The Thing (Double Pack Including Original) [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
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A double-bill of sci-fi horror. In John Carpenter's 'The Thing' (1982), a research team in the Antarctic, led by R.J. MacReady (Kurt Russell), discovers a spaceship buried beneath the ice, and becomes terrorised by the shape-changing monster that is housed within. In the 2011 prequel, the action is set on a research site in Antarctica three days before the action of the original story, the film focusing on the Norwegian camps that were the initial target of the alien invasion. When they discover an alien spacecraft on the site, science graduate Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and experienced researcher Dr Sander Halvorson (Ulrich Thomsen) disagree about how to act. When Dr Halvorson refuses to abandon his research, Kate teams up with tough Vietnam veteran Sam Carter (Joel Edgerton) to pursue the alien intruders by helicopter.
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I am a loopy fan of the original movie and I enjoyed the prequel as much and I especially love the way that the new films ending ties exactly into the opening scene of the Kurt Russell film, making for super continuity if you are sad enough like me to bash both films in one go.
And for a fiver, whats not to like?
The story is good and links up almost perfectly with Carpenter’s remake, the actors are good, the locations and sets are good, there just seems to be that bit of directing that is missing the visceral energy of the 1982 film. It’s like a can of pop that has lost its fizz.
I do like that it is not the average music-video hack directing job with the usual rapid fire editing that leaves you in a roadrunner swirl of dust not knowing which way you are facing and with the feeling of being on the verge of a seizure. It has a great pace but when it needs the quick editing to make the action scenes emotionally stimulating, it does not deliver as it should.
This could have launched Mary Winstead’s career into that much sought after “leading-lady” status that every actress’ dream of, but it just didn’t pull it off.
Having both of them in one collection is a wonderful way to get the feel and thrills all from one easy set up. The price is great also.
The very first version of the Thing was in the 50's and is considered a classic in sci fi horror. Carpenter made his remake but changed it so that it was closer to the short story "Who Goes There?" it is based on. This version was maligned and ridiculed when first released but cable TV and video gave it a second chance and showed how well fans appreciate it!
This set is full of commentaries and extras. If you like solid good gory horror then come on and get this set!
-John Carpenter, 1997.
He's absolutely right. No one would have the nerve to make a film as disgusting as this in the current "let's not offend anybody at all, ever" climate. Without a single frame of CGI, the Thing shoves our faces right into Rob Bottin's gruesome make-up effects and proves that genuine, tangible prosthetics and monsters are a million times scarier than a cheap, obvious effect done on a computer in post-production.
I don't understand why people keep referring to this as a remake. It's far, far removed from Howard Hawks' version. Even Carpenter himself, a Hawks admirer, says that The Thing is it's own movie, and much closer to the original novella 'Who Goes There' by John W. Campbell Jnr.
Set in the lonely Antarctic, The Thing takes the form of a wolf and bounds across the snowscapes to a US research station, pursued by frantic, half-mad Norwegians. Unable to communicate with the English-speaking American team they end up dead before being to warn them that the cuddly dog is actually a hideous shape-shifting monster. The team eventually discover the wreck of an alien spaceship that has been entombed in the ice for at least 100, 000 years before the monster begins to wreak havoc at the research station, intent on consuming all of the humans and making it to civilization where it can take over the entire planet.
Fear and paranoia grow among the team as they desperately try to prove who is biologically human and who has been assimilated by The Thing. It's utterly horrific stuff, but it's not without its illogical moments and massive plot holes. The universal adoration of The Thing seems to forget that it doesn't make complete sense. Carpenter admits he lost track of who is and who isn't, which seems kinda lazy. Ambiguity can be a cheap way of maintaining uncertainty and Carpenter should have delivered a more focused and precise plot. Plus the paranoia was way overdone. By the halfway mark I reckon the fear among the men should have been merely implicit rather than verbally delivered at every opportunity.
I have marked this as 5 stars as I would rate the films in the following order;
- The Thing (original) 5*
- (Prequel) 3*
The original film is an absolute classic and the special effects are mind-blowing. How they still hold up today against the age of CGI shows their true craftsmanship. Kurt Russell and John Carpenter rarely produce a bad film together and this is no exception.
The second film (or the prequel as it is) is also an interesting take on the events prior to the first and adds a little more depth to the overall story but fails to capture the magic of the original.
If you are a fan of horror, especially of 80's horror, then do yourself a favour and spend the £5. It's a bargain for two entertaining films such as these.
Great bluray, decent price.
If you're a fan, don't hesitate. The original John carpenter film looks like it was filmed yesterday. Great job done.
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Most recent customer reviews
Worth the price to get first one on Blu-ray
Even in the 80s the creature looked terrifying
At a fiver for the bluray this is a steal and one quality horror film