‘The Thing’ Spoilers Discussion

Published 2 years ago by , Updated June 4th, 2014 at 10:09 am,

Mary Elizabeth Winstead in The Thing The Thing Spoilers Discussion

While we do have a The Thing review post where you can leave comments, we’ve set up this as a place where you can discuss Thing spoilers without concerns about ruining the movie for folks who haven’t seen it yet.

If you’re posting comments here, assume that anyone in the conversation has seen the movie – if you haven’t seen the movie, I would recommend you don’t read the comments here until you have. 

There’s plenty to discuss about this movie, including the many connections and Easter egg nods to John Carpenter’s 1982 original. Lets get to it! Leave your thoughts and or comments!

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  1. Just got back from seeing it. The entire time watching it, I remember thinking I’d seen all this before! And remarking to myself “Come on, you couldn’t come up with something else ?”. If the original didn’t exist, this one would rate much higher, but since that isn’t the case, this one falls to the ranks of cheap copy with CGI.

  2. From what I’ve heard all they did was change the main character from male to female and spruce up the effects a little.

    Prequels just don’t work. I can’t think of any that did well. I don’t know why they keep making them.

    • The sequence of events were much different from the 82 version in my honest opinion.

      • Pharoah I am sorry to have to disagree with you. This movie made so many nods to the original it made me feel like the only thing left was to juggle the events if only to prevent it from being a shot for shot remake of the JC version.

        1) The dog chewing through the cage.
        2) killing of a non infected human
        3) The monsters head stetching when laid on a table.
        4) The positions of the survivors during the testing time.

        This is just a small list of the glaring ones. There are so many more.

        • One thing, guys. The 1982 movie is not an ORIGINAL. The original movie was made in the 50′s.

  3. Well I always wondered just how much control the thing had over the spaceship. In the J.C. version the top hatch was open when Mac and company found it. It remained a mystery who explored the ship, the Norwegians when they first found it or did the Thing pop the hatch when it froze in the snow or did the crash pop it open. It seemed much bigger in J.C.’s version too, which made you doubtful that the Norwegians opened it. Their’s slight discontinuities between this movie and J.C.’s version. The tapes that Mac and Doc found showed the Norwegians using thermit which this movie never mentions, though one would imagine, given what we see, that they used something to get access to the downed tractor and the ship. The escaping dog from the compound isn’t the same mix as the one in the Carpenter film. That one was actually part wolf.

    While it’s true a great opportunity to explore new story elements was wasted with this their is a certain theory that a sequel or prequel/remake should have some of the elements that made the original popular. How the creature operated is unlikely to change in a matter of days, which is the time span the central part of both movies covers. Carpenter’s movie was made almost 30 years ago and effects are easier to do today than back then and their quality is better as well. Not accounting for any particular effect in this film but since the director had what I would say was more choices than Carpenter he decided to dial up the horror factor over tension. Why do that when the story lends itself to the uncertainties and tensions of not knowing who to trust? The choice is really another manipulation of the audience that is expecting one thing and forced to endure another. It risks a certain level of criticism not giving the audience what they want but it also tells you, like real life, you don’t always get what you expect. Besides many movies strive to attain the goal of getting the audience to feel something they don’t necessarily want to feel. Perhaps we miss that point more often than we like to admit…

    • This movie being a prequel to the original makes it hard to do anything that would be a huge surprise. Much of what was revealed in the original about this group, so there wasn’t much that could be done in the way of creative license. The original group was pushed into the situation when the creature comes to them in the beginning of the film (being chased by the Norwegians). In this film the stereo-typical scientist thirst for knowledge leads to bad decisions, makes it hard to feel a sense of tension, or sympathy for some of the characters.

      When they decide to split up to find the creature after it jumped through the roof was just one of those Scooby Doo moments, but that convention is at the core of these type of movies. When they took that material sample, against the advice of the expert, I feel the alien took over the lead doctor, who was manipulating everyone else from that point on.

      The amount of screen time the various forms of the monster had in the film was more of a distraction from the drama of the people not trusting each other. As you said due to effects being easier to do now this film was able to be more visual. Carpenter had a fair number of effects for the time, but his version probably had to rely more on the human factor then this one.

      Overall the movie is what it is, an updated clone of a decades old horror movie. There are some things that don’t line up, such as the dog and what happened to the Dr. Lloyd character. The dog issue could be chalked up to the alien being a shape-shifter, the latter could be a set-up for a sequel to this film. Such a movie would be an odd prospect since it would most likely have to run concurrent with the original.

      • They did play it rather safe didn’t they Slayer? One has to wonder if their isn’t any places to exploit for a sequel other than Outpost 31? Are there any animal species to exploit that deep in the wilderness? What of Microbial life? What about rescue teams? That’s something I’m surprised no interviewer has asked? How much of an intellect does the creature have? J.C.’s version had Blair building some improvised vehicle to get away in, perhaps some kind of hovercraft vehicle. Is it possible that the creature has a sort of cellular memory that once it inhabits a high enough life form it can tap in and make use of that? How do we know all the genetic material in the space ship was destroyed?

