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265 out of 404 people found the following review useful:

Call me optimistic and kind, but I actually liked it.

Author: lepperling from United States
15 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie has been out for like 2 days and all I've read are reviews from those self-proclaimed "loyal fans of the original" (and by original, I don't mean "The Thing From Another World") that feel betrayed or disappointed or whatever. I myself happen to be a student of "old-school" horror and I am DEFINITELY a loyal fan of Carpenter's classic, and I thought that this movie held strong for itself. It's like all those people out there that complain that "The Godfather Part 3" was terrible, when in reality it was a good movie on its own. Compared to the rest of the series it was weak, but, like this movie, was good on its own. Yes, we get it. Its not the original. It doesn't keep the creature out of sight as much. Okay, get over it. Keeping the audience guessing was "in" in the late 70s/early 80s, and I loved that. Thats why it worked in "The Thing", "Alien", etc. But its 2011, and as much as I miss the suspense and guessing games of those times, we're in a new era where films sadly use more CG and flashy scenes than character development (by the way, where was the superb character development in the original? both films are HORROR movies about a group of people we know nothing about as we watch them try to survive. Did we really ever learn anything about Kurt Russell's family? or what Keith David's favorite football team was?) and good old Savini/Baker-esque special effects. But this movie, in my opinion, was made for those "loyal fans" that,while watching the first film, were saying "Wow, I'd love to know what happened at this Norwegian camp before Kurt Russell got here!" And it did just that. It led right up to the events of the first film, while telling a separate, while similar, interesting story. It explained minute details from the first film that we were left wondering about. It recreated the Norwegian camp as viewed in the first film. It did everything in its power to remain true to the first film, while also giving us a reason to pay and see a NEW MOVIE. In our day and age, where it seems like every other horror movie that comes out is a remake of a classic from years ago (due to lack of original ideas?), its nice to see a prequel instead of a remake. Its nice to see a movie that tries to tell an original story, while keeping just enough elements in there to hook loyal fans of the original film. If you're going to the theater to watch Carpenter's "The Thing" (which it seems like all these 'loyal fans of the original' were expecting, though I don't know why...), then don't see it. If you loved Carpenter's film and want to see a fun N-E-W story that perhaps answers some questions you've wanted answered, then see this. Remember, its not Carpenter's film and its not trying to be. Its another movie, just giving a bit of an homage to Carpenter's classic.

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207 out of 329 people found the following review useful:

An uninspired prequel

Author: Terrell Howell (KnightsofNi11) from United States
15 October 2011

In 1982 John Carpenter released his groundbreaking sci-fi horror masterpiece, The Thing. It involved a group of scientists in Antarctica who must divert from their research to deal with a mysterious creature that has infiltrated their research center. It's a creature that kills off people and then copies them perfectly so as to blend in with everyone else before they attack again. The creature came from another research camp located miles from their own, a desolate and abandoned Norwegian camp. What exactly happened in that doomed research facility has long been a mystery. All we know is that it was a disaster and it where the entire problem began. 2011's The Thing attempts to resolve that mystery by telling the back story of the events which led up to John Carpenter's film. However, in its attempt to fill the gaps and resolve the ambiguities this version of The Thing, to put it bluntly, does a very poor job.

The Thing is technically a prequel, however, it is in many ways just a remake of the 1982 version. It follows the same basic storyline of researchers in Antarctica finding an alien and then being terrorized by said alien. Because of this, we know exactly how The Thing is going to unfold. It's not the film's fault, it's just a simple fact. This puts a major obligation on the shoulders of the film to be highly imaginative and original in its own way. Sadly, The Thing does not do this. It falls short of being a truly inspired retelling of the classic tale and it really gets to be nothing more than a straightforward horror story, and I use the term horror loosely. This version of The Thing possesses none of the raw terror that Carpenter's version elicits. It doesn't capture that same level of visceral suspense that leaves us on the edge of our seat every waking minute of the film. This version is congested with cheap jump scares and gross out moments that sicken more than frighten. What Carpenter did in 1982 just couldn't translate over to this new rendition as it disregards everything that makes the original The Thing such a masterpiece.

I really try to judge films based on themselves alone. I try not to critique films based on other films as I feel like every film deserves to be judged individually. But when you have a film that is more or less purposely identical to its predecessor there's no other way to do it. As is the case with The Thing. I have to compare every element of this new version with the 1982 version and it clearly highlights all the flaws with this new version.

