Friday, October 21, 2011

The Thing - Movie Review


Starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen, Eric Christian Olsen, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Trond Espen Seim. Directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.

This is officially a prequel but in reality a remake of John Carpenter's classic 1982 horror film, which itself was a remake. I've never seen the 1950's original, but Carpenter's is in my top-ten favorite all-time horror films (future blog post idea...). So does this blaspheme and desecrate the original? No. In fact if you've never seen the original, this might be more effective for you than it was for me.

But even on its own, I liked it. It's slickly made, faithful to the source material, and gives its own spin to the story, even if it hits many of the same beats. Remember the tense scene when Kurt Russell's MacReady testing everyone's blood? We get a similar scene here. Or the chaos when Richard Dysart's Doc suddenly gets his arms bitten off? Similar scene here.

The great thing about the Thing is it's an alien that can appear human, and so none of the characters know who they can trust, and any minute now, someone could open up into the multi-tentacled monster.

A bigger budget and technological advancements allow the makers to expand a little on the origin of the Thing, but some of the events of the third act made me want to retreat. The more I thought about them, the less sense it made.

But the last few minutes illustrate that yes indeed, this is a prequel.

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