Five friends head to a remote cabin, where the discovery of a Book of the Dead leads them to unwittingly summon up demons living in the nearby woods. The evil presence possesses them until only one is left to fight for survival.
Paleontologist Kate Lloyd is invited by Dr. Sandor Halvorson to join his team who have found something extraordinary. Deep below the Arctic ice, they have found an alien spacecraft that has been there for perhaps 100,000 years. Not far from where the craft landed, they find the remains of the occupant. It's cut out of the ice and taken back to their camp but as the ice melts, the creature reanimates and not only begins to attack them but manages to infect them, with team members devolving into the alien creature. Written by
...Shocked that this film is currently rated at 6.7. It is becoming increasingly difficult to take ratings seriously on this site. Considering that Dog Soldiers, for example, is rated as 6.8 - it is beyond my ken as to how this mediocre film can end up near a rating of 7.0. Even when taken as a stand alone film and not a remake, it doesn't contain enough elements to add up to an average 6.7 rating.
Anyway, for those who have no experience with John Carpenter's 1982 version of the 1951 original, The Thing From Another World, I can understand how they may be impressed with the movie. The story is great. It's an absolutely fantastic concept. That's why it's somewhat offensive to me that Heijningen and company could be handed a golden goose and, in turn, give it such a thoughtless and sterile treatment.
First, I'm not buying the relationships among the scientists. I mean, these are people that have traveled to Antarctica, are holed up in close quarters, have in their possession the greatest find in the history of the world, and seem to have about as much chemistry as a bunch of 5-year-olds at a Easter photo shoot. I didn't give a good damn about anyone. Actually, the only one that I really connected with at all was the one dude that couldn't speak any English. He seemed to me to be the most genuine actor of the lot. Most of the acting was mediocre at best, as if the actors and actresses had difficulty inserting themselves into the story in such a way as to produce a visceral performance. Part of the problem is that the film moves along too quickly. They could have spent a little less time showing scenery and shots of the monster and invested more into character development.
Which leads into the next problem. I expected to feel more of a sense of claustrophobia but most of the shots were way too expansive. The camera work really ruins the film. I mean, they're in freaking Antarctica, packed like sardines in a tin can, and freaked out of their gourds. I felt more tension watching The Muppet Christmas Carol. And that's why The Thing doesn't work as a slasher flick, like it was portrayed. Giving the movie that type of treatment guts the film of what's most effective: the Man vs. Man element.
Thirdly, there are way too many shots of the monster. It's gratuitous and detracts from the mystery and suspense. In the end, the monster comes off as being clumsy and inefficient.
In my mind, movies rated above, say 5.0, are films that I would consider watching again. Having said that, there is no chance that I would ever watch this film again. I can't give this film much higher than a 4.5, maybe 4.6. To really break it down into simple terms, it lacks the "coolness" factor where I might say to myself, "Boy I'd really like to see this scene again or hear this dialogue." There's nothing I want to revisit in this movie.
The best parts of the movie were the fillings test and the end, when they showed the beginning of the 1982 version.
In conclusion, go ahead and watch the movie, but don't lose the ability to view a film with a critical eye because it's loaded with CGI. As for me, I'll be watching Carpenter's masterpiece again the next chance I get.
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