        As Mathijs has mentioned preproduction these days is often rather short. This could account for some of what’s lacking in the film…

        • The end of the movie tied into the beginning of the original, but it either inadvertently left some loose ends or things were done for a possible sequel. My take on how and when the creature got out pretty much stands with the creepy lead doctor dude getting infected first when they took that sample. The way they showed the creature sub-dividing into smaller parts, and then joining back together make me think other parts could have gotten away somehow.

          We really don’t know completely what happened with that crash, they have the last survivor going to another camp, Lars held out but, somehow another wolf/dog was replicated, maybe the alien did come in contact with some wild animals. Maybe that dog came from the Russian camp, which I can’t recall them mentioning in the original. Seems like the door is left open depending on how this one performs….

          • All too true. We may not be rid of the Thing yet. Have you seen the new Dark Horse comics?

            • No I have been out of the comic book loop for a long time, but I would guess they are interesting given Dark Horse’s track record with movie franchise books. Their Alien vs. Predator storyline is still better then anything the movies have put on screen. Robocop vs. Terminator is also a forgotten classic that spawned a cool game back in the day too.

          • I could be wrong, but they specifically show the creepy lead doctor being “morphed” into the Things body towards the end of the film, long after he looked at the sample.

            What is pretty clear is that he must have noticed the cells were still living, and did not mention it, knowing putting everyone in danger.

            In terms of throw backs to the original, the pilot was essentially Kurt Russell, he even looked similar.

  4. The movie dates the action as “Antarctic winter, 1982.” Antarctic winter means 24 hours night of night every “day.” No shineshine! The only light comes from the brilliantl Aurora Austalis. Instead this movie shows a near equal day/night cycle and no aurora at all. It also showed what could be Christmas decorations. Antarctic winter runs from June to September. The darkness of the Antartic winter was a key plot element of the original 1938 story, “Who Goes There?” which these sceenwriters evidently never read. Antarctic night used to be explained in third grade geography books as well. In 1938 the original author did not need to explain the concept to his readers. 2011 audiences are a different story. Movie should’ve been better, smarter. Predictable and just not scary.

    • You’d have a point… if you also stipulated that not only are they on the Antarctic continent, but sat right on the pole itself. Towards the edge of the polar circle, they would have prolonged twilight instead of day, and beyond that, days of increasing length at greater distances from the pole. It’s a rather large continent, so depending upon where they are, they could have perfectly identifiable ‘night’ and ‘day’, though the days would be relatively short. ;)

  5. Wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. I had some real reservations, especially considering all the productions delays (which usually do not bode well). Certainly didn’t get the feeling I was seeing something new and fresh, but I also didn’t feel ripped off or let down. With only one or two brief exceptions, the effects were solid. But again, nothing real new or different.

    The only real let-down was the interior of the ship. That’s the best they could muster?? A little weak.

  6. If y’all are expecting something fresh and new from a prequel then y’all are dead wrong.Not unless the story started from the aliens motherland and the alien spacecraft crashes on earths atmosphere.

    • Oh yeah? That’s the unwritten rule of prequels, huh?

  7. I just wanna see this and enjoy. Btw, just bought Green Lantern on DVD and it was’nt all that great compared to THOR. Chemistry was off and the story was dry.

    • Great contribution to the Thing discussion. Keep us posted on your other DVD purchases, okay?

  8. Ok. I saw this last night. I am a huge fan of the 1982 version with Kurt Russel. It was great cause it was a fun, horrifying movie. This movie….was a fun and horrifying movie. Did it capture the terror of solitude as Carpenter did? Not entirely…but it tried. But what it did do…as fill in the story untold in the original version…and only made me want to go and watch the original as a part 2. It did employ a lot of nods to Carpenters version…and it should have. It was paying homage to a great movie….sometimes scenes were copied….but then…..in a small group being terrorized and copied by a horrifying alien force….you would imagine that similar events would have occured and replicated to other groups under the same circumstances.

    All in all…a fun movie….makes you scream at times….but I agree with the idea that the animatronic effects in the original were sometimes better and more terrifying than some of the CGI in this one!~~!

    • I feel like most new movies that have the luxury of CGI tend to show more then their original counterparts. Allot of it probably has to do with the fact that the practical effects don’t hold up to being shown in full light for extended periods, because you can only block out wires and such so much. It’s kind of like when you go back and watch Alien, then Aliens and everything that came after. Each movie showed more and more because the effects technology made it possible. Ironically it seems like the other aspects of the movies lose focus though.

      I would say this prequel is like any other remake or add-on to the horror movies of the 80′s and 90′s. There is a creature stalking and killing some hapless people out in the middle of nowhere. It’s called the Thing and there is indeed, a thing in the movie. They even call it that. So like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, if you go into it expecting to see people killed with a chainsaw in Texas, you can’t claim to be unsatisfied or feel like it was a rip-off if that’s what they give you.

  9. I enjoyed the movie. Is it better than the ’82 version, no, but it is still solid. Also this movie is not a prequel to the John Carpenter version it is simply a remake.

