Review of The Thing (2011)

31 Oct

The Thing (2011) is a sci-fi/horror film, which is also prequel to The Thing (1982), which was a remake of The Thing From Another World (1951), which was based on the novella Who Goes There? (1938) by John W. Campbell, Jr. So there’s quite  a history there.

Directed by the Dutch filmmaker Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. (Zien (2004), Red Rain (1996)) and this is his first theatrical feature-length film.

Written by Eric Heisserer (Final Destination 5 (2011), A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)), so you know what you’re getting is generic.

Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen, Eric Christian Olsen, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and others.

I loved John Carpenter’s The Thing so much and it is widely regarded as one of the best horror as well as sci-fi movies ever, so how could they ever think they could be able to make something even remotely as good as that, I don’t know.

The title shows just how uncertain the movie is about what it wants to be. Sure it is a prequel in a sense that it takes place in the Norwegian station before the events of the original, but in quite a few instances it hits basically the same beats as the original did, which makes it seem a lot like a remake.

There’s a joke in the opening scene and it iss a really good one. But they negated the good impression of the humor in the movie, by throwing in a stupid comedic jumpscare, which I know was comedic, because the guy sitting next to me was laughing (and snapping his fingers) like crazy.

Why did the Norwegians talk in english so much? Even in stress situations, they kept speaking in english for no other apparent reason except so that the americans would understand them. And I really doubt that in the 80’s so many Norwegians knew english that well.

It also throws in some minor references, like the axe in the wall, just to explain the stuff they see in the original, but then they choose to ignore some other.

And it is in a way ironic that the best thing about the original is the worst in this. I’m speaking, of course, about the special effects. I just can’t believe that they fucked up so much. The Thing (1982) showcased practical effect use at its best and seeing them is an experience. However, in The Thing (2011) you get to fully experience how bad CGI still looks and even though CGI always pales in comparison to traditional effects, this was really bad even by exclusively CGI standards. The effects just look laughable and unimaginative. Also if the trailer led you to think there’s a fair amount of practical effects, you are misguided, because all there is an autopsy scene and maybe some brief shots of something that might not be a cartoon.

Also if you’d take off the little subtitle at the beginning saying “Antarctica, Winter, 1982.”, there’s barely anything indicating it doesn’t take place in modern-day.

The sequence that connects the two movies is shown only intersected by end credits, seemingly thrown in there at the last-minute, just to make sense of how the two films fit together.

To be fair, the actors did a decent job and I wouldn’t call it a totally bad film, but there were parts that just pissed me off. I can’t let this to be the only horror movie I’ve watched on Halloween, so I’ll probably have to dig up something classic and enjoy myself.

I’d say this is a very mediocre film with a bunch of shitty CG …things and maybe if you haven’t seen the original, you might like it, but actually you should just watch the original instead. Not recommended, but might be ok for some 14-year-olds, who wants to see their favourite creepy monsters from a standard horror video game (maybe The Thing (2002)) cut out and pasted into a movie.

"Hey guys, I've been waiting to star in my own movie."

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