‘The Thing’ Review

Published 2 years ago by , Updated October 14th, 2011 at 12:42 pm,

A Review of The Thing Starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead The Thing Review

Screen Rant’s Kofi Outlaw Reviews The Thing

Much like the titular alien creature, this 2011 version of The Thing purports itself to be one thing, when it is in fact something else. While it is labeled as the prequel to John Carpenter’s 1982 film of the same name, in many ways – largely as a result of some derivative scriptwriting – this film is a beat-for-beat remake of Carpenter’s film, only with far less imagination and a forgone outcome.

Thankfully, the combined strength of the premise and an effectively scary monster save The Thing 2011 from being a total waste.

The story takes us back to 1982 Antarctica, where paleontologist Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) has been recruited to help excavate the monumental discovery of an alien life form frozen within the tundra. Kate is trepidatious about messing with the fossil too much, but the team of Norwegian scientists – led by the cold Dr. Sander Halvorson (Ulrich Thomsen) – want the glory and credit for making the discovery. Halvorson has his men drill into the ice to collect a tissue sample, and in doing so, awakens the long-dormant creature.

Things go from bad to worse as Kate makes a startling discovery: the alien is a mimic, able to copy its prey’s cells, thereby camouflaging itself in the skin of its victims. However, by the time Kate realizes that there are impostors in their midst, fear and paranoia have already begun to run rampant amongst the team, leading to the decimation of the camp, and the beginning of the mayhem depicted in Carpenter’s film.

The Thing 2011  The Thing Review

And so begins disaster...

Screenwriter Eric Heisserrer (A Nightmare on Elm Street remake) has once again managed to take a smart and rich horror movie concept and drain it of all its juiciest bits. With Elm Street, he reduced the imaginative machinations of a dream stalker to a drab and routine slasher flick; with The Thing, he manages to take a concept that worked so well as a tense, slow-burn psychological thriller, and reduce it to a frantic and clichéd horror movie formula.

At first it seems as though the movie is making the right moves: a good deal of time at the outset is spent establishing relationships between the core characters, such as the hostility between Kate and the dictatorial Dr. Halvorson, or Kate’s passing attraction to helicopter pilot Braxton Carter (Joel Edgerton). However, once the creature is loose those relationships – which seemed like seeds for rich psychological horror – are totally squandered as victims are dispatched randomly and unceremoniously, leaving little for the viewer to care about or resonate with – other than the thrill of seeing the creature in its various twisted forms, or the cheaper thrill of watching the body count climb. The film also manages to muddle the entire franchise mythos by introducing expository facts which are totally contradictory to both chapters of the story – such as the alien not being able to replicate “inorganic material,” while somehow being able to replicate its victims’ clothing.

Former commercial director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. tries to recreate the world of Carpenter’s film, and for the most part succeeds. This film has many fun Easter eggs and nods to the original, but like the script, lacks true insight into what made the concept behind the story (based on the 1938 novella ‘Who Goes There?’ by John W. Campbell Jr.,) so terrifying in the first place. Carpenter’s film wisely used cramped set pieces, time jumps, and selective editing to create its tense mystery and head games; Heijningen adheres to the more modern preference for ‘bigger and better’ movie making – i.e., bigger set pieces and wider spaces. But again, spreading things out completely invalidates the strongest aspect of this concept, which is the terrifying feeling of being trapped in close quarters with something akin to a terrible virus (as Kate herself states at one point in the film).

The Thing 2011 Dissection Scene The Thing Review

One of few non-CGI creature moments in 'The Thing'

The creature in Carpenter’s film was famously brought to life by old school VFX master Rob Bottin through practical effects like puppeteering and animatronics – but thanks to an overabundance of CGI effects in this modern version, we once again have a hollow creation in place of a more believable, imaginative and original one. The most unnerving scenes of the creature are the ones where practical effects are still put to use, but these are few and far between. Still, to Heijningen’s credit, there are a few well-constructed sequences (see: the dissection scene or the ‘dentist’ scene – both direct echoes of Carpenter’s film), that manage to reclaim that great tension, if only for a few fleeting moments…