However, the one region where I thought the 2011 version could really surpass the original would be in the visual effects department. And oh how wrong I was. The creature design in The Thing is excellent, I can give it that. There are some very well designed monsters. Unfortunately, it is the CGI renderings of these wicked monsters that lets the design down. There is just something about the CGI in this film that just simply isn't good. It looks fake, it looks cheap, and it looks sloppy. If anything, it makes me appreciate the stop motion effects of the 1982 version so much more. I still have vivid images of the disgusting creatures from the 1982 The Thing, but I'm sure I will quickly forget the underwhelming designs of this new version.

It's sad to see a prequel to one of the greatest films of the 80's go down in flames. Overall, as a film on its own, The Thing isn't terrible, but it isn't very good either. It didn't amaze me and it didn't do any of the things that a good horror film should. But when you compare it to the 1982 version it is a very bad film. It simply gets everything wrong that Carpenter's version got oh so right. Watching The Thing doesn't make you sick to your stomach its so bad, but it severely underwhelms you and has nowhere near the same affect as Carpenter's immaculate version. 2011's version of The Thing won't be remembered and people certainly won't be talking about it 20 years down the line. That role is reserved for John Carpenter's 1982 masterpiece.

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137 out of 197 people found the following review useful:

Not too bad....the critics are WAYYYYYYY off

Author: Riddle_Of_Steel from United States
20 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

While I am one of the most skeptical of movie-watchers (I sincerely feel that Hollywood is running out of ideas and is finding itself at the very end of its artistic hyperbole-- having no more room to make movies more action-packed, more violent, more provocative, or "more" anything) and normally assume 25 year prequels like this one to be a travesty that is both insulting and disrespectful of the original-- I have to say, they ACTUALLY DID A PRETTY GOOD JOB with this one. I would have screamed for totally different reasons than the directors intended, if this movie had turned out like those awful AvP movies (ruination for both once-proud franchises) or one of George Lucas' prequels. Most of the negative critiques I am hearing, are folks complaining that this movie was "the same" as the 1982 Carpenter movie, or "unoriginal" because it involved the same basic plot premise. HELLO!!!!! Read the director's interviews-- that is EXACTLY what they were shooting for!! This movie is supposed to be the same genre, the same mood, the same eventual outcome-- it is supposed to be a companion piece to the 1982 Carpenter movie! The director's stated goal was to create a prequel that was both RESPECTFUL of the original, and that you could pop the 1982 movie in after watching this one, and not notice much of a difference. The directors went to great lengths to ensure everything from the original movie was explained (in regards to the Norwegians and the many clues left around their camp in the 1982 segment). They did not make it stupid by adding some gangster rapper to the cast to give the movie mass-appeal, they didn't try to introduce some cheesy love-story, they didn't have to use nudity of some hottie chick to draw an audience. The movie stands on its own, but probably won't ever be that popular for just those reasons. THE THING 2011 draws on the same mental resources as the 1982 movie, and establishes the same results (a very good thing). Too much CGI, of course, but that cannot be avoided in this day and age. To sum it up-- if you liked the 1928 Carpenter movie, you will like this one as well, the movie was complete with a dissection scene (with half-absorbed people no less), a climactic battle with a super-thing, and the usual expected paranoia. They took the time to actually setup the mood and to give the characters some personality, as opposed to some rushed, effects-laden George Lucas CGI-fest. I have not ever seen any of the other movies by this director, but am willing to give it a try after seeing this movie. Not too bad at all....especially if you are a die-hard fan of the Carpenter version.

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205 out of 345 people found the following review useful:

A Pitch Perfect Prequel

Author: Chris .R. Notarile ( from Cranford NJ, USA
3 November 2011

Like most, when I heard they were going to remake John Carpenter's The Thing, I got worried. Then I heard the interesting news that it was going to be a prequel, focusing on the Norwegian's story that was alluded to in the first film. I became very curious to see what they would do with it. If you've seen the original movie, you know for a fact there is only ONE way this movie can end. And there are also several key moments that needed to occur in order to keep in tune with the continuity.

Well you know what? Not a single beat was missed. From the red axe in the wall to the two faced creature burned in the snow to even the dog running from the helicopter. IT'S ALL THERE. And it's amazing. This prequel kept the spirit of the original film and a lot of themes while even embellishing and complimenting them. It was excellent. I have never been more pleased by a prequel or even a sequel for that matter.

And I honestly think it's harder to make a prequel, because you have stricter guidelines. But this movie shines as a perfect example of what a proper prequel should look like. Nothing was over looked and every important detail was accounted for. And as people have already stated, the epilogue, mixed with the Carpenter theme is not only awesome, its chilling.

