When I first heard about The Thing remake, I groaned and the world groaned with me. What was wrong with the original in the first place? Well apparently nothing. THE THING IS NOT A REMAKE, IT’S A PREQUEL. I repeat, THE THING IS NOT A REMAKE IT’S A PREQUEL. I did not find this out until five minutes before the movie began.
To say I was happy would be an understatement. I breathed a sigh of relief. Over all, a sigh of relief can sum up this movie. Followed by a monster that wants to eat your god damn face! And another sigh of relief. Z O M G it’s in the helicopter, run, run run! Followed by a sigh of relief.
Anyways, The Thing is good. Hit the jump to find out why it’s good and to answer my trivia question that will win you a free, glossy, large The Thing poster.
The Thing is a prequel to John Carpenter’s The Thing, which was a remake of a movie called The Thing From Another world, which was a film adaptation of the novella Who Goes There? to begin with. Yep. It sounds confusing at first, but really the premise is fairly simple. There’s a thing that can look like anybody it wants to, and it wants to eat your fucking face.
That’s the plot. All of the characters are fodder for the thing to eat. John Carpenter’s The Thing was lauded for its amazing special effects, but criticized for its one-dimensional characters. The new The Thing once again has amazing effects and one-dimensional characters. Is this a bad thing? Not really.
Quick bit of information here; special effects are any effect in a movie that can be done in camera, like most of the effects from John Carpenter’s The Thing. Visual effects are anything that is added in post, like CG, color correction, and anything that can not be done in camera. Why does this matter? Well, many people were worried that since the new The Thing relies heavily on visual effects instead of special effects (also known as practical effects) that it would look fake. Let me put those fears to rest. The new The Thing’s visual effects are awesome. Aside from only a few seconds of effects that look a bit too glossy, all of this movie is gorgeous and frightening. The new The Thing also uses more special effects than one would think, combining them with visual effects to get a truly epic visual style.
As stated, the characters are mainly in the movie as an excuse for the thing to do cool shit (and plenty of cool shit happens), but a few performances were well done, which include Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona Flow… wait wrong movie. I meant, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Kate Lloyd and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Jameson (or Mr. Echo from Lost). Other than that you have some basic archetypes of “over-ambitious, dickhead scientist”, “cool, reasonable, American guy”, and a lot of “I have like three lines, but it doesn’t matter cause I’m going to get eaten soon”.
The story actually starts three days before the events of John Carpenter’s The Thing and will literally end with the very first scene of it. Paleontologist Kate is recruited to go to a Norwegian base in Antarctica because they have found something amazing and very hush-hush. They end up finding a big alien ship and an alien frozen in ice. Obviously, they decide that the reasonable thing to do is to not tell anybody and take the alien back to base. Mr. “Overly Ambitious Scientist” decides to take tissue samples and soon after that the creature breaks free and all hell breaks loose.
If you have seen the “original” The Thing, you know what to expect next. A lot of trying to guess who is a shape shifting monster, a lot of fire, and a lot of really cool visual and special effects. There is a few good scares and a lot of chaos. Although you’ll be guessing who is a monster and who isn’t, the movie barely leaves you time to think it over before something new happens, always keeping you on your toes. Well done The Thing, well done.
The ending… well it’s cool, if not a little bit rushed. They end up on the things ship, which could have led to some really epic moments, but it really only leads to one really epic moment. Which is fine, but ya know. Once the credits start rolling, the real ending starts and the movie is tied together with John Carpenter’s The Thing in good taste.
Overall, the new The Thing way exceeded my expectations and was really fun and cool to watch. It felt like a good homage to the “original” and built upon the mythology a little more. And jeezus, like I haven’t said enough about the effects… Go see it! I give it an 8.5. (To me an 8.5 is a movie you should see in theater for the full experience and was a good example of its genre, while exceeding at certain areas. In this case those areas are effects)
TRIVIA QUESTION – What was the actual name of the dog who played the husky from John Carpenter’s The Thing?
HINT – The dog is the star of a Disney movie from the 90’s.
If you know the answer to the trivia question, post it in the comments below with your e-mail and we will contact you and send it to you (if you guess it right, of course).