acknowledging the influence of Carpenter's seminal work in music (and those who influenced him, such as Goblin). It also opts for an atmosphere of dread without punctuating the darkness with obvious scary orchestral bursts. Not a soundtrack for a casual listen, but an important release nonetheless.
AllMusic Review by Ted Mills