Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Thing-review

Ramona Flowers is pissed.
John Carpenter’s “The Thing” is one of my favorite movies.  When I heard they were going to do a prequel I was at least hopeful.  I went into it with some lingering hope despite the shitty reviews others had given this new version.  Sadly, it is pretty weak and doesn’t stand up well on its own.

“The Thing” takes place in Antarctica in 1982 when a Norwegian science post discovers an alien spacecraft stuck in the ice.  They also discover a life form nearby that is frozen in the ice as well and decide to take it back and thaw it with the aid of Kate Lloyd played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead.  The monster breaks out and goes on a murder spree, assimilating people and causing a ruckus. 

Anyone for crab?
There are several huge flaws with this movie.  For one, it bills itself as a prequel when it is more a remake then anything else.  Scenes are taken almost shot for shot from the John Carpenter version and the parts that are original break continuity with the movie it is supposed to tie into or have colossal plot holes in them.

Kurt Cobain is scared.
Another problem I have is the Thing itself.  The alien in the other film was a smart, malevolent, and over all patient killer.  It knew when to strike and it did it with perfect timing so you never knew who the Thing was at any given time. It also was able to think methodically. So it planned things out, pitted the men against one another and even framed MacReady at one point.  This version is not like that at all. It is bombastic and in your face with explosive bad CGI everywhere.  It makes me miss the days of practical effects more and more.

Finally there is another flaw in the characters.  There are three characters that are memorable.  Kate, the helicopter pilot guy and her scientist friend that dresses like Kurt Cobain are the folks in this movie that really stood out for me.  In the original you got to know the entire cast of men and all the personalities as it was an exercise in paranoia and knowing them makes it a better mystery.  They made a large cast in this movie merely to add to the body count.

The only outfit you need for Antarctica is a light wrap.
Really if you are a fan of the other movie you can rent it at least.  You will likely feel disappointed too.  I can’t see how any big fan of the original will like this.  If you haven’t see ANY of the movies give the 1982 John Carpenter movie a try first because it really is the best one and one of the better movies out there.   It still knocks my socks off every time I watch it.

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