October 14, 2011
Rated: R Runtime: 103 min Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
29 years later, comes this prequel to John Carpenter’s 1982 movie The Thing.
The John Carpenter one was itself a remake of the 1951 movie The Thing From Another World, which was based on the 1938 John W. Campbell novella “Who Goes There?”
All have the same basic premise: A scientific research base in Antarctica (or the Arctic in the 1938 and 1951 versions) finds a crashed UFO, thaws an alien body entombed in the ice, to everyone’s misfortune.
In the gooey 1982 John Carpenter version, Kurt Russell’s American scientific base finds that something has destroyed a Norwegian scientific base.
Now in this 2011 prequel, from Dutch director Matthijs van Heijningen, we get to see what happened at the Norwegian camp.
This is really a remake and a prequel; probably a lot of the audience has never seen the John Carpenter version. And it’s not necessary to have seen it.
The same basic cycle of an alien that infiltrates (messily) and can assume the shape of humans, leading to paranoia in an enclosed space (the base camp) in one of the most dangerous places on Earth (Antarctica) ensues.
We get to see a lot more of the crashed UFO from the John Carpenter version.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays the American paleontologist flown in to examine the alien remains.
Like in the John Carpenter version, the alien really has a revolting process of consuming humans and assuming their shape. This isn’t done behind a curtain. The transforming process involves a lot of teeth, claws, stalks, viscera, and tentacles sprouting out all over the place.
It’s pretty well done; icky and suspenseful in the spirit of the 1982 version. Of course; I’m very familiar with the John Carpenter version; what I don’t know is what the experience would be like for someone who never saw the first movie.
For the fanboy, the movie is pretty careful in adding little touches to show that this indeed does link up with the John Carpenter version. I’m sure eventually there’ll be webpages with DVD screencaptures detailing each accuracy and inaccuracy. But, this movie obviously has a healthy respect for the original, and takes pains to make itself a consistent period piece.
Popularity: 29% [?]
Seen it? How many stars do you give it?