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The Thing premake (2011)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.

Starring:
Mary Elizabeth Winstead/Kate
Joel Edgerton/Carter
Ulrich Thomsen/Dr. Sander
Eric Christian Olsen/Adam
PLOT-CRUNCH
Peeps at a research site in Antarctica find an alien space craft and its out of this world survivor trapped in ice. They bring it back to base, it thaws out and all CGI hell breaks loose.
THE LOWDOWN
I wish I could have been there during the board meeting for THE THING (2011) which is not a remake of THE THING (1982) or so we're told, it's a prequel with the same plot line, a similar chain of events and the same title. It must have gone something like this:“I got a great idea! We want to remake The Thing! But... let's do it this way "snort, snort"! Since what happened in the Norwegian camp in the first film must have been pretty much the same thing that happened to the Yanks, we can do the same shite the original did and get away with it! We'll call it THE THING so we get the name recognition factor on our side, we won't scare off the new audience and by saying it's a prequel instead of a remake, we won't alienate the hardcore fans of the original either. "Snort, snort". It's genius! A recipe that can't fail! Give me another line of coke man!” Well it does fail if you then go on to make an average, cookie-cutter film out of it. Come on man...

Now I will TRY to not spend the bulk of this drivel comparing this Whopper premake to the Sirloin steak original. We all know the OG is better, we knew it before this one was even shot. What I will do is take it as a movie on its own as much as I can. THE THING “PREQUEL” started promisingly enough: a discovery is made, a team is assembled and it's research time! Up to that point the flick had me, it was taking its time to build up its situation, dread was in the air and I couldn't wait for Pop Goes The Thing and the madness to begin! Character wise; although I didn't have much to hold on to (the character development was nil, think types) Mary Elizabeth Winstead did her best with the little she had and looked pretty even when uglied up. On his end Ulrich Thomsen did the smug scientist thang to a T and Joel Edgerton's beard challenged MacReady's face hair in the macho department. Granted, the players were just there, there was nothing stand out about them, chemistry was on the low jive, hence lessening the impact of the situation but at least all of the performances were adequate (Edgerton is one charismatic mofo, the camera loves him). They sold the affair, so I had that. NOTE: Was it me or did Mary Elizabeth Winstead maybe look too young for the role? I kept waiting for her to break out into a cheerleader routine for some reason; maybe it was the blue-balls thinking. END OF NOTE.

So all was fine and dandy, until The Thing was finally revealed and for me, that's where it all went to the shitter. The alien was mostly communicated via CGI (some of the effects were practical with CG enhancements so thick that you didn't see the practical anymore) and to put it bluntly, it looked f*cking stupid. Where the original had wild designs and unsettling practical effects to communicate them, here we had wild designs, that echoed the ones found in the OG but that alas looked fairly cockamamy in CGI form. I giggled like a schoolgirl sniffing glue a couple of times when I was supposed to be horrified. Not good. So if I take THE THING (1982) into account, this one couldn't spit shine its freaking shoes effects wise (even the dated ones). If I look at it by itself, THE THING 2011 was another generic, CGI monster that smashed into shit, didn't look real, that rawred a lot and to make matters worse, was often goofy looking. I kept hoping they'd use the Thing's mimic M.O. within creative and daring scenarios that would result in unique set pieces - they didn't. Bigger tentacles doesn't always mean better horror! PS: For some reason, I kept thinking of SPECIES 2 every time The Thing surfaced to party poop; talk amongst yourselves. Directing wise, it was serviceable, the film looked sleek, we had some pretty cinematography, nothing more, nothing less. Now, I wasn't expecting to be scared here (they did try with some BOO type stuff that fell flat on its sack) but I did hope for suspense and creepiness; which I didn't get. Hard to nail that when you have waif thin characters you don't care about and a monster that comes off as an inebriated and bumbling oaf more often than none.