Another strong point of Carpenter’s film was that you were never truly sure who to trust, because even the presumed “hero” of the film, R.J. MacReady (Kurt Russell), disappears and reappears and slowly starts to become as paranoid and unhinged as the rest of his crew. Kate, on the other hand, is clearly the protagonist of this horror tale, thereby limiting the delicious uncertainty and dread; she’s presented as the ‘cool under pressure’ type, who never once seems to lose her head or succumb to the rampant paranoia. Granted, not every movie damsel need be in distress, but as one of only two women stranded in the tundra, surrounded by potential threats, you’d think Kate would be a little less composed and rational than she is throughout the film.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Joel Edgerton in The Thing The Thing Review

Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Joel Edgerton in 'The Thing'

Another very odd choice was to make the cast of characters (except for Kate and the amusing Norwegian workers) almost direct echoes of the characters in Carpenter’s film. Joel Edgerton and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje are almost carbon-copies of Kurt Russell and Keith David’s characters from the original; Dr. Halvorson fills the creepy science guy role originally occupied by Dr. Blair; Eric Christian Olsen’s character Adam is the same skinny coward as Thomas G. Waites’ character, Windows; Paul Barunstein’s Griggs is reminiscent of Donald Moffat as Garry – and so on… It’s almost as if Heisserrer constructed the story according to that old ‘If it ain’t broke…’ adage.

And therein lies the biggest issue with this Thing prequel: it asks us to believe that the same sequence of events could happen to two groups of similar people, all within a short time span (a few days). While the outcome was always predetermined, the filmmakers behind this new chapter missed the opportunity to put their own unique spin on how these events played into that ending. Even the end credit sequence – which directly connects this film to the opening scene of Carpenter’s – feels like a heavy-handed contrivance meant to remind us (in case we forgot) that this was a prequel, and not a remake. But again, like The Thing itself, it’s hard to make that distinction just by looking. Luckily for the filmmakers, the imitation of a good movie still results in a fairly suitable (if flawed) copy.

If you want to know if the film is worth your time, watch the trailer below. Also, rate the movie for yourself by voting in our poll below.

Want to talk about spoilers or the many nods to Carpenter’s film that are in this movie? Head over to our Thing spoilers discussion.

[poll id="204"]

The Thing is now in theaters everywhere.

Our Rating:

3 out of 5
(Good)

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97 Comments

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  1. I figured it would be a disappointing remake – still not sure if I’ll give it a watch. The original was awesome!

    • ..thought it was a prequel..

    • its not a remake.

    • Doesn’t compare at all to Carpenter’s. Too much CGI, no on location shoots so it feels and looks fakey. Altered story but with completely borrowed dialogue and sets and situations from Carpenter’s…so much so at several points you wonder if they are intentionally trying to copy it?

      The girl sucked if your thinking Kurt Russel she fails miserably. I could tear it apart but I really, really like the original (both of them) and I want badly to see them continue this story just..bring back John Carpenter and actual animatronics.

      • If you look closely, it is a blend of cgi and animatronics. The touch ups were utilised by cgi on animatronics like the face on the alien body (body is real, face is cgi). Overall, it was a great movie and people are trying to look too much into it and connect things to the original that aren’t there. I’m also a fan of JC and the 1982 film. I’ve also played the (sequel)game for which JC was involved in.

    • doesn’t matter, carpenter’s (which is the sh*t) is a remake of the 1951 “thing from another world”, quite different, but a remake. this flick i’m sure is a pile of sh*t.

  2. All the negatives in this review are true. Bottom line, I didn’t like it. I really gave it a chance, I went in with a very positive attitude, but left the theater grateful I wasn’t the one who paid to see it. If something could bust through not only a roof, but the big ice block it’s stuck in, do you really want to go looking for it in small groups? You know, go out into the snow, in groups of about three, and check in a dark scary helicopter to see if it’s in there? I wouldn’t, and I reckon you probably wouldn’t either. I don’t want to sound like a hater (too late) but I just couldn’t stand this movie. I’m not hard to please, and am fairly easy to spook. The 1982 Thing was the stuff of my childhood nightmares, but this one just didn’t float my boat.

    • My wife and teen daughter were spooked and they saw the origional The movie was very good and well thought out.

  3. While many might see this as a remake, and it may suck, it is the telling of the crew that originally found the Thing which the same stuff happened. Not trying to defend a crappy movie, but this is supposed to be the Scandinavian crew that were shooting at the dog in the beginning of the Carpenter Thing.

    I am disappointed because this could have been a good prequel.

    • It was good and answered many of the questions we all had in our minds about what happened to the (Swedes,..Hey Sweden)and it did that perfectly I mean Norgs.