    • But it ties into the 82 version at the end, so it really cannot be considered a remake.

    • Um… no, it’s a prequel.

  10. I stand corrected after watching the ’82 version over again, the new version is a prequel but at times plays like a remake for most of the film.

  11. The Thing just didn’t grab me at all. When a film is designated a prequel, you’d expect it to fill in the blanks and also walk that fine line of telling its’ own story too. But the film didn’t fill in any blanks and created more of it’s own.

    The acting is iffy and the director just didn’t understand the source material outside of probably viewing the John Carpenter version (don’t know that for sure but I’m just guessing) and the scary parts are right out of J.C.’s version which is not surprising but still one would have expected something a bit different.

    I do agree with some here that have said that this really should have been a remake and they might have had better success with it, because then they could have had more license to go in another direction with the story and perhaps been a bit bolder with their choices.

    A great movie for DVD, On Demand or part of a double feature but as a stand alone product a big thumbs down from me.

  12. I had several comments on the movie:
    - I am a shoot first and ask questions kind of guy, but why not to talk to Thing when it is human form and ask it what it wants. If it says,”Food”, or “For you to die…”pull out the flamethrower.

    - Kate headed to the Russian camp no doubt. I guess we can expect and “Apollo 18 (2) – Thing (3)”, sequel any year now.

    - I did not see the life form collection cages on the alien ship, that I was led to believe were there.

    - What was up with the insect Thing form at the beginning of the film that then moved to a semi-humanoid form?

    - Was the dog-wolf the first victim or the guy getting the gin in the helicopter?

    • I had several comments on the movie:
      - I am a shoot first and ask questions later kind of guy, but why not to talk to Thing when it is human form and ask it what it wants. If it says,”Food”, or “For you to die…”pull out the flamethrower.
      - Kate headed to the Russian camp no doubt. I guess we can expect an “Apollo 18 (2) – Thing (3)”, sequel any year now.
      - I did not see the life form collection cages on the alien ship, that I was led to believe were there.
      - What was up with the insect Thing form at the beginning of the film that then moved to a semi-humanoid form?
      - Was the dog-wolf the first victim or the guy getting the gin in the helicopter?
      - Neither the sequel nor the prequel movie was as scary as the original 1952 version.

    • Good thoughts, Ed. I was really let down by the interior of the ship. This would have been a great opportunity to do something really mind-boggling and we got, well… nothing. Except a giant game of Tetris. Gee… exciting. Not sure where you heard there would be collection cages, but it’s an interesting idea. Except that unlike Predator, which we know does collect trophies, it seems The Thing just absorbs its prey and doesn’t really collect specimens. Still a menagerie of alien life forms in suspended animation or something would have been wicked. Not sure about the first victim; I found myself wondering the same thing near the middle of the movie. I thought the Norwegian characters were WAY too similar to be able to adequately tell them apart, especially since none of them really stood out. It looked like eight variations of the same hipster with long hair and a beard. The variety of personalities and inter-personal conflicts really contributes to the overall success of the original.

      • Big Log,

        - I liked your comment on the tetras device. It looked like the uncontained warp core on STNG.

        - The critic, Roger Ebert, thought Kate was in species collection cages at the end of the film.

        - The Norwegians were pretty unobservant for scientist. They forgot about the dog and thought a tissue sample of an unknown alien was a good idea. They need to have more scif fi movies in grad schools for these guys. I laughed out loud at your comments on the sameness of the Norwegians. It seemed as if they all had been replicated before the Thing turned up. When Lars showed up at the end I could not remember who he was.

        - I had a thought that the lead scientist had been talking to the Thing when he was in the form of his colleague based on their comments during the oral examinations.

        - I did not hear the Kurt Russell Clone – Thing squeal when Kate cooked him. The Thing also knew what an ear ring was. I was wondering if the people infected by the Thing fight for control even after they have been assimilated.

        I have WAY over thought this.

    • Regarding your comments on the movie:
      - I am a shoot first and ask questions kind of guy, but why not to talk to Thing when it is human form and ask it what it wants. If it says,”Food”, or “For you to die…”pull out the flamethrower.

      SA – The Thing established its intentions from the moment of the first onscreen kill. My problem with this was the let’s stand here stupidly and shine lights at the monster who we know openly attacked someone.

      - Kate headed to the Russian camp no doubt. I guess we can expect and “Apollo 18 (2) – Thing (3)”, sequel any year now.

      SA – I had the same impression and was kind of disheartened by the leaving her to tell the story. My qualm with this is the American Station is closer but I guess that would be a continuity issue.

      - I did not see the life form collection cages on the alien ship, that I was led to believe were there.

      SA – I think they were supposed to be those globes that opened up.

      - What was up with the insect Thing form at the beginning of the film that then moved to a semi-humanoid form?

      I give the film the benefit of the doubt that may have either been the Things original form or within the hundreds of thousands of years maybe they assimilated a roach.

      - Was the dog-wolf the first victim or the guy getting the gin in the helicopter?