So to be honest, I watched the last hour in a mostly uninvolved manner, nothing grabbed me! By the numbers, soulless, lets repeat scenes from the 1982 flick but do them different (Looking for tooth fillings eh? Really! Meh...), generic to the core. Thankfully; my smile came back during the end credits of all places; as yes they gave us some goodies that led into the opening of the original. Overall; I didn't hate THE THING PREMAKE, but I didn't care for it either, it came, happened, randomly made me laugh, didn't sucker punch me, oh look some cool gore and then it went. Like dust... in the wind...
GORE
We get folks stabbed by tentacles, The Thing liked to split open in human form to vomit all kinds of shite, some blood and gun shot wounds.
T & A
Even with two dames in tow, NO! The Thing, not horny!
BOTTOM LINE
I got more out of the 2002 THE THING SEQUEL video game than this premake. THE THING (2011) couldn't mimic what the original did so well in terms of endearing characters, startling special effects and an oppressing mood that crept under your skin. Its bland characters, punch-drunk monster, see through chain of events and lack of tension made sure of that. I was in “detached watch mode" after the first half hour, yes that sucked for me. On that; it moved at an able pace, had likable actors, some of the gore was swell, it was polished visually and the end credit nod to Carpenter's movie was pretty cool. I think (and I may be wrong) that folks who didn't see THE THING (1982) will dig it more than those who did. Maybe it will be less predictable to them. In closing, I can see it making for an okay watch on a lazy Sunday afternoon, so I'd wait for the disk release if I were you. Can't wait to watch THE THING (1982) again this Halloween!
BULL'S EYE
I thought they should have called the movie Some"thing". :)

Yes they occasionally used the bass notes from Ennio Morricone's score from the original.

No we don't see MacReady and Childs get rescued here.

The interiors were shot in Ontario, Canada. The exteriors were shot in British Columbia, Canada.
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2:05PM on 01/31/2012

I thought it was pretty good.

I know this part prequel-part remake of this new version of "The Thing". The reaction has been mixed so far.

I watched it last night. I thought it was extremely well made movie. True, some of the CGI effects were cartoonist at times. Some of the CGI effects were impressive. But i was more impressive with the practical effects on the movie.

My only main problem with this movie, it came so dangerously close remaking John Carpenter's 1982 cult classic of the same name. I felt some of the
I know this part prequel-part remake of this new version of "The Thing". The reaction has been mixed so far.

I watched it last night. I thought it was extremely well made movie. True, some of the CGI effects were cartoonist at times. Some of the CGI effects were impressive. But i was more impressive with the practical effects on the movie.

My only main problem with this movie, it came so dangerously close remaking John Carpenter's 1982 cult classic of the same name. I felt some of the characters situation or scenes of dialogue were too close.

Overall, i thought it was well done and the cast was surprisingly good. This remake-prequel is certainly clever, it has some good touches that touches Carpenter's movie and especially during the beginning of the end credits is one of the best things of the movie.

"The Thing" is certainly flawed but fans of Carpenter's movie will enjoy this movie more than others.
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+0
9:41AM on 01/11/2012
I know I'm flogging a dead horse here, but I'm going to say it anyway. And since I think this is particularly important for this genre, I'm going to spell it out in syllables...

FUCK. C. G. I. PRAC. TIC. AL. EFF. ECTS. PLEASE!!!!!

Also, there are good actors in this movie (including M.E.W. who is a fine actress as well as being hotter than chillis on a barbecue in hell) but they are all wasted here because the entire concept is a waste. I don't mind remakes if they bring something
I know I'm flogging a dead horse here, but I'm going to say it anyway. And since I think this is particularly important for this genre, I'm going to spell it out in syllables...

FUCK. C. G. I. PRAC. TIC. AL. EFF. ECTS. PLEASE!!!!!

Also, there are good actors in this movie (including M.E.W. who is a fine actress as well as being hotter than chillis on a barbecue in hell) but they are all wasted here because the entire concept is a waste. I don't mind remakes if they bring something interesting and new (or even prequels if they are done intelligently) but the "Premake" is just a sneaky way of allowing people to get away with the laziest possible kind of filmmaking.
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12:41AM on 10/24/2011

Not Fair to Compare !

The Thing (2011)...Not a great movie, but, not a bad one either - - - So, read between the lines.
The Thing (2011)...Not a great movie, but, not a bad one either - - - So, read between the lines.
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7:42PM on 10/18/2011
There can't be too much else said about this film that already hasnt been said. I usually try to remain subjective and give a film the benefit of the doubt ( I felt that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and A Nightmare on Elm Street remakes were pretty good for what they were.)But this one falls flat on so many levels it almost comical. Boring, uninspired characters, unbelieveably crappy CGI (Where the hell were these so-called practical effects?! oh yeah, hidden behind bad CGI!), and a nightmare
There can't be too much else said about this film that already hasnt been said. I usually try to remain subjective and give a film the benefit of the doubt ( I felt that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and A Nightmare on Elm Street remakes were pretty good for what they were.)But this one falls flat on so many levels it almost comical. Boring, uninspired characters, unbelieveably crappy CGI (Where the hell were these so-called practical effects?! oh yeah, hidden behind bad CGI!), and a nightmare inducing (and not the good kind.) third act had me pissed off way before the lights in the theater went up. It also felt very rushed to me. You have all these cardboard characters, and all of a sudden they're all dead within a few minutes of each other. The script definitely could have done without so many characters. They were just filler. Now I will give credit where it's due, the creature designs were really good, and I can only imagine how much better the film would have been if they used practical effects with todays technology. I would have been blown away. All in all, the film lacked on almost every level. I thing the creature missed Carpenter as much as I did...
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4:58PM on 10/17/2011