  4. Question: does the movie use the song ‘Superstition’ by Stevie Wonder?

    • no

  5. Unfortunate, but not unexpected. I was pessimistic about this in the first place, due to the glut of horrible horror remakes that have been plaguing us viewers for the past decade or so.

    The trailer in itself was enough to convince me that this “prequel”, was for all intents and purposes a remake, and the use of CGI in it was disheartening, as well.

    Practical effects keep it real. In the Mouth of Madness was another one of Carpenter’s films that had cheesy but effectively grotesque creatures, one that I hope and pray will not be the subject of a prequel/remake.

  6. “this film is a beat-for-beat remake of Carpenter’s film, only with far less imagination and a forgone outcome.”

    I concur and this was just looking at the previews as Moto states above. I just wonder why a 3 and not a 2?

    I dont believe there is one positive thing stated except “an effectively scary monster” in the review.

    Screenwriter Eric Heisserrer with The Thing, manages to take a concept that worked so well as a tense, slow-burn psychological thriller, and reduce it to a frantic and clichéd horror movie formula.

    I have yet to see it so I am not debating the movie itself. However the review seems pretty cut and dry.

    Its appears to be a remake, the characters are almost carbon copies, the CGI is not as effective as convential, the shooting style does not lend itself to the environemnt, etc.

    Seems like a 2 to me. With no redeeming qualities to write home about.

    • There were a lot of criticisms, but at the top and bottom of the review I DO state that the premise and monster are still enough to make this poor man’s copy of Carpenter’s film a better-than-average horror flick.

      Young kids who never saw Carpenter’s flick will still be freaked out by this movie.

      • I swear I have read it twice and I do not see anywhere that you make or even elude to such a statement.

        “I DO state that the premise and monster are still enough to make this poor man’s copy of Carpenter’s film a better-than-average horror flick.”

        You make statement at the end that it is a suitable but flawed copy of the original movie as a whole.

        At the begining you only state that two things keep it from being a total waste is the premise and scary monster.

        Again redeeming qualities that in my opinion based on the rest of your review would make it rated a lot lower.

        Im not knocking your review. I think it appears to be spot on.

  7. I think a prequel to John Carpenter’s The Thing wasn’t the right choice, instead it should had been a sequel.

    Fans of the original movie’s biggest question wasn’t what happened to the Norwegain but who was the Thing in the end of the 1982 movie?

    (SPOILER ALET!)

  8. I think a prequel to John Carpenter’s The Thing wasn’t the
    right choice, instead it should had been a sequel.

    Fans of the original movie’s biggest question wasn’t what happened to the
    Norwegain but who was the Thing in the end of the 1982 movie?

    (SPOILER ALET!)
    (SPOILER ALET!)(SPOILER ALET!)

  9. I am sorry about the incorrect reply, I had problem with my computer.

    I think a prequel to John Carpenter’s The Thing wasn’t the right choice, instead it should had been a sequel.

    Fans of the original movie’s biggest question wasn’t what happened to the Norwegian camp but who was really the Thing in the ending of the 1982 movie?

    (SPOILER ALET!)
    (SPOILER ALET!)
    (SPOILER ALET!)
    (SPOILER ALET!)
    MacReady or Childs.

    Even if this prequel gets panned by critics and doesn’t do well with the box office, I still might watch it because the original didn’t even do well with money and got panned by the critics but still it became horror classic due to the paranoia, scares, chills and those legendary make up and special effects.

    I hope a sequel happens to explain what happened to Childs and MacReady.

    I have a sequel idea? Maybe either have it be based in the same period where a rescue team arrives in the destroyed camp and finds other alien life forces in the ship because in the original movie, McReady and other two scientists didn’t either went inside the alien spaceship or maybe a new scientist team arrived at the destroyed camp years later where maybe instead revealing who was the Thing, have the alien in it’s true form hunting the new scientist team.

    • honestly..you’ve started to dig through the plot of the prequel with your idea for a sequel hah

    • Dark horse comics did a series that explained what happened to childs and Mcready a Seal team from a nearby submarine found them……………

      • They made a video game sequel to the original movie that takes place after it. I think Childs was found dead in it.

