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
The first draft of the screenplay was written by Ronald D. Moore in 2009, though Universal then opted to have the screenplay rewritten by Eric Heisserer. However, in 2013 Moore became a co-producer and writer on the series Helix (2014) which features an extremely similar premise (a team of scientists at a remote Arctic research base combating a lethal alien virus-like organism that horrifically mutates humans and could wipe out humanity if it spread). See more »
The very first time we see Kate, when she is examining the extracted specimen, she is listening to music on molded plastic headphones that were not available in 1982. Smaller headphones such as these, designed at the time for listening to Walkman-like portable equipment would have had a metal band going over the head, holding the earpieces in place. See more »
Okay, I've got another one. A good one. A man and woman are making love one night when their young boy walks in.
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The Universal logo of the 1990s is used instead of the current (2011) logo. See more »
First off, I will have to make a disclaimer: I love the 1982 John Carpenter's "The Thing". That being said, this review will try to be fair. Hopefully.
First off, "The Thing" is a prequel. I always have a fascination of prequels because they have a unique approach to writing in that the events must lead up logically to a movie already made rather than taking the idea of the first movie and going in different directions with it. This creates a lot of confinement and there have been some really cool prequels that, even in this confinement, still feel fresh and take whatever franchise into a new direction (case in point, From Dusk Til Dawn 3). So already, this movie has both a reputation to live up to (the 1982 movie is very highly regarded by John Carpenter fans, horror fans and even fans of good drama and story telling) and adding in the fact that the writers must somehow lead up to the original movie is a tough task to undertake. Overall, it was a valiant effort...but missed the mark.
The entire concept of the monster of this movie is that it dissolves any sort of trust between people. When these people are in a confined location like Antarctica, it becomes a boiler room situation with wills being tested, fears being escalated and the overall sense of any safety even with someone you've known for a while completely in chaos. I feel that this Thing movie missed that sense of despair, confinement and overall breakdown of the relationships between colleagues and comrades and even enemies when a shape shifting impostor is thrown into the mix. This is made blatantly evident when over half the characters don't seem worthy of care by the audience. Most have no personality to connect to, and the sheer number of characters just makes it worse to get to know these people. So when they start dropping like flies, one really doesn't care a whole lot.
And really, that's the fundamental flaw with the movie and why the whole thing feels forced. The pacing wasn't as deliberately slow, the whodunnit aspect didn't feel properly in place, and finally...and again, this criticism is as a fan of the original movie...why on earth did the thing not try to hide more than it did? At one point, it seemed like the movie shifted gears into a simple monster movie with *insert beastly monster* just running around killing which was completely uncharacteristic of the original movie where the thing, even when found out, would try to make an escape to hide again...
So in all, as a standalone movie, it wasn't bad at all. It was a nice return to gory disgusting things that go bump in the dark. But as a prequel, it missed the mark I think the film makers were trying to hit. John Carpenter laid out a very specific and deliberate tone to the original movie that this one just couldn't seem to figure out how to replicate...no blood test needed to find this impostor.
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