There is nothing wrong with this prequel film and no true Carpenter fan should find a reason to complain. It in no way detracts from the first movie at all.

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237 out of 415 people found the following review useful:

A pale imitation of Carpenter's masterpiece

Author: NonSequiturL from Australia
12 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Let me preface this review with two things: first, I apologize for the pun/cliché in the title; second, I'm a major fan of John Carpenter's 1982 effort. I've watched it countless times and always cite it as my favorite film. With that in mind, I approached this remake/prequel with great caution.

To get the good stuff out of the way, I have to praise the filmmakers for keeping very close to John Carpenter's style. The lingering shots of cold, mysterious hallways while atmospheric synth music plays notes of dread are present and accounted for. The creature transformations are interesting and despite being computer generated, are generally well executed. The script is cleverly written, hitting all the notes needed to work as a prequel as well as a story that will work for new audiences.

All around, the film is entertaining brain candy. There's lots of action, creature effects and explosions to ensure you won't be bored. Its faithfulness to the style of its predecessor and its willingness to please fans and audiences are why I'm giving this film a 5 instead of something much lower.

But that's where the good stuff ends.

The effectiveness of The Thing's story relies on its mysteries, and our fear of the unknown. What happened at the Norwegian base has been a subject of debate amongst fans for many years, and finally someone has gone and ruined that debate. That's the central problem with the movie—it's a story that never needed to be told, and in telling it, the mythos becomes damaged. At least we still don't know what happened to Macready and Childs!

At the risk of sounding sexist, I'll state outright that casting a young woman as the main protagonist was a major mistake. The 1982 film was unique in that the cast was populated by a bunch of grizzled, old character actors. By including women, we lose a lot of the subtext afforded by the all male cast in Carpenter's version. Also, the film asks us to stretch our disbelief by wanting us to accept a group of Norwegians—already reluctant to bring anyone else in on their discovery—are willing to bring in a young American woman to help. Opening up the story outside of Antartica at its very beginning also brings us away from the sense of isolation so thick in the 1982 film.

While I said earlier that the creature transformations are interesting and fun to watch, they still don't hold a candle to the amazing practical effects and prosthetics created by Rob Bottin almost thirty years ago. As the runtime wears on, it sadly devolves into another "kick-ass chick brandishing a flame thrower being stalked down dark corridors by a computer-generated creature" movie, and that's not what The Thing was ever about. Where Carpenter's film was subtle, this one is loud and obnoxious, and I'm not trying to say that Carpenter's version was ever a hugely subtle movie.

The film rolls along at a steady pace of hitting every single beat found in the 1982 version. There's not enough here to make it an original entry in a franchise, as it substitutes slightly different ideas for ones better executed by Carpenter. It's a bizarre beast, one that looks new, acts as some kind of prequel but in reality is a thinly veiled remake.

It's ironic that Carpenter's The Thing, a movie about an imitating creature was itself imitated, even down to the studio's refusal to change the title. The film is at its best when emulating Carpenter's style, and the scenes over the credits put a smile on my face. Thankfully, the movie itself is respectful enough of the 1982 classic, and you can tell the filmmakers really tried their hardest to please everyone. It's just a shame that it's a story that never needed to be told.

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204 out of 355 people found the following review useful:

**SPOILERS** I am shocked...

Author: chodkoel from United States
20 October 2011

...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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114 out of 181 people found the following review useful:

Impressive by Hollywood standards, but can't sustain the same classic suspense as the original

Author: Stephen Cook from United States
13 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

What really made John Carpenter's The Thing so magical was not its sci- fi elements, its alien movie aspects or even, I daresay, its splendid 1980s animatronic gore. It was the psychological tension! The issue of trust was a horrifying prospect: Who can you trust? Are you who you say you are? How can I tell what you say is the truth? At any moment, someone could be an alien waiting for the opportune moment to burst out and consume the vulnerable person. As a prequel to John Carpenter's work, The Thing (2011) taps respectfully into this raw suspense from the start, but towards the end loses its direction and falls victim to the Hollywood clichés of a typical alien monster film.

The Thing prequel (for simplicity I'll call the 1982 film "John Carpenter's") covers what happened in the Norwegian base. Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is recruited cautiously by Dr. Sander Halvorson (Ulrich Thomsen) to aid in an Antarctic dig of a great scientific discovery: an alien specimen found frozen in the ice near its ship. With the help of Norwegian scientists, they recover the body to the safety of the base, but soon learn that it is still alive… and has the ability to assume the shape of that which it kills.