    • ACTUALLY, I DON’T THINK CHILDS OR MACCREADY WAS A “THING” AT THE END OF THE FILM. KNOWING THAT IF A THING WAS STILL OUT THERE AND MIGHT GET THEM, OR THEY MIGHT SUCCUMB A SLOW AND MISERABLE DEATH TO THE ELEMENTS…BUT THAT DEATH WAS DEFINITELY COMING, WAS PART OF THE MAGIC OF CARPENTER’S FILM. I THINK JC’S THE THING WAS ONE OF THE BEST HOOROR/SCI-FI MOVIES EVER! I REWATCH MY DVD COPY OFTEN!

  10. i swear to god when they escaped the ship…cause we TOTALLY needed to see the inside of the ship, and the two of them were standing there i thought it was going to be “Let’s just wait here a while” like the 82′ version. i have so many problems with this movie and i REALLY wanted to like it. for instance, making us sit through the no-named cast credits in order to see the ending we knew was coming and i believe EARNED through making it through this..i’ll still end up buying it… :(

  11. I enjoyed it, I thought it was a great movie.

  12. I realy wanted a sequil you know” hey we found the old lab in antartica and look what we found. Lets take it back and study it.” Kind of movie. Will watch it on network tv probly. The original is one of my favorites.

  13. I thought it was a great film, very intense.
    Its a great film for the Halloween season.
    Dont leave when the credits start to roll.
    “Thats No Dog” :)

  14. Wow! Like so many others, I wanted to like this movie but just couldn’t do it. The prequel, as some one put it, is just like the 1982 version. Just how many flame-throwers are there in Antarctica anyway? After about 30 minutes into the movie, I began to wonder how they were going to tie this in to the 1982 version. That’s the only thing that kept this interesting? What in the world happened to Kate at the end of the movie???

    • SPOILER ALERT >>>>>>>maybe she went to the mention nearby russian base????? But maybe the Thing left a ‘present’ in the tractor???????????

      Possible new movie for those of us who cannot get enough.

    • I think that Kate sat in the snowcat and froze to death because she didn’t know if she was the thing or not and didn’t want to risk it killing anyone else.

  15. Well, being five years of age when I saw the first one (because of my father wanting to traumatize me) I was scared and had nightmares for months. Not to mention I couldn’t be in a room alone with a dog for a few months after. Anyway, I actually just came from seeing this movie and while its in no sense a ‘Master piece’ its also in no way so horrible that you wouldn’t want to see it (Barring personal opinons of course). It does what it set out to do well in my opinion. It tells the story of the Norwegian base. Also I find it kind of odd as to why most reviewers are comparing the characters of this movie to the characters of Carpenter’s film. Joel and Andewale’s characters are almost nothing like MacReady and Childs except that they’re the same ethnicities as those characters. In Carpenters the Thing MacReady and Childs seemed to hate eachother (or at least seemed to have some sort of rivalry) even before the excrement hit the fan. Joel and Andewale seemed to be bros; not to mention that the role of MacReady seems to have gone to Winstead in this movie not so much in appearance as in spirit. Another point is the fact of the thing being unable to replicate inorganic material; it held throughout the entire movie. Whenever one of the characters transformed their clothing was in fact shed or ripped off. Not to mention in Carpenter’s MacReady states that it tears through your cloths when it takes you over. So I’m not sure where some of the reviews I’ve read are getting that particular error from. Also, although the acting isn’t oscar worthy the actors and actresses do a decent job (put it this way I believed that they were people and that they were genuinely scared or paranoid because of the situation) are they all dynamic? NO, but most people in real life are static anyway. I for one loved the actor that portrayed Lars who was one of the Norwegians (bonus point if you know of his importance to Carpenter’s film). Plus for all of us major fans of the original the amount of homage and detail this film pays to Carpenter’s is great. Even some of the tiniest details from the original depiction of the Norwegian base are there. Now all these positive things I’ve said aside this film isn’t the holygrail of sci-fi/horror movies. In most places the CGI is used very well but there are some bits that simply aren’t up to par. Look, most seem to forget that Carpenter’s version was also panned by the critics for most of the same reasons stated above, don’t believe me? Then read of original NY times reviews or another like article from the time it was released (and look at the positive following that movie attracted over the years). Now I know The Thing 2011 won’t please everyone; but, as with all movies I believe its worth seeing it and taking your own opinions from your experience with it. Honestly, most critiques despite what they would have you believe are personal opinions. And no I’m not claiming to be and expert on film and direction. Perhaps I’m too much of an ‘average joe’ to fully understand critiques. But, in my eyes as long as it’s entertaining, the acting isn’t atrocious, and the story is mostly well done then its worth seeing. Demanding for anything beyond that isn’t wrong but your going to generally dislike most everything you watch, or read with that kind of attitude.