to gyro_44

Yea, you're right. That was kinda harsh. I will edit it and if JETBLAC has already read it I apologize.
Yea, you're right. That was kinda harsh. I will edit it and if JETBLAC has already read it I apologize.
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+0
1:28PM on 10/17/2011

TO MONSTERZERONJ

The guy wasn't "shooting his mouth off", he was giving his review on the movie. Just because he didn't mention the 1951 film doesn't mean he is not aware of it. No need to post again just to insult him.

I liked it. I am a big fan of Carpenter's film, and had figured this movie was never going to match up, which of course it didn't. But I had a fair bit of fun with it. The creature effects were too CGI-laden in a two or three parts (especially when the thing was running around in tentacled
The guy wasn't "shooting his mouth off", he was giving his review on the movie. Just because he didn't mention the 1951 film doesn't mean he is not aware of it. No need to post again just to insult him.

I liked it. I am a big fan of Carpenter's film, and had figured this movie was never going to match up, which of course it didn't. But I had a fair bit of fun with it. The creature effects were too CGI-laden in a two or three parts (especially when the thing was running around in tentacled masses), but for the most part I really liked the effects and I felt they honored the designs and imagination of Rob Bottin's effects. One creature late in the film was awesomely creepy I thought, and made for one moment that was just plain horrifying. I loved it.

I felt the most it was like Carpenter's film was during the middle act, which for me was suspenseful and well played-out. The whole movie was less psychological than the '82 version, and less effective... too many of the characters (the majority) were worthless and there were some obvious moments. Nonentheless, I enjoyed it as a monster flick and Winstead was solid.
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10:35AM on 10/16/2011
I considerably lowered my expectations going into this film. It turned out to be slightly better than I expected. I caught myself actually enjoying the chase scenes and most of the action sequences. However, the CG effects were completely over-the-top! The creatures were way too over-exposed to make it scary or suspenseful. The film lost me near the end when they entered the spaceship. It was too much. Mary Elizabeth Winstead was fun to watch, but the dialogue was lacking, especially for the
I considerably lowered my expectations going into this film. It turned out to be slightly better than I expected. I caught myself actually enjoying the chase scenes and most of the action sequences. However, the CG effects were completely over-the-top! The creatures were way too over-exposed to make it scary or suspenseful. The film lost me near the end when they entered the spaceship. It was too much. Mary Elizabeth Winstead was fun to watch, but the dialogue was lacking, especially for the rest of the cast. So many underdeveloped characters! Overall, it was a decent viewing, but I definitely won't be picking this one up on DVD.
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10:18PM on 10/15/2011

TO jetblac

@jetblac...Not sure you've seen it more then anyone here...I saw Carpenter's The Thing 3 times in the theater alone the summer of 1982 when it played. Were you even born yet? Glad you recognize a classic. I loved it despite the bad reviews it got in 82 and they were far worse then the reviews the prequel's getting now.
@jetblac...Not sure you've seen it more then anyone here...I saw Carpenter's The Thing 3 times in the theater alone the summer of 1982 when it played. Were you even born yet? Glad you recognize a classic. I loved it despite the bad reviews it got in 82 and they were far worse then the reviews the prequel's getting now.
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8:18PM on 10/15/2011

I loved it

I am going to say that no one here can say they saw John Carpenter's The Thing more than me, or my sister. We LOVED the prequel. If you could watch these movies edited together and not realize it is two seperate movies. Okay sure the CGI is not what Carpenter did, but it did not bother me for a second. It looked, felt, sounded, and had the nuance of the original. Don't let these nay sayers convince you other wise, If you are a fan of the original, This movie is what you have been waiting for.
I am going to say that no one here can say they saw John Carpenter's The Thing more than me, or my sister. We LOVED the prequel. If you could watch these movies edited together and not realize it is two seperate movies. Okay sure the CGI is not what Carpenter did, but it did not bother me for a second. It looked, felt, sounded, and had the nuance of the original. Don't let these nay sayers convince you other wise, If you are a fan of the original, This movie is what you have been waiting for. Go see it, because it is an awesome movie and a credit to the original.
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11:12PM on 10/14/2011

Not that Bad

I thought as a whole the film was pretty good. Not great but good. I mean how do you make any kind of sequal/prequal/remake of one of the greatest horror films ever?

