The Thing – Thinging Its Way Through Antarctica

The Thing (2011) – There’s nothing like a prequel to ruin the ending.

Queer shrieks:
The Fat Man yells in Norwegian:

Se til helvete å kom dere vekk! Det er ikke en bikkje det er en slags ting den imiterer en bikkje den er ikke virkelig! Kom dere vekk idioter!

Ahem.  Now you know a major plot point of not only The Thing, but also of The Thing.  It’s very confusing and I can’t recall how many “I hate remakes… What?… It’s a prequel?” conversations I’ve had since the movie trailers started running.  Obviously this movie’s going to be held up to John Carpenter’s horror masterpiece, so I’ll touch on some comparisons.

The movie starts off with a weak, CGI-filled discovery of the alien craft.  I didn’t care, I was at the Alamo Drafthouse drinking beer.  We then jump to Kate Lloyd’s (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) recruitment as part of a select few scientists to fill out the Norwegian camp’s research team.  They discover The Thing, save it in a block of ice, and the waiting game begins.  Thankfully, no time is wasted waiting for the horror to unroll.  It gets loose, and then the game is afoot to see who is and isn’t a creepy monster waiting to burst on to the scene. The ending unfortunately went a little typical horror – please, just end your movie.

I’d say this version held up pretty strongly against Carpenter’s original.  Many effects were convincingly real either as a result of great CGI or some actual practical effects.  The Thing  is a creature/horror playground since it showcases horrifying shape-shifting and you could tell this team had a blast.  I do wish there had been stronger character development in Kate Lloyd or any of the other gentlemen fighting off certain death.  As much as I enjoyed the creature effects in the 1982 movie, I enjoyed MacReady’s character.  They don’t build them like Kurt Russell any more.  I was also a little disappointed in the tie-ins between the two movies.  The ending of this movie seemed almost an afterthought despite being a lead in to the creepy events that started off the next set of events.  Other little “nods” were simple ensuring the fact-checking fans were satisfied.  Axe?  Check.  Dog?  Check.  Fire?  Check.

I can’t tell you much more without giving a lot away.  The Thing is a horror movie through and through – violent, scary, and not for little children.  As much as I complained about comparisons with the now sequel, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  It’s a shame there’s backlash now against remakes, prequels, and sequels – this one was worth watching.