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
The songs the crew are singing are "Sámiid Ædnan", the Norwegian entry in the 1980 Eurovision Song Contest, originally sung by Sverre Kjelsberg and Mattis Hætta. And the other one is called "Jeg gikk en tur på stien" (translated: I walked along the forest path), a well known children's song about someone walking in the woods, and meeting a cuckoo. The origin of this song is unknown. See more »
The ukulele played in the dance scene is a Fender. This model of ukulele was introduced in the 2000s, so it was not available in 1982. 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 »
I'm surprised there haven't been more than three versions of this one, The Thing From Another World is up there with Dracula and Frankenstein in terms of quality. John Carpenter's 1982 version, however, was so pitch-perfect, and so close to pre-CG special effects perfection, that it seemed like you just couldn't top it! A new take on a classic tale for a new audience is always welcome in my book, though, provided they capture what made the previous version(s) special.
A living 'Thing' from another world, recently excavated in Antartica, assumes human form and lurks amongst others, then splits, contorts and bursts open its human bodies in whatever way necessary to survive. Paranoia spreads, the cast never knowing who among them has been assimilated by this 'Thing'. The Thing acts as a remake for the newcomers, but also as a prequel for people familiar with John Carpenter's version, complete with homages to shots found in that film (even down to the placement of a bloody axe) and a mid-credits sequence leading right into it.
The re-remake has been met with some anger on the internet due to its use of CG, after Carpenter's film wowed people so much with its real-life animatronic effects. The bizarre truth is that the majority of this version's effects shots are actually practical, with a bit of CG to smooth out the edges and to achieve a few of the things practical effects could not, Jurassic Park style. The fact that people have had trouble realising this is testament to just how far both types of effect have come. The 'transformations' here however are less visceral than they were in the 80s version, the bodies change shape and sprout tentacles and teeth without the gushing blood and pus from the 'original' and it gives the entire affair a 'cleaner' feel, where the monster is more of a marvel than a horror. I was also pleased to see that where CG is used here it really is used to its potential, creating some awesomely grotesque and agile creatures which move freely of any rigging or puppetry (and nobody's going to convince me that CG tentacles are any less believable than jerky green-screened stop motion).
In fact, the most notable difference in this version is the pacing. Carpenter's film bided its time, steadily working on the paranoia, only pulling out the glorious effects in a few key scenes, whilst this 'Thing' wastes no time showing off what it can do. For me, the 'original' was too slow in many ways and in contrast I find this one a little too fast, and it almost feels over too soon. The all-male cast of the 'original' weren't the most compelling set of characters, many of them crude stereotypes shoehorned in to further fuel the rage with their testosterone, whilst this version brings in a more diverse group of people - Norwegians, Americans, Englishmen, young and old - and it benefits from it. Whilst you could argue that the heroine character is crammed in and given too much character strength to contrast with Carpenter's sausage-fest, but she's still strong and when wielding a flamethrower and calling the shots at times she almost has an Ellen Ripley vibe to her. It's also nice to learn a bit more about the 'Thing'; as great as the mystery of it all was in the 'original', it's refreshing to get a further look into the kind of world this being may have come from and the kind of technology that brought it here.
Overall, a great monster movie and another great retelling of a classic, but probably better for newcomers than for people with fond memories of the previous version(s). Less tension and more 'BOO!', less revulsion and more awe, this is the 'accessible' version of The Thing.
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