    300-709.

    • My uncle did that to me when it first aired on HBO. I vomited uncontrollably and didn’t sleep for a week. My Mother lost her sh t.

  16. The movie rocked it was great prequel and the attention to detail was masterful. The movie rocked and added to the greatness that was the 1st movie. Looks like they left it open for another movie. I can,t wait and will add this one to the timeless movie DVD collection.

    • Ikr? What’s with all the negative reaction to this movie? I just saw it tonight and I thought it was really good. I really didn’t find that many similarities to the ’82 one, like other people here seemed to find. The ending was freaking amazing, the way it tied in to the 80s one was so good.

  17. I enjoyed the film and for his first big budget movie, the director evenly divided the camera between CG monster and his actors. JC had better talent to work with, therefore the original has a better human vs human element than this new film. Mary Elizabeth Winstead showed off her talents by blending the looks of terror with shades of strong will and a determination for survival much like the iconic actress Sigourny Weaver portrayed in Ridley Scott’s Alien.

  18. The movie was such a disappointment for so many reasons. The cast wasn’t very good, it was hard to distugish one person from the next. Not to mention in the 1982 version it states that there was 10 Norwegians in the camp, not twelve! Furthermore, what was up with the Americans. They are just a distraction (especially how do they explain one surviving at the end?). It was almost like they didn’t think I could be entertained by an all Norwegian cast. The music was not very scary, unlike the 1982 movie which had terrifying music. The monster attack scenes were illogical for the most part and they were overused. It didn’t allow your imagination to run wild like the 82 version did. In addition, the CGI is not even scary. And the original creature they uncovered in the ice was whack! It looked like a cross between and scorpion and a crab. Maybe they have something aganist Joe’s Crab Shack. The last thing I will mention is this movie borrowed to many lines from the 82 version which almost made me feel I was reading a plagiarized paper.

  19. The movie was such a disappointment for so many reasons. The cast wasn’t very good, it was hard to distinguish one person from the next. Not to mention in the 1982 version it states that there was 10 Norwegians in the camp, not twelve! Furthermore, what was up with the Americans. They are just a distraction (especially how do they explain one surviving at the end?). It was almost like they didn’t think I could be entertained by an all Norwegian cast. The music was not very scary, unlike the 1982 movie which had terrifying music. The monster attack scenes were illogical for the most part and they were overused. It didn’t allow your imagination to run wild like the 82 version did. In addition, the CGI is not even scary. And the original creature they uncovered in the ice was whack! It looked like a cross between and scorpion and a crab. Maybe they have something aganist Joe’s Crab Shack. The last thing I will mention is this movie borrowed to many lines from the 82 version which almost made me feel I was reading a plagiarized paper.Reply

    • Andrew, Let me slowly explain how ignorant you are. First of all, who cares if there wasn’t a great cast? It was well acted and had no need of “Big name actors” . Second of all, If you couldn’t distinguish the one person from the next, you have some memory issues, They were perfectly fine, I mean of course they were similar, they were in a Norwegian camp after all! And there was no need to explain the surviving guy, because The Thing wasn’t there! It left to go on the ship, ergo he survived. The music was fine, and wasn’t even that bad. And really ? “The monster attack scenes were illogical and for the most part overused.” Way to make yourself sound pretentious. Of course there is going to be a lot of attack scenes, that is what the movie is about! An alien life-form killing the members of a Norwegian campsite in Antarctica! And they obviously were going to use CGI , for greater detail. And yeah the original creature they uncovered in the ice was whack, because for all we know The alien it was trying to copy looked like a crabby monster! That wasn’t even that bad! And I watched the original “The Thing” just last week, and I really couldn’t see any recycled phrases in the new one, Maybe they did, but they’re just giving the original some recognition. Personally I think this movie was great and well plotted,
      and the way it ties in with the original makes you want to go home and watch it!
      I liked this film and reading peoples crappy reviews won’t make me change my opinion.

  20. Why couldn’t they have introduced an alien that actually survived the crashed ship (also frozen in ice–or on the ship), and it in its limited capacity try to warn the Norwegians… I mean, there are so many directions you could go with a prequel, if you really wanted to. I really do think the studio pressed for a “like the original” standard, and writers/directors, etc., just can’t deviate from that. Studios today are just too damned scared to be a little different, afraid of alienating the original fans, but they end up doing it anyway when they can’t even pull out of a path that had already been paved.

