I Saw A Film Today… The Thing

To start off, Universal Studios did a poor job of promoting and defining The Thing. This The Thing is not a remake of John Carpenter’s ’82 The Thing. It is a prequel that classic (you know, the Norwegian camp), which I ended up informing many customers at the theater I work at this weekend. Then again, there were those who came out saying “I can’t wait for them to make a sequel”. Eh, go figure. I didn’t have the heart to tell them that it was made 29 years ago. They will find out eventually, right?

******

While searching the arctic for core samples, a group of Norwegian scientist come across an amazing discovery:  a space ship trapped thousands of years beneath the ice and an alien to go along with it. They decide to bring in an expert named Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) to help examine it and remove it from the frozen tundra. Sounds like a good idea right? A beautiful woman surrounded by lonely Norwegian’s and a frozen alien. What could possibly go wrong?

But before Kate can begin her examination, the alien awakens from its slumber and explodes out of it ice enclosure and begins to terrorize the camp. One special trait of the alien is its ability to take the shape of living things, human or other. This brings up the question: who is who they say they are and who is hiding a secret?

Now if you are wondering why this sounds vaguely like the 1982 The Thing, well that’s because it sadly is. I was afraid that it was going to borrow too much from that film and it does so. But if you step back and view this without comparing it to the Carpenter’s film as I did, you actually have a great popcorn flick here. You really do get all the bang for your buck.

The CGI admittedly was a little lackluster in a few scenes but I wouldn’t say that it was distractingly so. In fact, for the most part it looked pretty good. With the horror genre releases over the past few years, this one is a return to form in a sense. Maybe with a little more scare tactics than pure horror, but a return none-the-less.

As for performances, you get what you expect from a horror film. Most are forgettable while some are worth mentioning. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is one of my favorite young actresses working today and gives a good performance. In a film where she is one of only two females, it would have been easy to make her an object of sexual appeal but thankfully comes off as smart and confident. Joel Edgerton is quite good as well as an American pilot as is Jorgen Langhelle as the Norwegian Lars. As for the rest of the cast, nothing really special.

There is a lot borrowed here from horror film of years past but that is not necessarily a bad thing. For those curious to what happened to the Norwegian camp before the Thing terrorized Kurt Russell at the American camp will be interested to see this. As will people who unfortunately have never seen the John Carpenter adaptation.

Verdict: SEE IT

* Rated R for strong creature violence and gore, disturbing images, and language.

Comments? Opinions? Leave them below.

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3 Responses to “I Saw A Film Today… The Thing”

  1. First off, I have not seen The Thing(2011) yet.
    Man, I can’t believe some people went in seeing that movie not knowing it was suppose to be the prequel. -or not knowing John Carpenter’s version existed at all. Although, that’s part of the studio’s fault for advertising the PREQUEL to have the SAME title name as the original film.
    Being a fan of John Carpenter’s The Thing, I am pretty dissapointed in hearing the concept of the prequel actually a remake in disguise. However, I still want to see The Thing(2011) just to see how it all plays out, even if the same events happen and similar characters are present.

  2. My best advice… is to not expect it to be as good as, or even close to, John Carpenter’s film. To do so would leave you disappointed. And you’d be a fool. Nice review Kev.

  3. I thought this was pretty bland. I also don’t buy that pretend you never saw the superior 1982 version argument. Should we also pretend that we never saw The Empire Strikes Back so that Return of the Jedi would not suck? 🙂

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