Master of Cinematics
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: From the land of the ice and snow.
Rep Power: 114
Plot: Antarctica, 1982. At a Norwegian base, a team of scientists have made an extraordinary discovery: a spacecraft as well as a frozen specimen. When they bring the frozen creature back to base, it thaws and the scientists make a horrifying discovery: the thing attacks and replicates the cells of whoever it kills, thus making a perfect replica. Trust is shattered and paranoia sets in as the scientists try to figure out how to kill The Thing, but more importantly, try to find out who among them is truly human.
Review: First off, let me make thing strait: THIS IS NOT A REMAKE. It is actually a prequel to the 1982 John Carpenter masterpiece. It's set three days before that film, actually. Now is this almost as good as the original? Uh, no. But is it still entertaining? That is a yes right there. The characters is this movie aren't the best, but they sure could've done worse. The leads go to Mary Elizabeth Winstead as an American scientist, who is invited to the site by a bigshot scientist played by Ulrich Thomsen(who I found boring and really unlikeable), and Joel Edgerton, who plays a character who's more closer to Kurt Russell's role in the '82 version in that he's a chopper pilot and a bit of a badass. These two leads do they're job pretty well, especially (and surprisingly) Winstead. There's some good supporting work, which is mostly made up of Norwegian actors, but most of them are just fodder for The Thing. Now one of the great elements from the '82 film was the feel of suspense and paranoia. This is where the prequel does well. There's a great deal of fear among the characters in that they don't know who to really trust. Even you as the audience are thinking, "Is that character really human, or just a replica made by The Thing?" You also feel the characters' feeling of isolation and helplessness, with no help for hundreds of miles across an arctic land.
Another thing that made Carpenter's film so awesome was the practical effects. There was hardly no CGI used in the entire movie. Unfortunately, most of this movie's effects are computer generated. Still, there are a few effects that are pretty cool, especially in a big scene where an unfortunate victim of The Thing morphs into like three different creatures, one of which is so laughably CGI-fueled. Another more personal complaint lies in the music, done by Marco Beltrami (the Scream series, Hellboy). There is almost no reference to the well-known heartbeat theme done in the '82 version by Ennio Morricone. The only times you hear it are two little snippets throughout the movie until the original theme is played at the end credits. Then again, this is a prequel and not a remake, so maybe new sound should've been made after all.
Laughable effects and some so-so performances aside, this is a decent homage to the 1982 Carpenter film, and it really does answer that film's question of, "What the hell happened to those Norwegians?" Bump, bump bump, bump bump...:)