on 24 September 2015
Just like John Carpenter's remake of Howard Hawks' classic The Thing was full of love and respect, some 30 years after we get the same from director Mathijs van Heijningen.
When dealing with a reboot/remake of a classic film it's usually time to run for cover, but this project instead decided to make a prequel to John Carpenter's movie. The plot is known to all of course, in Antartica an alien ship is found buried deep under ice and scientists working there from a largely Norwegian group go and discover at their own risk.... Soon all hell breaks loose as one by one each character may not be who you think they are. The Thing works because it is able to surprise us with decent suspence and keep us genuinely unsure of who will be the next victim.
It's easy to turn away in disgust when Mary ElizabeH Winstead turns up in all her glorious beauty- Carpenter's movie was female free, but the makers never go down a relationship route and Winstead firmly just becomes one of the team.
The Thing does have its problems of course. The early talkie helicopter scene is obviously a nod to the very original movie in the 1950s. It's a sad replacement, the 50s version dialogie was arguably filled with some of the richest dialogue for a horror/sci fi film at the time. Also you can feel that the film steps into remake territory with same as for scenes, although some of these are neatly spun on its head- so in the end there is no blood test etc. The effects are sadly all CGI, but they work quite well. Interestingly it's the close up shots that work the best. The Thing is pretty much a solid homage to what has gone before and fans will love the end credits so hang around!
Whilst I did have misgivings about a prequel/near-remake of Carpenter's iconic 1982 horror, within a few minutes, my fears were dispelled and I found myself thoroughly enjoying this modern version.
The attention to detail that allows this film to flow seamlessly into the 1982 version is absolutely meticulous; the Norwegian base looks the same, even down to the wooden stairs and walkway in the lab where the thing encased in the block of ice was taken. The helicopter looks the same. So does the dog. Believe me, you'll appreciate this all the more if you watch the 1982 film straight after.
All the elements you'd expect are in here, from the initial cosy camaraderie of the stir-crazy scientists, the sense of isolation and the growing paranoia as they try to determine who is no longer one of us. On Blu-ray it all looks terrific. The special effects are extremely good without surpassing the visceral pre-CGI expertise of the Carpenter version and surround sound is used to very good effect - you'll often hear suspicious and creepy movement off to one side and behind you.
Well worth adding to any sci-fi/horror fan's collection.
on 7 July 2015
This movie seems to have a polarising effect on viewers but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm a big fan of the original movie and this attempts to create the events that led up to that film.
The attention to detail is fantastic and the events that led to the set looking like it did in the 1982 film are recreated.
That's all good but what is it like to watch? I thoroughly enjoyed it much like its sister flick Dawn of the Dead from the same Team. They've attempted to retain the aspects that made these original movies strong without treading all over the story. Is it as good as the original? No is the answer but it's not a bad attempt.
I wont go over the plot in detail but the Norwegian scientists uncover the crashed UFO buried under the ice and eventually discover 'The Thing'. The themes of paranoia, suspicion and suspense are here as well with the Scientists wondering who is and isn't infected as their numbers gradually reduce. This is done well but not to the same degree as the original John Carpenter flick.
The film doesn't have Kurt Russell or Keith David but it's refreshing to see Mary Elizabeth Winstead as a strong female lead well supported by Joel Edgerton.
Many of these modern day reboots or prequels make me cringe at what they do to the memory of the original classics but this isn't one of them.
Worth a watch and if you enjoy it check out the outstanding original!