The first half of the story follows how John Carpenter's film goes down almost exactly. (I won't say anything about how it fares against 1951 The Thing from Another World… because I haven't seen it.) After the alien has proved to infect several humans already, extreme paranoia and distrust breaks out among the surviving crew. Kate quickly assumes the Kurt Russell-type leader, herding the survivors into open areas and investigating methods of exposing the monster. Tensions run extremely high, as they did in John Carpenter's, and at these moments I felt The Thing prequel had a good thing going for it. The suspense was thrilling and engaging, and aliens were bursting out of bodies at wholly unexpected times. The acting was consistently solid; Winstead did her part well, and the use of authentic Scandinavian actors was an added bonus. Within thirty minutes the film had paid enough homage to the original to be a worthy predecessor – more than I expected it to do in the first place -- but then it decided to take its own stylistic turn, which most would consider to be fine but Carpenter fans not so much.

First, the age of animatronics is over. It's realistic to expect the effects in every Hollywood movie these days to rely on CGI, The Thing (2011) being no exception. So while it lacked that creepy gooey tangible feel of John Carpenter's animatronics, The Thing prequel had plenty of fast- paced alien sequences while still looking fairly good. The monster design stays pretty faithful, including wiry tentacles and frighteningly random mouths. Of course at this point though, these kind of CGI effects are nothing we haven't seen before; many times it seemed to be a zombie-type monster rather than Carpenter's amorphous alien, and in that sense was a bit unbelievable.

Second, the movie switched tone halfway from primarily a psychological thriller to an alien, sci-fi flick. Whilst in Carpenter's film the alien tended only to burst out into its true form necessarily when discovered, in The Thing prequel it is glorified with an ungodly amount of screen time. The film quickly loses its intensity as it dwindles away into an ordinary monster chase around the Norwegian base.

By measures of any typical Hollywood monster horror film, The Thing is still an engaging and impressive ride. But trying to continue in the same spirit as John Carpenter's, the film fails to sustain the classic psychological suspense it starts out with. 7.5/10

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155 out of 270 people found the following review useful:

Completely Missed the Point of Carpenter's film

Author: Ben from Canada
15 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First of all, like many others I have to say that I am a huge fan of John Carpenter's The Thing. I was looking forward to the Norwegian prequel as I love Ronald D Moore's version of Battlestar Galactica and thought he would really nail this as well if he wrote the screenplay. I first saw The Thing on VHS at the age of 16 over 20 years after it originally was released in theatres. What I loved about the film was the tension created based on the characters' paranoia of not knowing who to really trust to be a human. It was this quality that I believe made the film as compelling as it was. The monster effects were very impressive for their time, but for me they came secondary to the paranoia aspect of the film.

So if this is to be an actual faithful prequel, any fan of The Thing should accept Kurt Russell's monologue that the alien has tendencies to strike only when it is alone with another person and will try to take the whole group over slowly by hiding amongst them. The problem with this so-called prequel is that the alien does anything but that. We are treated with plenty of gross out monster revealing effects where the alien straight up attacks the humans, sometimes taking out three humans at a time. This action completely undermines the original where the idea was that the Thing was vulnerable when it was out in the open. All this prequel provides is gross images of a monster that attacks humans who then fight back with whatever weapons they have on hand. This aspect got boring really fast, whereas the paranoia aspect of the original played a very minimal role in this film. When a character was revealed to be a Thing, it really had no impact at all as there was not enough character development to really care about it. I realize Carpenter didn't have much more character development, but he still had enough for the audience to be blown away when the creature chose to reveal itself.

Yet the most flawed trait of this film could be pointed out by a young Stephen Spielberg or Ridley Scott 30 years before this film was even made. Much like Spielberg's shark in Jaws or Scott's original Alien, the alien in Carpenter's The Thing was hardly ever shown. The tension that was created from all these films was built off of what was not seen. The audience knows that the monster is a real threat to the characters and we also feel the tension of how the characters treat each other because of this threat. It was this aspect of these films that worked so well, not the violent gross out special effects of monsters attacking humans.

To summarize, I was highly disappointed with this film and would rank it with The X-Files: I Want to Believe as the worst movie I have ever gone to see in theatres. Fans of Carpenter's The Thing will not benefit in the slightest from seeing this film and the so-called tie-ins are so shallow that it is better to preserve the mystery of the Norwegians that the original film created.

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109 out of 182 people found the following review useful:

Misses The Mark

Author: Jeremy Landry
16 October 2011

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 blood test needed to find this impostor.