      SA – I believe it was the gin guy. The stolen scene of the dog chewing through the fence was so unecessarily stolen from the original.

  13. I am really interested on what people think of the ending before the tie in with J.C’s film… Kate and Braxton come up, Kate grabs the flame thrower to place it in the back, then tells the Braxton she know because of his earring. Now are we to assume the thing was listening when Kate talked about the metal in the body, then when it took over Braxton it mode his earring. Because Braxton was not in the room when Kate was talking about the fillings in the teeth, he was tied up. So for a money making sequel, we hear about a Russin camp; which our Kate could be going to because it is closer from there to the site of the ship. Anyhow, is it possible Kate is infected now and that’s how there going to spin another? Please anyone…

    • I am pretty sure the Russians got attacked by the dog-wolf that is taken over by the alien early on but does not show up again until the end of the movie.

      Kate is Ridley(Alien)clone so it is too sooner for her to be taken over.

      The Thing that ate Braxton was in the room, in another form, when the fillig issue was discussed so the Braxton-Thing knew to be careful. It rolled the dice and lost.

    • You must have been sitting really close Anthony because I didn’t see the earing in his right ear? I thought he just reached for his right ear as if to realize it was missing to come up with an excuse as to why it was missing. Kate of course sees through that because it was in his left ear. That’s how I interpreted it. As I’ve mentioned in the past I’m through doing much research into this stuff because it goes unappreciated but since wool is basically a hair shorn from an animal and then processed isn’t it possible for the creature to manufacture something that might look like clothing given just a cursory exam? Metal though has no ties to organic material in the same sense that cloth does.

      • At least Lars could have told the guys in Thing 1 to check to see if the dog had a dog tag.

      • So far nobody has addressed the porcelian teeth exemption.How can that be concidered copiyable?Or are we to believe scientists cant tell which teeth are real or fake.Fake teeth must mean human not Thing.Was porcelian teeth story just a distraction tactic?I wasnt buying it.The whole copiyable/not copiyable element was not well executed.

        • Well to be fair to the scientists none of them could’ve had experience in human oral Biology or Dental Anthropology and Kate was the Paleontologist. They do work allot with body fossils which would include teeth but her being the only one isn’t good enough, you need at least two people. I don’t think anyone wanted to get too close to anyone for fear of being attacked as well and just using a flashlight might not be sufficient to differentiate porcelain crowns or the latest filling techniques from normal teeth. While the lab had a pretty fancy microscope, I don’t remember allot of fancy lab equipment like a portable X-ray machine. Besides all that, Matthijs has pretty much CHA by pleading a too short preproduction schedule. Any outright mistakes are going to be attributed to that. It is what it is, a B-movie after-all with a pretty modest budget in comparison to many movies today…

    • You have a valid issue with this but ,with the noted exceptions of any victims clothing, the belief is the thing could not replicate inorganic materials??? The problem with this goes back to the original. Why would the thing allow itself to be tied up not only knowing the test MacCready came up with would work but also since it went through the same crap in this movie. After knowing that it could not hide in plain sight why not kill everyone in the JC version and take over the last person only. The original source material, Who goes there, made mention the creature was psychic, However in no way was it mentioned in either movie. As a matter of fact, Maccready mentions that his test would work BECAUSE each individual cell of the creature was its own being and could not be controlled by the other parts. Braxton was never told of the organic material issue so his thing would not have known.

  14. 1.How did lars not get infected

    2.It was cool seeing how the axe from the original got stuck in the wall

    3. What was the weird looking thing on the ship she was starring at, the digital looking thing anybody know??

    • Yeah, I was thinking of the axe too. And the pool table they overturn to hide behind was like a nod to getting the table out of the rec room in the original when Wilford Brimley goes ape.

      I think that was Tetris. Apparently they play it in space too. Okay, terrible joke…

    • First, let me say I first saw the JC version (’82) when I was a kid in 1985 at an all-night birthday party with my friends from school, and was hooked/horrified for life. The horror of being cornered, and ripped apart on a cellular level, digested and absorbed by a tiny piece of this thing made me paranoid and led to many sleepless nights. Most of my dread and disgust was focused on what Macready and Blair discover in the snow of the Norwegian camp, which becomes a LARGE part of this prequel near the end. That burned mass of flesh which looked like two people in horrible pain being jammed together in some gruesome combination gave me nightmares for a long time.

      So lets discuss what this creature actually is and what it isn’t. How it does what it does and what impact that has on its victims. It can absorb and imitate any biological entity on a cellular level. The more times it does this the more knowledge, strengths, weaknesses, and diseases it must deal with without being destroyed by the host’s immune system or other environmental hazards. It seems to use a combination of digestive and reproductive processes to carry this out, which is interesting because it speaks to its instincts. The creature’s cells absorb and copy the host cells then re-combinate to mimic the host structure and propagate like a virus (mentioned in the film) thereby retaining all of the memory, personality and thought processes of the host. Therefore, it may have no personality or any indivualistic qualities, but uses the host as a tool until it must feed/reproduce again. Therefore each “copy” must rely on its own information going forward unless it recombines with the copy that created it. Without that it is left to fend for itself based solely on instinct and what it learns from its past victims and its new one.