on 15 October 2015
Receiving mixed reviews is always a good sign in the modern era, and with 2011's 'The Thing', a follow-up (or, to be specific, 'prequel') to John Carpenter's 1982 cult-classic, this is no exception. Whilst not having any of the auteuristic style of Carpenter, with none of his eerie score either, the suspense and 'horror', nonethless, still prevail, and in fact does what 99% of modern horror films fail to do - scare you. There are a lot of nice nods to the original, and even, dare one say it, touches of creativity and imagination (shock horror, indeed). So much so, this doesn't come across as a Hollywood film at all; more of a European Cinema rendition; and via the director (his name a giveaway) that's quite clearly the case. The story predominantly revolves around the Norwegian camp's discovery of a buried extraterrestrial lifeform in the Antarctic ice - the events, basically, that lead to the start of Carpenter's original. The sense of claustrophobia and entrapment still remain, as does the feeling of not really knowing what will come next. Bloody, raw, and taking its subject-matter serious, it does Carpenter's horror-masterpiece justice, though, naturally, it falls short from standing shoulder-to-shoulder. One of its shortcomings are its two main actors, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Joel Edgerton, who have minimal charisma and bring nothing to their characters (ironically, both are two of a very few American actors in the film); especially Winstead, which the film predominately dictates through. Perhaps watching Sigourney Weaver as Lt Ripley would have helped, which the film tries to imitate, but, ultimately, fails, Winstead not having any of the 'bite' or sturdiness (of a similar vein). Also, too much is revealed, and unnecessarily, of a buried alien ship - leaving this subject unexplored, or touched lightly, would have been more effective, something for the audience's imagination; a (naive) directorial narrative mistake. But other than that, for what could have been (and should have been) a disaster, this is a surprising success and well worthy of its term as a 'prequel'.
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.
on 18 September 2012
I first saw The Thing - which acts as a prequel (slight hints of a remake, too) to John Carpenter's 1982 film - in cinemas back in December of 2011. The film is very good and follows Carpenter's one slightly in the areas of plot and suspense.
The year is 1982 and Norwegian scientists have discovered something buried in the Antartic wilderness for seemingly 100,000 years. With this in mind, they recruit American paleontologist Kate to help further with the investigation. However, it isn't long before the crew, aided by Kate, conduct an experiment on their discovery and 'The Thing' is unleashed, a creature that can replicate any living being. What follows is a perfect blend of action, horror and suspense.
The great aspect to this film is that you really feel for the characters, whether they be the Norwegians or Americans. You also really obtain a sense of being there - the sense of terror and paranoia gripping the crew... keeping in mind the ever-present fact that nobody could be who they seem, thanks to 'The Thing'.
Finally, the Blu Ray quality.
Picture: 9/10. For the most part, the picture quality is beautiful - it really makes a change from seeing this in the Cinema, that's for sure! The attention to detail in the picture quality is second to none, I feel. It works especially well in scenes set out in the snow. It only lets down a little in dark, interior scenes... but that isn't a big issue, overall.
Sound: 8-9/10. The sound is pretty good for the most part. It's just that, in some scenes, it can seem either too loud or too low. While this may sound confusing and contradictory, it was my personal experience of watching the film on Blu Ray.
All things considered though, a solid transfer!!
PS: Should it be available to you to do it this way, I recommend watching this one BEFORE John Carpenter's film. I was lucky in that I hadn't seen Carpenter's film before viewing this, so everything comes together nicely that way when you do go to watch Carpenter's film.
Either way, Happy Viewing.
Thanks for reading this. I hope it helps.
on 7 April 2015
This film is ok, I find it to be nothing special, and although it is marketed as a ‘prelude’ to the classic (and much much better) John Carpenter/Kurt Russell movie it is in any real analysis just an inferior remake.
The advancement of CGI means that the monster and the transformations it causes can be done in a grotesque and photo realistic way, but the lack of characters that I cared about, or build up of real tension mean that the film really just descends into being a series of set pieces where the crew try to escape the monster.
Overall this is not a patch on the 1980’s ‘The Thing’ and whilst it is entertaining enough for younger people who do not know about that film I hope that the best thing it does is point them in the right direction to see a real body horror classic.
on 26 May 2016
A lot of people didn't like this and that's fine.
I'm no fan of most reboots either but,
this is a prequel of John Carpenters original (or reboot) and tells the story of what happened to the Norwegian outpost from that film and leads up to the opening of the original. If you're a fan of The Thing then give this one a look also it's not as tense as JC's, more of a love letter.
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.