The Thing (2011) is part prequel and part remake of the 1982 film, a sort of re-quel, at least that's what DC calls it.
We start on Norwegians in the Antarctic telling a sex joke (you know, to make me think bad aughts horror). Their truck falls into a weak patch of the ice (with effect for 3D) and they see an alien spacecraft. After the title, a Norwegian business man approaches Dr. Kate Lloyd about a mysterious find in Antarctica.
This movie starts off very slowly with a lot of chatter and some dancing. It sets up a few characters, but most of them don't leave too much of an impression. Once the film gets going iit does intorduce an interesting new concept to the Thing mythos. The idea the The Thing cannot copy inorganic matter is a cool one. They find fillings and an arm brace to back up this supposition, but does it hold true?
Kate Lloyd is a paleontologist who heads out to the promising Antarctica find. She's tough as nails and, I hear, based on Ellen Ripley from Alien. This portrayal actually comes across in the best sense. Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Kate's actress) manages to pull off a tough smart girl who still can get scared. It's a shame she doesn't take better film roles, but she does make this one a bit better through her presence.
|Practical effect Thing, Good.|
Ulrich Thomsen is the jerk of a leader of the party. He marks the return of the douche scientist stereotype from The Thing from Another World.
Unlike the account in the 1982 version there are more than 10 people at the base, though I suppose they might not know about the Americans.
|CG Thing, Bad.|
The practical effects were cool. but the CG looked like crap. The thing also gets a touch of the stupid whenever it tries to kill our heroine. If it really wants to kill you, it shoots a tentacle through you, but not if you're Kate. It also tends to reveal itself far too easily. The creators decided that since the thing could be made faster with CG, that it should. Unfortunately, faster does not mean scarier. For the most part the Thing is reduced to a bunch of 1997 Starship Troopers-esque bug aliens. For shame.
The weather isn't really shown to be much of a danger. They treat it as even more of a minor nuisance than The Thing from Another World. The space ship was kind of cool to see in side, though it didn't offer much in the way of insight to the Thing or whatever species the Thing stole it from.
In the End
It tries so hard to pull the ending of the 1982 version. It fails. Then during the credits we see the lead up to the start of John Carpenter's version, yay?
The Thing almost entirely changes its pattern from the 'sequel.' Ice damage I guess. It spends most of the film running around as a crazy mishmash monster. CG does not equal scary! It also leaves little time for suspicion, which should the main focus. This film was actually a lot better than I though it'd be, but mostly weak writing and direction ruin its potential. It stands much better when not compared to any of the other versions. Thus I leave it at:
Tomorrow, I take a look at another movie with Mary Elizabeth Winstead: A Good Day to Die Hard.