      There may be a requirement to do this in a period of time similar to how long a person can go without food or water. It simply must absorb something to continue to survive pr possibly face a very unpleasant breakdown in cellular stability. It takes time to do this, and alters its current state to do so. It may simply be motivated by instinct, but this doesn’t explain the learning process it goes through and the cunning and manipulation it quickly adapts to in order to do what it needs to do. It can use the nervous system and thought centers of the brain and other attributes of the host structure to do whatever it needs to do to continue the process using the hosts abilities to exist in its natural environment – console a person in an attempt to isolate them (as Griggs did with Juliette by consoling her over being upset by the initial autopsy as an example), or use a plausible explanation as to why it needs to discuss something with someone in private without appearing socially awkward. Confuse, misdirect, isolate, absorb, repeat.

      I bet over several million years it has become a master at adapting at whatever environment it is forced to exist in in various worlds, splits apart and recombines over and over again. In doing so it may have lost any identity it might have once had, and is completely insane. It may have been a specimen that absorbed its captor and thereby inherited the ship. It may be a “seed” placed in a ship that is automated to float through space until it encounters biological life, then destroy it, then move onto the next. So to take on a spider like form with an exoskeleton may have been its only defense against the cold for example – there’s no guarantee that this was its original form. It may not have an original form. It may have been intended to be a weapon and isn’t a species at all. It also explains why it attacks the way it does with brutal head-on tactics to begin with, but later with more silent methods as it learns to evade detection.

      But it has never encountered human beings before. Remember when Edvard (currently being occupied by the thing which ends up absorbing half of the rest of the team) mentions to Dr. Halversen that “she’s clever”. He says this for two reasons: to continue to promote distrust against Dr. Lloyd, but also as verbal revelation of its own – it has realized that it has underestimated people’s ability to resist it. This copy ends up burned up in front of the base after absorbing Goodman and Halversen, then much later tries to absorb Bennings covertly in the store room later before being burned up. The intelligence it learned at the Norwegian base died with it, but took the opportunities it had in an attempt to survive. The dog had a limited knowledge and had to learn through Nauls and Palmer. Both tried to mislead and misdirect trust against Macready later, but did feebly and resulted in failure. Nauls had a heart condition and Palmer’s attempts to throw suspicion on Windows ended up failing, which ends up shedding distrust on him. He is forced to help facilitate the testing (tying up Clark and Blair) which means he can’t slip away and vanish. The only hope for it would be for a fight to break out before the testing could happen, so in the face of two flamethrowers now being held by two people who have killed at least one copy so far it is forced to allow itself to be tied up in the hopes that it gains an opportunity later. When that failed it tried the same thing the other one did in the prequel, but was not nearly as successful.

      more later…

      • Lets use all of this info to dissect the movie:

        In this prequel the dog was absorbed and never makes an appearance again, which may mean its allowed to infect Edvard immediately (the camp’s leader). He is actually never really alone except at the very beginning of the search for the creature when he approaches Lloyd and Lars in the snowcat garage when Lars shows her the grenades. He’s a leader and therefore, can dismiss himself from searching with anyone – making him a weak spot. My money is on the dog doing this. The dog post absorption is much smaller and stealthier and can move quickly between people. If this is true then it DID have knowledge of people, but what makes me think of the dog is the way Edvard’s transformation at the end is very “dog like”.

        Then we have Griggs. The creature could have done this, but the timing is critical here. He doesn’t make an appearance to help conduct the search so we know he’s absorbed. We don’t know by what.

        Griggs consoles Juliette and absorbs her in the women’s bathroom, which is a stroke of genius for it since there’s only one other woman the chances of someone stumbling in on them is limited. Later it is assumed to be destroyed in the helicopter crash with Olav as it tries to absorb him – as a desperate move when it realizes its not going to get away. The pilots never tell us what happened to the helicopter – did it burn up? Who knows – this is a loose end in my opinion. Juliette is obviously destroyed after it tries to take on Lloyd and then kills Karl in the hallway.

        At this point Edvard is the only infected. We know the pilots aren’t – the surviving copilot would have not trusted Braxton Carter if that weren’t true, and we know him to be human throughout, which means Braxton was human up to the hallway incident and beyond. The copilot shoots Peder in the hallway, but after knocking out Lars in one of the outbuildings. Lars isn’t absorbed because he is disabled and forgotten. Everyone else but Colin is killed in the resulting confrontation.

        Halversen gets absorbed last and flees. The question becomes when does Braxton get absorbed? He has on his original clothes and never looses them. His earring is visible most of the movie including when they go into the space craft but is gone afterwards. Unless he strips down naked before being absorbed he gets to retain his clothes and his weapon. In the final confrontation he doesn’t act but witnesses the destruction of the Halversen thing. He could have easily torched her and left with the snowcat. The ship is damaged which means leaving with the ship isn’t immediately possible.

