Sunday 25 March 2012

Today's Review: The Thing

I must admit, I hadn't watched the original version of The Thing until this week. Shame on me. But I thought it would make sense to watch that before this one, even though it is a prequel. Well, technically speaking.

The Thing (2011) is pretty much the same story as The Thing (1982). Sure, it explores the origin of the alien some more, but the rest of the movie plays out the same. Alien is discovered, it does some freaky stuff, absorbs some people, and the entire Arctic team spent the rest of the movie distrusting each other, because any one of them could have been replaced. It pretty much goes through the same stages as the original, so while it is being sold as a prequel, it really is a remake that tacks onto the original in the end. Pretty sneaky, Hollywood.

This time around there's some female company though, in the form of the lead played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Although it destroyed my purist Ramona Flowers image of her, she does a pretty good job in The Thing, from coolly and scientifically working through ways to identify who's been replicated to completely losing her shit the next minute.

Effects are so so. Of course it had to be gory to live up to the original, but the CGI is clearly not up to scratch in some places, and I was left thinking that John Carpenter's original effects actually looked a whole lot more gruesome, especially in terms of the blood spewing out whenever somebody's face pops open. In this movie it all just seems a bit too fake, despite how over the top they try to be.

Still, it's a good enough effort. For those who have never seen the original, it's a good enough introduction to the monster. If you actually watch them in the intended order, it can be one of those times where the sequel is better than the first, and probably one of the only times where the sequel is almost 30 years older than the first...

My rating: 3/5

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