Universal's prequel to John Carpenter's The Thing - which is also (confusingly) titled The Thing - isn't looking all that good right now. Even the sci-fi/horror flick's red band trailer and recent TV spots have failed to suggest this new Thing will amount to much more than a generic cliché that fails to recapture the troubling atmosphere - or recreate the practical and creepy monster effects - of its predecessor.
A second clip from director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.'s Thing prequel has been released online - but does it have anything to offer, as far as combating the negative buzz currently surrounding this film?
It does, actually - to a degree. Heijningen's film tells the story of a doomed scientific expedition composed of both Norwegians and Americans - with the latter group including paleontologist Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and gruff pilot Sam Carter (Joel Edgerton).
Thus, when the titular extraterrestrial breaks free of its icy prison and begins killing people off one at a time, the various survivors not only have to combat their increasing paranoia that any one of them could secretly be a monster - they also have to overcome the language barrier, which only increases the chances that one of them will simply freak out and begin murdering the others, out of fear.
Get a taste of that brand of psychological horror by watching the latest Thing clip (via MSN) below:
One thing the Thing prequel footage has been lacking up to now is any sense of the breakdown in communications between the characters - partly because of their different cultural backgrounds and respective mindsets. That's an important element which wasn't present in Carpenter's film, so we can only hope Heijningen exploits it to positive effect in his movie. Otherwise, the only readily-apparent difference between the 1982 and 2011 version of The Thing appears to be on the surface level (re: cast) and that the latter's creature effects/scare tactics appear to be more cheesy than disturbing, sorry to say.
While this latest Thing clip is thankfully more on the viscerally atmospheric side, it's still difficult to not be skeptical about just how effective this project will actually prove to be. Case in point: watch the NSFW "Tainted Blood Sample Scene" from Carpenter's movie below - and think about whether any of the Thing prequel trailers or clips released so far have hinted at imagery anywhere near as grotesque and terrifying as that on display here:
The Thing cast includes Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World), Joel Edgerton (Warrior), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Oz, Lost), and Eric Christian Olsen (Community). It will open in U.S. theaters on October 14th, 2011.