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71 out of 109 people found the following review useful:

Okay, here's the thing about 'The Thing'...

Author: Ben_Horror from Ireland
13 December 2011

When it was announced that this was going into production, there was a level of confusion/curiosity regarding what exactly it would be: remake/reboot/sequel/prequel? Also, would it utilize prosthetic effects like the 1982 original, or would it go all out CGI splatter? As it turns out, it's a combination of the former and the latter. The new 'The Thing' wants to have its cake and eat it too: you see, technically, it's a prequel but for some reason, the makers have molded it as kind of a remake as well. That's both clever and rather infuriating in equal measures. With regards to the effects, yes, they are CGI for the most part, but they look practical and are done well.

Story-wise, with the exception of some additions, it hits the same beats as John Carpenter's original movie too. An alien vessel is discovered frozen in the Antarctic permafrost by a Norwegian research team. Finding a mysterious life form, they bring it back to their research station. Even though there's no mention of an American in the original, the makers shoehorn one in here, clearly unconvinced that a movie comprised entirely of Europeans would sell. And likewise, it's a female – once again, you get the feeling they're not confident that an all male cast would sell this time round and are taking no chances.

The American, a palaeontologist (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), is drafted into the equation by a member of the research group. Then they set about participating in a scientific study of the alien creature. Only problem is, it returns to life, and being a shape shifter that can replicate any living organism, starts to hide amongst the group, leading to lots of finger pointing, flame throwers, explosions and suspicion fueled arguments. Sounds rather familiar, right?

Whereas the original 1982 movie was all about paranoia and the fear of the unknown - the alien hid among the human hosts, desperate to remain concealed at all costs, only showing itself when it felt its identity was compromised - it's distinctly not the case here. In this movie, the creature revels in revealing itself at every available opportunity. With bells ringing. It screams and shrieks its presence to such an extent that all notions of a story based on the mistrust and doubt of an isolated group of characters goes out the window. What's the point in being a shape shifter if you're going to constantly give the game away? Then there's another aspect that doesn't quite ring true: early on in the movie, the characters witness a violent helicopter crash. The logical thing would be to go out to investigate it and search for survivors… but for some reason, they all choose to ignore it. Additionally, one can't help but wish the makers had called the movie by a different title; after all, if it's meant to be an official prequel to the 'The Thing', why call it the same name?

It's not that it's bad movie; as remakes go, it's really rather good and executed with a lot of style. Sequel-wise, it's up there with Psycho 2. As with the original, we get a scene where there's a 'big test' as Mary Elisabeth attempts to ascertain who's who in the group. In the original, Kurt Russell used blood samples; here, they go for an admittedly clever spin on that scene, while being totally different, adds a new aspect to the creature while also playing as some kind of homage. You might even conclude that since this is a prequel, then you must know the ending, right? After all, we saw how it ended in the opening scenes of the original 1982 movie starring Kurt Russell. Wrong. While they don't violate the events, they take the movie in a whole different direction but still shrewdly stick with the original time- line.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead is very good in this. She doesn't strut around with a "Look at me, I'm so gorgeous" expression; in fact she plays the role - sans make up, for the most part – with a level of icy, cool female conviction unseen in a movie about a creature from outer space since a little movie made in 1979 called 'Alien'. It can't be an accident that she reminds the viewer of the Ripley character played by Sigourney Weaver in the same movie and even possess a similarly unconventional beauty. Based on this, it wouldn't be surprising if she ended up replacing Weaver in the inevitable reboot/remake etc. of that franchise.

The John Carpenter original was rightly celebrated for its surreal effects, giving audiences something that was genuinely cutting edge and never seen before at the time. Happily, there is lot of utterly bizarre transformations going on here as well that will make your jaw drop: a guy's face splits open; two men fuse together and in an attempt to outdo the spider-head of the original, we see a monstrous four-legged creation stalking its prey. While everything is 90% CGI, once again it's done in such a way that it almost homages the original. For the most part the effects here look similar to the 1982 movie, except they're done with a sheen that only CG could create.

In conclusion, is it any good? Yes, it is. It's not the disaster some snotty critics would have you believe. While it's not as good as John Carpenter's move (but then, what is?), it still honors the original while effectively and cleverly building the story that lead to the events in that movie. Yes, the aforementioned 'Thing' does shout and scream a bit too much, giving away its presence all too often, but that could easily be interpreted as a legacy of its inexperience with humans. This is a prequel, after all. But don't worry - by the time Kurt Russell and pals come along, it will have learned its lesson.

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