        The final scene is curious. She reveals she knows Braxton isn’t human based on the earring. I wish this scene were longer, but I realize why it’s not. We are left with a seed of doubt – was he really human? Did she just torch an innocent man? Even with the knowledge of the earring Braxton tries to be convincing but he’s ANGRY. He’s not scared or stunned. That gives us a clue that he was in fact inhuman. But how? It would have been interesting to get more dialog here to reveal some knowledge about the creature, but alas that gives away its mystery.

        So, she’s left in a working snowcat with a lot of mental trauma. She’s not back by the time Lars jumps on the other helicopter to intercept the other dog, so where is she? Some say the “russian camp”, but how does she know where to go?

        I believe there will be a sequel, but it’s quite possible they have her meet up with Childs and Macready. Their camp is burning for quite a while, and if she survives out in the cold or back at the Norwegian camp for a while (at least a week?) she may be able to reach them. Either way she’s meant to make another appearance, and either Childs or Macready need an “out” here. I think they may end up at a “russian” camp, but how they get there is up to the imagination.

        • badhatharry you are a legend – thanks so much for your thoughtful post here – really got me thinking about both films. Did you do a doctorate on The Thing by any chance? If not you should think about it. I just saw the new movie tonight and really enjoyed it and your posting (especially your ideas about the Thing and just what it is – which I love to speculate on) has helped me enjoy the whole story and Thing concept so much more. Nice work! I have been a lifetime fan too saw the original much too young when I was 11 at the cinema and absolutely horrified / loved it. The Thing rules!

        • Bad Hat Harry,

          Your post was terrific and very thought provoking.

          As to your point as to what the thing is and isn’t…..

          Let’s try a little Exo Biology. Assuming the Thing is in its true form in the last two Thing movies, a big if I grant you, I have speculated about its planet of origin.

          The Thing is a bi-pedal-up right walking (thus meaning it likes a 1 g world),air breathing ,visible light seeing, humanoid shaped “alien”. The odds of it having evolved on any other planet then the earth are near zero. We must share a common ancestor.

          I am developing this thought a little more…

          Thanks again to you, and everyone on the blog, for the great posts.

          ED

      • Are you sure it wasn’t Norris that had the heart condition BadHat and not Nauls?? Just trying to help clarify…

        • You’re right. I got the names swapped. Sorry for that!

          I don’t think its “true form” could be anything but a cellular mass. I see it analogous to a drop of water versus a water molecule. An H20 molecule is a single component, but cohesion or surface tension prevent the molecule from existing by itself under normal atmospheric conditions. It combines with other water molecules until the attractive forces holding them together are not strong enough to overcome the weight of the combined molecules – therby making a drop of water the smallest physical unit that water can exist in within a liquid state.

          I think this creature was the same way. It can move as a mass of some specific size based on its ambient natural environment until it reaches something it can assimilate. If it happens to have an endo-skeleton and feet then it becomes mammal-like.

          This creates all kinds of wild imaginative scenarios as to how it became the creature it is now. How did it infect its first victim? Was the first victim its creator? Did it wait dormant until discovered?

          • The cool thing about this site is no matter what you say, you are right.

            Let’s go with your theory that the Thing is a “celluar” mass. I would tweek this theory slightly and consider that the Thing is a “viral” mass beacuse this is the type of earth life form it most closley matches. That would explain why each (viral) element of the Thing can produce the entire “viral” mass if even one viral particle is left. Your theory does explain many of the Things virus like behaviors.

            • The Thing is indivisible to anything smaller than a cell, whereas a virus is neither alive, nor as large as a cell (it is simply a bit of otherwise inert RNA coding wrapped in a membrane which has been provided to it by the cells it infects). The Thing has been explicitly established as being a cellular organic life-form, but in which every cell is an independent/autonomous unit in a colonial relationship with each other. Its behaviour may be virus-like (though I would say it’s more accurately amoeba-like) but calling it a “viral mass” does not make sense – it would then simply be a pool of disassociated RNA chains. Viruses are no more life forms that a malformed data packet is a an application suite. Without the sophisticated mechanisms existent in which it may manifest an effect, it has no function at all.

              “Cellular mass” makes plausible sense, whereas “viral mass” makes none, scientifically or otherwise.

  15. Not a bad film, if you haven’t seen John Carpenter’s version. Otherwise, why bother?

  16. Overall a good film. In comparison to the film of ’82 (a 4.5 of 5) I would give it a 3.5. It did a good job with the CGI but I wish they had spent more time on the suspense (who is the alien?). That is what made the ’82 film so good.
    As others have mentioned I was unsure how the dog figured in after it was one of the first things killed. The only surviving alien was the one frozen that made all the trouble in the ’82 version.
    The trailors showed one of those yellow snow cat things falling into a crevice but I didn’t see anything like that in the film. Was it in the first 2 minutes and I missed it?
    And again where did Lloyd go to?

  17. The ’50s version isn’t even an original; its based off of the novella Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell, Jr. Very good book in my opinion.

