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3.7 out of 5 stars222
3.7 out of 5 stars
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 26 March 2012
A Norwegian, Antarctic science research group uncover a prehistoric creature underneath the ice. As they celebrate the discovery of the century, the merriment's soon turn to horror. As whatever was in the ice has come back to life & stalking the scientists. Trust no one!

This is a pretty decent attempt of a stand alone prequel/origin story to John Carpenter's The Thing (1982). The 1982 version is the one i grew up with & have seen it dozens of times. From a nostalgic point of view, if you have seen that version many times like myself, you will find this film hard to shock you outright as you already have a good idea of whats going to happen. And it's just getting there in the execution & how it ties in to the 82 film that's going to be the interesting bit. It's still an enjoyable science fiction horror & newcomers will enjoy the story. But truthfully it isn't a necessary movie as the 1982 version covered it's own origin story as much as was needed, in a far superior movie. IMO you would be better served watching the 1982 film as opposed to this. Or if you've seen that you may as well watch The Thing From Another World  (1951), to see the similarities & differences in two pieces of work based on the same 1938 novel "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell, Jr.

Despite treading over very familiar ground, we nevertheless found ourselves still enjoying it. They managed to capture that atmosphere of panic & distrust in an isolated locale. As the story progressed we were very much on the edge of our seats wondering when things were going to happen. Special effects wise, the 82 version was pretty much real props/hand made & men running around in suits, which looked amazingly horrific, realistic & immersive. We were disappointed, but not surprised, that this 2011 installment was mostly CGI. Still, it looked reasonably good but broke the immersion to an extent, even though the actors did a decent job of responding to it. The acting itself was okay for an unknown cast. Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Final Destination 3) in the lead role as American Paleontologist Kate Lloyd & Ulrich Thomsen (Adam's Apples) as the Norwegian lead scientist Dr. Sander Halvorson were credible enough. Along with a host of Scandinavian & European actors, of note Eric Christian Olsen (Ncis Los Angeles) & Joel Edgerton (King Arthur).

In conclusion, The Thing (2011) is a decent Sci-Fi Horror flick, newcomers to the story will likely enjoy it more & there is some nostalgic enjoyment to be had for fans of John Carpenters The Thing (1982). Contains strong language & graphic violence. Worth a watch.
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As has been previously stated by many other reviewers, this is not a follow-on to John Carpenters 1982 The Thing but a prequel.

An Antarctic survey station stumble across a huge structure in the pack ice and begins to investigate. The team of Norwegian scientists discover a ship and a 'survivor'. Eager to learn more, the team fly in palaeontologist Kate Lloyd (the Ripley-esque Mary Elizabeth Winstead - Scott Pilgrim) to examine the remains. After having extracted the survivor from the ice, the team begin to celebrate their find, but when the survivor breaks out of the ice the station is plunged into terror. Hounded by an Antarctic storm and stalked by a predator like no other, will anyone make it out alive?

I think a lot of the initial appeal of The Thing was the quality of the special effects for the era. If we watch it today, the puppets and models still look visceral and honestly scary, but in inflation-adjusted terms, this film has a similar budget of the original and went down the much cheaper computer-generated-imagery route. As a result, our 'Thing' looks a lot crisper and can morph into ridiculous shapes that probably wouldn't be feasible or even practical if using models and this gives it a new lease of life in my opinion, even if some of the forms do resemble T-virus generated monstrosities.

The film is well shot by director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. and a lot of effort has been made to make sure the Norwegian base is in exactly the same state of disrepair as shown in 1982 when we finish this episode (even going so far as to include the scene that explains how the fire axe ended up in the door!!) and for this it deserves a lot of respect because it has stayed so canon - the scenes that accompany the credits pretty much lead straight on to Carpenters The Thing. With all this said, the story is very predictable, bearing in mind you know how this has to end to begin the original. The acting is bearable, Joel Edgerton from Warrior was a welcome inclusion, but everyone's role is pretty much straight-jacketed by the fact this is a run & hide horror.

Extra Content: There's a commentary with Matthijs van Heijningen and Producer Eric Newman, some deleted & extended scenes and 2 featurettes titled 'The Thing Evolves' & 'Fire & Ice'.