  21. How was the movie a “beat for beat” remake of Carpenter’s film at ALL? I just saw it tonight and I can’t even think of many similarities other than it was the same monster (of course) and they were in an Antarctic base. No offence Kofi, how different did you expect it to be? This was a damn good movie and I don’t care what anybody says.

    • Just looking at the trailer alone it APPEARTS this way. Not to mention a lot of ‘similar’ scenes.

      SPOILERS from the Original.

      Was there a blood test?
      Was there a ‘spiderhead’?
      Did they lock up people thinking they were but were not?
      Was it trying to create a spaceship just to get away? (misunderstood creature)
      Was there an autopsy that went bad?
      etc.

      Maybe having the location where it is limited it but just looking at the trailer you can tell or see what appears to be a lot of beats for beats.

      To hear a reviewer make that statement only confirms it.

  22. How was the movie a “beat for beat” remake of Carpenter’s film at ALL? I just saw it tonight and I can’t even think of many similarities other than it was the same monster (of course) and they were in an Antarctic base. No offence Kofi, how different did you expect it to be? This was a damn good movie and I don’t care what anybody says

    • no offense but, how can you ask him to explain his reasoning and then follow with “i dont care what anybody says”?

      • Its not a remake, its a PREQUEL!! It ends where the Kurt Russell version begins

  23. let’s be honest we just accept rubbishy films with gormless logic.
    So what if everyone has a flamethrower. More is best.
    Who cares if the idea that Norway is so bereft of scientists that they have to invite an a American civilian onto their base is utterly ridiculous.. It’s just a horror movie it doesn’t need to make sense. So why not make the scientist a hot American chick instead of an old Norwegian. Coz everyone knows that if you discovered an alien life-form you would instantly give up on National security and speaking in your own language.
    I just wish Hollywood would make good old fashioned ripoffs like they did in the old days. Leviathan and Grizzly are better movies than the Thing 2011 because they are more honest. They should have set this thing somewhere different and called it IT. Then the movie would be entertaining instead of annoying.

  24. Old-school horror/thriller movies did an amazing job at scaring the audience by incorporating great shots, good acting and, always, an excellent storyline. Perhaps this was done because they couldn’t rely on CGI to entertain the audience. Ever since the fast-pacing evolution of computers, movies tend to have a cheap story line and big explosions (or in this case monsters. A movie like this, that has so much possibility, is a good example of the fall of gripping thrillers in Hollywood.

    • What happened to the girl? Is she infected, because the thing snatched her up by the leg?

  25. The Thing (1982) has to be one of my all-time top 10 horror sci-fi flicks, so i was extremely skeptical after reading the reviews from “Kofi Outlaw” (whatever the hell that means) that it would be a decent or even good prequel. Well…the movie pretty much kicked ass–especially for those of us that are John Carpentar fans of the original. Everything, including the cast, CGI work, storyline, and ending were spot on as “it should be” from a movie fans point of view as far as I’m concerned. After watching the 2011 version, I was able to view the original and it was much more enjoyable seeing the connection between the 2 movies….4/5 stars **** Thanks, but no Kofi please

  26. I just finished seeing this an hour ago. It may be set as a prequel to Carpenter’s film but for all intents and purposes, this is a remake with characters intact. In that sense I really didnt see the logic of doing it again. That being said, if one will divorce him/herself from the fact that this has been already done, its not a bad film.

    Im a bit disappointed by the fact that I didnt see any posts mentioning the Howard Hawkes version from the mid 50′s. From a purely filmmaking standpoint, its a directoral gem of a movie!

  27. So you are all basically saying this new movie is basically Memorex plus MacCready with boobs…that is disappointing, but not entirely unexpected. However, I will stand loyal to the concept, and buy the DVD when it comes out, good, bad, or otherwise. I will say that i don’t always agree with the critics. I bought Green Lantern, and it was not nearly as bad as the critics said. In fact, I rather liked it. On the other hand, many critics liked the batman movies, X-Men First Class, and to a degree some of the Superman movies, and I was disappointed in all of those. I also did not think Avatar was all that great, but critics lapped it up. No accounting for taste, I guess, sometimes.

    • Well said. I enjoyed the film and believed the film makers did a great job of it and I have not fully enjoyed a movie for a long time. I agree, Avatar was not that great and I found it quite boring and could relate certain things to the Aliens in it.