I thought it did a good job of showing us how things got the way they did at the Norway camp. I actually liked some of the namless not much character cast. I thought the first 45 to 60 min was pretty fun.

Then the Alien ship stuff came which was all bad. The CGI was pretty crappy and should have been kept in the dark and not
I thought as a whole the film was pretty good. Not great but good. I mean how do you make any kind of sequal/prequal/remake of one of the greatest horror films ever?

I thought it did a good job of showing us how things got the way they did at the Norway camp. I actually liked some of the namless not much character cast. I thought the first 45 to 60 min was pretty fun.

Then the Alien ship stuff came which was all bad. The CGI was pretty crappy and should have been kept in the dark and not under bright lights.

But as a whole this films story was exactly as I expected. Not sure why many are complaining about it being so close to the original story. I alsways figured that the same stuff happened at the Norway camp that happened at the US camp. It could have tried to be a little more original and not had the blood test scene but if it strayed to much it wouldnt be THE THING.

Overall I thought the film could have been better but man it could have been a lot worse.
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3:21PM on 10/14/2011

Meh

John Carpenter's The Thing is one of my all time favorite movies. It's a classic and arguably Carpenter's masterpiece. So, I felt it was only fair to try and view this film on it's own merits as much as possible. But, ultimately, since it's trying to be part of that film's story, you kinda have to and my mind constantly made comparisons all throughout. So here goes... 2011's The Thing takes place in the Norwegian camp that is seen briefly in Carpenter's film in smoldering ruins. It details
John Carpenter's The Thing is one of my all time favorite movies. It's a classic and arguably Carpenter's masterpiece. So, I felt it was only fair to try and view this film on it's own merits as much as possible. But, ultimately, since it's trying to be part of that film's story, you kinda have to and my mind constantly made comparisons all throughout. So here goes... 2011's The Thing takes place in the Norwegian camp that is seen briefly in Carpenter's film in smoldering ruins. It details their finding of the alien ship and it's passenger in the ice and it's subsequent escape and infiltration of the camp and assimilation of various members. The Norwegians are joined by some American's including Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Paleontologist Kate Lloyd and Joel Edgerton as a helicopter pilot. The rest are interchangeable and generic characters that serve mostly as body count. Only Winstead really tries to make Kate a more rounded character but, she isn't given much to do but look concerned or scared or both. And this is where the Thing fails to assimilate the 1982 perfectly as it's title creature would. Director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. fails to generate even the slightest amount of suspense or dread. He directs his "prequel" extremely by the numbers and at no time do we care. There's none of the tension Carpenter built during his film even though the situation is basically the same. And even in similar sequences, he generates none of what made 82's a classic. Even if he had tried to craft a film that was more it's own "Thing" he still doesn't have the directing chops to pull it off. And he doesn't get much out of his actors either. They pretty much all perform on 'paycheck' levels. None of them really seem like they want to be there. Well at least there should be some cool monster stuff, right? Wrong. All this talk of practical effects is nonsense as 90% of what we see is CGI and it's only a few levels about your average SYFY movie. So, even the monster evokes no emotion because, it looks like what it is, phoney. And to be honest, the designs lacked the impact of Rob Bottin's now legendary work. Even at their weakest moments, Bottin's creature transformations generated awe or disgust. And we are never given any more information about the creature then we already know from Thing '82. They totally blow the opportunity to add to the creature's mythos. I'll admit, there were a few scenes I liked especially toward the end where the camp is thrown into all out combat with out computer generated invader. I think Winstead is capable of strong roles and too bad she's wasn't given stronger stuff till the last act. The end credits nod to the Carpenter flick is the best stuff in the flick. At least the lead in stuff worked. In conclusion, I didn't hate this flick but, find little to recommend. Had I rented this from Netflix and popped it in the blu-ray player with a few beers, I might not mind it as much. But, to paraphrase, when this "Thing" imitated Carpenter's, it forgot the most important part... the balls.
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