Be careful what you defrost this week. It might be Aunt Harriet's scary Christmas fruitcake, buried in the depths of the freezer compartment since 1997. Or that leg of lamb you neglected to roast in '93. Worse yet, it could be the gruesome alien predator that, once accidentally thawed, terrified scientists at an Antarctic research center in 1982's The Thing, horror-meister John Carpenter's thoroughly creepy remake of a Cold War classic that chilled everyone back in 1951. Graphically violent and relentlessly paranoid, Carpenter's nerve-racking exercise in suspense features Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Richard Dysart and Richard Masur. But the real star of the show is the slime-dripping creature itself, which manages to take on the appearance of the unfortunate humans it kills. Carpenter, better known as the originator of the Halloween horror franchise and the twin terrors Escape From L.A.and Escape From New York, never achieved a higher pitch of ruthless manipulation than with this trip to the wastelands of the South Pole. The Thing screens at 7 p.m. Tuesday, January 13, at the Starz FilmCenter as part of the Denver Film Society's Language of Film series, in which Denver filmmaker Alexandre Philippe introduces and deconstructs classic films from a storyteller's point of view. Series organizers caution moviegoers to allow for film interruptions and discussion time. Starz is in the Tivoli building on the Auraria campus; for more information, call 303-820-3456 or log on to www.denverfilm.org.