  28. ******* Maybe Some Spoilers *********
    I am a fan of John Carpenter firstly due to his compositions for his films which lead shortly to appreciating his directional work as well. The Thing 1982 is one of my favourite films and I was looking forward to this prequel for many years. Having just seen The Thing 2011, it did live up to my expectation (I am often disappointed). It was extremely difficult to find fault in this film. The film makers have paid alot of attention to the story to ensure the events seen in the 1984 film are in this. There were only few occasions that I noticed very subtle similarities to the 1982 The Thing. As mentioned in previous comments and reviews there is the similarity of the two Americans (Braxton Carter & Jameson) being locked up. This is only a subtle similarity to Blair being locked up and it is expected that this would happen in this film. I strongly believe that it wasn’t a direct rip and the scene was unique in its own right. The follow up with both the americans breaking back in and disrupting the flow of investigating who’s human and who’s alien. I felt this was more similar to the original when McReady was locked out and had to break in. But as the scene unfolded it still differed from the original.
    Unlike JC’s 1982 film, this film could not stand by itself based on suspense and paranoia. Lets’ face it, if the film makers decided to rip off John carpenter’s style from the first movie, the film would not have worked especially for new audiences. There have been remakes and sequels that have flopped big time due to this (does everyone remember the Psycho remake – what a bad idea!). Much like the Alien franchise there is more action in this film. If anyone remembers, the 1982 film did not do well in theatres and was criticised as being an (Ridley Scott) Alien rip off. James Cameron did do a sequel to Alien and his film (sequel) had more action in it yet it worked. I felt that The Thing 2011 had more of a balance of action, creature effects, suspense and paranoia and if the action and creature effects were toned down, the suspense and paranoia would have been more obvious. Wait til it comes out on DVD and compare the two versions. I believe you will find more fault in the 1982 film than this one. In 2002, a game titled The Thing was released which was a sequel to The Thing 1982. I have played the game and it was pretty good for its time. This prequel had a feeling that was close to the game and The Thing creature had similarities to that of the game. What many people may not know is that John Carpenter assisted with the story of the game and also offered a character and voice in its story.
    I read someone else’s comment and interpretation that in this prequel, the Norwegians are dealing directly with the original alien hence why the alien is more direct yet in the 1982 version it had to remain more stealth until later in the film.
    I felt the characters and acting in the film were spot on. Some people would probably find fault in casting Joel Edgerton as a character (Braxton Carter)to simulate Kurt Russell’s character R J McReady. Even though there was similarity, I found no fault in this as this character had balanced screen time with the rest of the cast. I have read some complaints about Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s character Kate Lloyd. The main complaint resembling Ellen Ripley from Alien franchise and being too ‘out spoken’. One thing that most people would overlook is that the character held back her opinion and was even spoken down to by another male character in the early development of the film. Don’t forget that this is set in 1982 and (I mean no disrespect by this) women in society/workforce were a lot different than as of today. This is part of this characters development in the film and emphasised in this scene with Dr Sander Halvorson.
    I watched Real Steel only a week or two prior to this. This movie is an entire rip off of previous movies and even though I have agreed with a lot of the bad user reviews on IMDB, it is doing extremely well at the box office. This does not make it a good film nor should box office results determine quality of films in general. I have to emphasise the trailer for Real Steel was extremely misleading.
    I could write a lot but will leave my review at this until the film is released on DVD. Overall, the film makers did a really good job of this prequel and honouring the 1982 film. It is a great movie in its own right and I feel it is due a lot more credit than what people are giving it. There are (alleged) great film makers out there who have done great work only to do sequels and prequels and make an entire mess out of a franchise yet still bring in the dollars and great reviews (there could be endless debates about Speilberg and Lucas).

    I would honestly give this film a 4.5/5 but rounded it up to 5 instead of a 4 due to the fact that it is receiving a lot of unnecessary bad reviews.

  29. This film was different in the sense that because it was a prequel that you almost knew that everyone was going to die with the exception of the 2 men chasing the dog. What it failed to do was elaborate on what happened to the girl. After watching this movie and the Kurt Russell version, i would bet money that there is a sequel where she meets up with Russell and David Keith/Keith David (what ever his name is and one of them is the thing. Only to fight the thing with the rescuse crew (both american and norwegion) that comes to rescue their respected research teams and there will be more about the origin of the alien space craft and the thing itself. This is all speculation by the way and a direction that I think they should’ve gone.

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