  18. Hey if you haven’t seen this send-up perhaps you’ll get a good natured laugh…

  19. My fellow Thing likers…Here is a few things to consider:
    1. I get the impression the thing is immortal. It never dies and keeps on cloning itself into available life forms. It can stay dormant until…?
    2. In the 2001 movie, it reacts more like an animal. Considering that the space ship is pretty sophisticated, I dont think it built it and its behavior leans toward that. Running for cover under a building is a animal trait. Making nosie while doing it is too. In both recent movies, it doesnt act superior for its supposed intelligence for a space traveller.
    3. One exception…It is able to start up the ships engines..interesting
    4. In 2011 thing, it is a kill or be killed entity working out its survial from one moment to the next. In 1982 movie, it uses tactics and stealth more. In 1951, it decides to plant seeds to produce more things….
    5. Before I go on, let me say that there must be tens of thousands of opinions on how we would like to see the the thing movie. What we saw was one persons opinion and will have to do. If you watch it like it is unfolding without thinking too hard, then that is what happened for better or for worse. That is the story. Enjoy it
    6. On discovering the ship, who could sleep or party (lo lo lo lololo? Two teams should have been formed. One to the ship and one to the block of ice. This is the most profound discovery imaginable…who would want to sleep. I couldnt even if I was drugged
    7. I suspect and sincerely hope that the DVD will show deleted scenes that will answer a few questions and more. You can tell there is a lot more going on between the scenes actually shown.
    8. Even in the 1982 version, one wonders why after climbing down to the ship and walking across it that the boys didnt just enter thrugh the hatch. How could you not do that? I would spend days there…
    9. The enormity of the ship has to suggest many passengers on board. In the 1951 version, you can tell it is a smaller ship for one travelor. What did they eat, drink, breath, wear, use for weapons and so on?
    10. With all its deficiencies, the thing refuses to die or be killed off. This makes sense and casues us to beleive that if it is an animal, it has mastered survival and attack dynamics learning each life forms ways
    11. In the 2011 movie, when it breaks out of the ice, it is like coming out of a coma or bad dream rather quickly. It wakes up as Macready describes…pissed off. Even in the 1951 version, it gets angry after being shot at, dogs attacking it and being set on fire…it focuses
    12. I watched the 2011 thing really go at hunting and killing when it was prowling around. It had a sense of you cannot stop me and acted accordingly. It even fought the flames when burned as long as it could too. Being out in the open going hand to hand wasnt working too well.
    13. I saw the thing 2011 with captions. A real treat to read the dialog and read the screaming/roaring sounds emitted. When the earring guy got his, it was the thing. It roared and sceeched. She nailed it good..BTW, what happend to the earing guy while looking for the girl has to be in the deleted scenes cause he goes in human and comes out a thing
    14. How could falling through the ships vents allow access to the inside of the ship? She lands up in the ships central control area?
    15. That tetris item to me was either the ship powering up and or repairing itself sort of like a maintainance check. Good stuff
    12. The things conduct and ours is similar to an arms race seen in nature and with humans. If something that is fast gets eaten or outdone by something that is faster or trickier, it evolves to surpass the circumstance. This keeps going on and the best of both races prey and predator both survive on high very high levels. The Thing has evolved
    13. I am still not sure about its orignal shape or default shape. I guess being a shapeshifter enables it to even customize itself which is clearly shown. If it is a spider like creature with death type jaws, that would enable it to attack and conquer rather quickly (as shown). It’s resting shape may very well be the frozen shape in the ice..
    14. I am still not sure why the things fellow things dont unite and attack in force. Macready nailed it when he spoke of each thing being its own creature. That supports it to be more of an animal than intelligent life force. Can one thing fly that big ship?
    15. I would have loved to see the thing communicate mano de mano. Talk it out exchange…You see it is able to lie, deceive and strategize, why the hatred to kill without communicating? It may be too vulnerable
    16. I thouroughly enjoyed the 2011 which neatly hands off to the 1982 version for back to back non-stop Thing-a-thon. Well done
    17. If you care to respond, refer to the appropriate number…thank you for letting me share..my fellow Thing fans..let’s hope for more Things

  20. After watching the prequel and after playing the game (the one from 2004, i think), I realize that a sequel is coming. They didn’t leave Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s character alive for no reason. If I had to write a third installment, I believe it would take us back to modern day 2010′s and I think Kurt Russell would come back and pick up on derangements and video debriefings from a certain Dr. Kate who vanished in the eighties. Just a thought. I seriously hope not.