In conclusion, I'll agree it's not as good as the original, but then that's because you know what's coming, if you haven't seen Carpenter's version then the monster would still be a surprise and probably hold some of the power of the original. But aside from that, it's a great way to bring this to a new generation . Recommended for a no-brain horror!!
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on 25 January 2015
Really rather enjoyed this! Having been a huge fan of the John Carpenter's original, not because it's a particularly breakthrough story or a high quality of writing or even because of high caliber of cast (that said I did used to think that Kurt Russell was great at the roles he selected back in the day: Overboard, Big Trouble in Little China) but ultimately I liked 'The Thing' because it was really messed up and properly disturbing with the most cutting edge SFX of the time. A horrific disaster movie in a terrifyingly hopeless environment involving fear and mistrust where nothing is what it seems and no one really knows what they are dealing with. Matthijs Van Heijningen was also clearly a fan of the original as this is a prequel to the John Carpenter film and one must remember that when viewing. The DVD extras are a must see and I found it fascinating how the filmmakers committed to 'what happens next' in the John Carpenter version. The cast isn't bad, the writing isn't great but the design and CG is excellent. It was what I wanted from a monster horror movie prequel where the original also hadn't taken itself too seriously but did want to give the viewers the heebie jeebies.
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on 23 August 2012
I am a great fan of Carpenters original masterpiece which is head and shoulders above this version so I may be a little bias. The Thing 2011 even with it's fancy CGI effects and soundtrack is very watchable movie and a good addition to the sci fi collection. It tries hard but I found the acting a bit corny at time with effects sometimes just all over the place. It's worth buying but watch the original first though.
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on 23 December 2015
Not a bad film at all.
The attention to detail to make the Norwegian camp and events so that they flow seamlessly into the original film is excellent with only a couple of bloopers (more on them in a moment) The acting is pretty good, likeable characters, strong heroine, the film is jumpy, creepy and portrays the sense of paranoia creeping in pretty well. Some lovely shots of the landscape portraying the isolation of the camp.
The special effects were pretty good although there were one or two dodgy CGI effects that didn't look very convincing. It didn't really detract from the film though.
Now then the bloopers, John Carpenter's original starts with a Norwegian chasing a dog into a camp. However in this version the only dog dies early on and nobody appears to survive. Also the spaceship in the original just under surface of ice yet in this movie deep under it. It also made me chuckle that the beastie was able to start the ship up after it had been buried for 100,000 years but as it is a sci-fi this can be forgiven.
Apart from this a good horror and worth watching first and the the original after for the full story.
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on 8 August 2013
My brother told me this prequel was quite good. Well unfortunately he was wrong.

Instead of the genius thriller-horror we got with the oringal '82 version, this film is more like an action gore film. And not a very good one.

Some bad points include: weak plot development with non-memorable characters which seemingly disappear, lack of build up to a shock attempt (which means it isn't that shocking) and a black character whose seemingly sole purpose in the film is to shout, "mutherfxxka!!"

The extras seem pretty good, but when the film is bad what's the point anyway. I have to agree with the guy who said this film was made for a quick cash-in and nothing more.
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People describe this as a prequel to the 1982 classic.
But its so similar in so many aspects that my take is that this version is an attempt to outdo that film using the latest technology available which has resulted in a mere imitation of John Carpenter"s iconic and bleak masterpiece.

The makers were unable to match special effects and
the tension from JC's creation,even though they went to
meticulous detail recreating the struggle in the Norwegian camp prior to The Thing's escape.

Credit for a strong attempt to capitalise on the classic,but for me nothing new was added and JC's The Thing remains King.
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on 7 February 2015
I love the original John Carpenter version of The Thing, so I thought I would buy this to see how it all began. It's a decent film; the special effects are good, some hat tipping to JCs version. I couldn’t work out though if this was a direct prequel or a sort of prequel re-visioning? There are 3 gaping plot holes that do not tie in with JCs version.
In Carpenters version we see video footage of the spacecraft being exposed using Thermite, but in this version the spacecraft itself uses its engines to melt the ice! There is no burnt out Thiokol Spryte to be seen any where, even though it is there at the end of this film. Perhaps the biggest plot hole is 'Where did Kate go?’ Did she go off into the wilderness and die? Was she infected? Who knows?
The extras on the Blu-ray are quite good. There is a picture in picture feature giving background info. There is a feature to create your own favourite clip. The other extras are the same as the DVD release. Picture and sound are very good.
If you are a fan of the original, then I suggest buying this. It is worth it.
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on 26 March 2013
The only reason I bought this film was to see how it would tie in with the John Carpenter version on J W Campbells "who goes there". I can tell you now, that if you are a fan of the original Thing, then you WILL be disappointed. The film feels rushed, poorly edited and makes no sense whatsoever. In the original version, the shape shifting thing takes a long time to absorb an organism. But, in this version the two headed beast that MacReady and Doc find at the Norwegian camp took literally seconds. The parts that are CGI look CGI and the animatronics look too glossy, almost plastic in texture. The great thing about the original was the dark brooding atmosphere and unease between the characters. In this new version, there isn't a single likeable character. And finally, it still never explains how the guy sitting in the chair with his neck and both wrists cut actually managed to do it.
Do yourself a favour and watch Christian Nyby's and Howard Hawks version, "The Thing from another world" instead.
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on 2 August 2012
This film is like a tribute to the john carpenter version of the thing. It is a direct prequel to that movie. It's not a terrible movie at all and the main fault I can find with this one is the use of computer effects instead of building monster effects like the first one. I don't see why this is hated by some , it's not a remake in spite of the name. I like the original 1950 version as well and hope for a blu ray release on that one too. The acting is decent and the story is what you would expect from a prequel of the 1982 version. It is a decent horror sci fi movie and if you have seen the other things you should enjoy this movie. Just don't expect something different. although you do see the spaceships insides in this movie and you didn't in the past versions. It actually has a part in the plot even.
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