The original The Thing is a really great movie. It's intense and thrilling mood keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time. I've seen it several times and think it's one of the best horror/thrillers. Still today, 30 years after it premiered, it's still a must see of the genre and the effects are still good. So naturally as a fan of the original I was excited and very skeptical when I heard they was making a prequel.
The 2011 version of The Thing is a prequel to the original 1982 John Carpenter movie. An American grad student is recruited by Dr. Sander Halvorsen and travels to Antarctica to a Norwegian research base to help the Norwegians excavate some kind of unusual creature.
Let's admit it; We've all wondered what happened at the Norwegian base, that led the Norwegians chasing a dog across the ice in a helicopter. On the other hand the original is so good that we hate to see it remade.
So, how was it? Well, it's not the original, and thank God it's not trying to be either. This film does not share the intense thrilling mood. This is more of a horror film that plays on goo, boo and scary monsters than a psychological thriller.
The actors deliver a pretty good performance. While the original had no female characters this one has a strong female lead as the protagonist. What is the most satisfying, however, is seeing the strong Norwegian cast. All the Norwegian characters are played by Norwegian actors. Now, as a Norwegian myself I remember how hilarious it sounded when the "Norwegians" in the original spoke and we all know how stupid it looks when Germans, French or what ever speak English to one another. In this film it was great to see Norwegians being Norwegian and interacting not only in their native language, but also in a Norwegian manner. Having Norwegian actors means more than just having native Norwegian speakers, it means having people act Norwegian as well and in this film they do. As a Norwegian this is great to see! As for the story, it was pretty much the original story, with many of the same elements. It was just done a bit different and with different characters, but the specific story elements such as devising a test and locking people up in the shed was there. They did do some things different, but story wise, this film is in essence a remake of the original which was a bit disappointing. They could've made the story differ more from the original. This made the movie feel a bit like a remake, but it was done in a different way and it didn't seem like they tried to directly copy the original. What I really liked was that the thing acted different. It was not so hidden, it was out in the light and more openly attacked people, where as in the original it stays hidden. I liked this because it gives the thing more character, shows intelligence and a development from this prequel to the sequel. I felt I got to know the thing it self better, which I kind of liked.
We need to mention the effects. The original was praised for it's effects and while there are a bit more CGI in this, it looks good. Noting looks over the top, poorly done, or fake. It just looks good. A lot of goo and great monsters that looks horrific! All in all liked the new movie. It had great acting, it was scary, had good storytelling and just took you for a ride. Sure it's not the original and can't be compared to it. And I don't think it should. It should be compared to other movies in the genre. It's a horror movie and as such it's one of the better ones I've seen in a long time!