    Revisiting the prequel, as a huge fan of Carpenter’s The Thing, I believe it’s not a waste of time at all. I was almost guessing that the fast-paced action would be a must like all the crap they do nowadays. It was done not only to the big fans but also to a new public who hasn’t yet seen the 1982 Thing. So I can understand why they would fasten it up a bit and cut loose of all that nervous-racking tension that Carpenter’s so good at… in the 80′s. Nowadays, unfortunately, the exhibitors cannot afford a 120 or 130min long movie if it’s a horror movie. Stamped for 100 min max and that’s it! So they gotta’ fasten it up… comprehensible, but unfortunate. That’s what the audience wants. :(

    Even though, the franchise has lived up to the expectations. I would have loved to see that four men crew in the chopper to find another base, divide the team in half, have some radio chatter between bases of what was going on and turn it up into an antartica apocalipse between scientific headquarters. It would explain why Windows couldn’t been able to reach anyone “in the entire continent”. But that would cost 30 million more to the producers and have the movie run half an hour longer. I would buy a director’s cut if that would be the case. Bigger and better right? I say Bigger BUT better. 4 stars, not 5 ;)

    • Excellent points leornardo. Money and time slot affect everything. Too bad too. When I think of the funds spent on Hulk, Green Lantern and others misses, I cringe. We have a great story here. A spaceship and its inhabitant and it doent like us either. Let’s hope the DVD does what the movie did not

    • You bring up a very interesting thought Leonardo, a battle for the continent as a sequel idea. It’s so interesting I’m reluctant to even speculate on it for fear of ruining it for those who choose to remain in the dark… ;)

      • You know, it’d be cool, wouldn’t it? One Norwegian base we see in the movie and another one where the four of them in the chopper went. After cleaning up the norwegian base, they went to clean up the other; and only after that, they’d go after the dog. Half an hour more but what the hell. It’d be cool and they could afford it.

  21. Well, the ending was rather stupid. The guy with the flamethrower and the girl are left alive while The Thing tries to restart his spaceship and head for home–his most important objective. So the flamethrower guy, who we soon discover is also The Thing, kills The Thing and forgets all about his most important objective just to go drink vodka with the Ruskies and infect the world or rather create a huh? moment in the film. I liked the film, but it paid to much homage to the Carpenter remake and used the same title. Now we have not two, but three “Things” floating around to confuse the novice.

  22. I hear you John..at least it got the sci-fi juices flowing and that says something………

  23. Exactly. I definitely liked the film.

  24. I think The Thing, is the pilot or one of the crew of the space ship and is very intelligent. In the JC one, it’s designing some sort of craft out of junk and parts. In the 2011 one, it manages to start up an interstellar spaceship. Kind of nails it.

    Or – It’s smart but killed the original space ship crew. (Which makes it smarter than them?)

    I am a bit lost with plot continuity, in the JC one, it starts with two Norwegians chasing Thing Dog across the ice. Where did these two Norwegians come from? I didn’t see anyone survive except the girl?

    Overall, an OK prequel. I enjoyed it anyway though not as good as the original. I’ve read the original short story too.

    • watch the credits

  25. “the JC one, it starts with two Norwegians chasing Thing Dog across the ice. Where did these two Norwegians come from?”

    Simon, the prequel explains that. The returning pilot had went to refuel before the chaos and Lars had escaped takeover.

    Once fully copied the Thing can use the knowledge of the victim. In the beginning of the John Carpenter movie we clearly see the spaceship out of control forcing it down. Neither movie really explains the ability of the ship to get back into space but likely the Thing was intent on using both the original and the makeshift craft to simply get closer to other life forms not back into space. It’s a general assumption, but a likely explanation.

    Want something really confusing, why did the the scriptwriter choose a different name, Lars, when the outtake of his exam viewable on youtube names him Jans? I know it wasn’t in the 82 theatrical release but still…

  26. Simon makes a good point on the intelligence aspect of the thing. The old man does a good job on explaining Simons question too.I agree that I dont think the spaceship could have taken off into space, but have no trouble beleiving that it would fly to another location and then, lick its chops as it took over the entire world with nothing to stop it…A world of things..whoa

  27. OK.. Stumped, where in the prequel does the helicopter go to refuel, not watched again but scanned through quickly and couldn’t see it. In fact, hard time seeing any Norwegian helicopters at the base.

    Regarding Thing acting like an animal. It’s in an unfamiliar environment, where would it run anyway apart from under buildings etc?

    Good point regarding trying to talk to it as someone mentions above.

    One hole, if it can split itself into smaller pieces, perhaps it could go all the way down to cellular size and blow away in the wind. (But how smart would it be then?)

  28. Simon Shaw…Toward the end of the pre-quel, we see a copter land and the pilot who gets shot at until the teeth are checked by the shooter. Then, those two proceed after the thing dog whihc leads into the Carpenters treasured movie..I agree that the Thing running for cover makes one think…noisy creature too. It doesnt learn stealth until Carpenters movie…On talking with it, how fascinating would that be?…MAN: Why are you trying to kill us? THING: Why are you trying to kill me? etc…On blowing away in the wind…while amusing and thought provoking, stronger winds would have its way blowing it all over keeping it from shaping…Who knows..but great discussion

  29. while everyone is bashing this film, I would like to bring up what I though was very cool about it. When Mac and the other scientist go investigate the Norde camp in the “JC” version. You see an axe stuck in the wall, a guy who slit his own throat, and a huge chunk of ice hollowed out by something busting out, and Mac and the scientist finding a corpse they dont know if it’s human or not. Watching the 80′s “The Thing” everything is done to a “t” on location of the axe to the same machines in the room in which the man who committed suicide is in…….and most importantly the room in which the huge block of ice containing the alien, is exactly the same.

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