Latest Entertainment News Headlines

Review: The Thing

The Thing
Oct. 13, 2011by:
7 10

PLOT: A group of Norwegian scientists and a small handful of Americans discover an alien being in the Antarctic. While getting ready to try and uncover the mysterious beasts origin and history, it escapes from its icy tomb to wreck havoc on the unsuspecting victims. The monster is able to shape shift into the dead, and fool the others until its time to strike. One by one it attacks the living, only to create a frightening animosity towards those left to die. In other words, it is kinda like that John Carpenter movie from 1982.

REVIEW: In 1982, JOHN CARPENTERS THE THING gave audiences faith in the word remake with his horrifying take on the 1951 sci-fi classic THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD. Carpenters scary tale escalated the suspense and the claustrophobic fear of being trapped and not having anybody you can trust. It is to this day one of the best examples of science fiction terror ever put on film. And now, Universal presents a prequel of sorts with THE THING. Yes it has the same name, but this is not Carpenters masterpiece, it is however an exciting horror filled thriller that just cant quite live up to the superior 1982 version.

In the prequel, we are introduced to a couple of Norwegian scientist searching for some kind of signal in the Antarctic. They are moving cautiously through the heavy snow that surrounds them. Soon, they come across what appears to be a spaceship that crashed just below the ice and snow above. Not only is this a great introduction to a dangerous and frightening world, it may be the most thrilling sequence in the film. Yet mere moments after the discovery, director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. returns to familiar ground with not only the atmosphere of Carpenters classic, but the score and look as well.

In many ways, there is little difference between this and Carpenters feature. The isolated men have to decide who to trust and how to go about making those alliances before having their head turn into a giant spider of sorts. Each film has a bit of a slow burn although it seems that the 1982 version spends even more time creating suspense throughout. That is where the two films differ. Nearly twenty or so minutes into THE THING (2011), we witness this beast escape from the ice it was covered in. Once out, there is precious little time spent that doesnt involve this inhuman beast. Carpenters film still pushed the humanistic fears skillfully with a few more layers and a better script.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead stands out as Kate Lloyd, one of the few Americans involved in the discovery. She gives a strong and grounded performance as a graduate student at odds with the man in charge, Dr. Sander Halvorson (Ulrich Thomsen), who only wants her there for her expertise and not for her interference. Once the group comes to the realization that this thing can become any one of them, they are picked off rather quickly. Again, we are faced with the dilemma of who can you trust. The power struggle between Kate and the Dr. and even the other men (with one other woman) involved with the project is just as important as what happens when these poor people are taken over by the alien intruder.

The best thing about Winsteads performance is that she is not used as a sex object. She is not a girl who only runs up the stairs screaming just to narrowly escape the villain. And most importantly while you could call her this films Ripley she doesnt feel like a cheap imitation of Sigourney Weaver in ALIENS or Linda Hamilton in T2. Winstead is a talented actress who keeps the audience invested thanks to her honest performance. It was also nice to see her work with another very talented actor, Joel Edgerton who proved his clout in this years WARRIOR. He is also quite good here as an American pilot.

This modern take on THE THING still conjures up much of what made John Carpenters classic stand out. Thankfully, many of the effects here are practical although it is not without some questionable CGI issues. Yet as much as it tries to connect to Kurt Russell and the gang, you have to question whether this film was necessary at all. However, right after the film ended the idea of going home and checking out part 1 seemed like a good one. Once you see the snow capped frozen land with Marco Beltramis creepy score reminiscent of Ennio Maricones haunting theme from 82, it is clear that the filmmakers at least tried to get this right. Perhaps they were a little closer to making JAWS 2 as opposed to ALIENS, but this is nowhere near the disaster it could have been.

This new take on THE THING is a gripping bit of horror entertainment that should excite audiences for its October release. In fact, it may inspire those who havent seen the 1982 version to make it a double feature of sorts. Either way, this is a well cast, atmospheric piece that rates a hell of a lot better than some of the previous Carpenter remakes Im talking to you THE FOG. Stay for the end credits if you really want to get yourself in the mood for JOHN CARPENTERS THE THING afterward.

Source: JoBlo.com

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

+9
10:29AM on 10/13/2011

Slight correction

The Carpenter film is a remake of Howard Hawks' "The Thing from Another World", not "It Came from Outer Space". That was an entirely different film written by the great Ray Bradbury. Not trying to nitpick, just pointing out a slight error in your review. Good job with the review. Nice to hear this one is worthwhile--I'll be seeing it this weekend.
The Carpenter film is a remake of Howard Hawks' "The Thing from Another World", not "It Came from Outer Space". That was an entirely different film written by the great Ray Bradbury. Not trying to nitpick, just pointing out a slight error in your review. Good job with the review. Nice to hear this one is worthwhile--I'll be seeing it this weekend.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
5:55PM on 10/13/2011
I prefer to think that Carpenter's movie was the first film version of the short story "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell, Jr. It is much more faithful to the source material than the 1951 version (which is also a classic).

Anyone who has not read Campbell's short story should do themselves a favor. Don't let the fact that it was written in 1938 deter you. It is great sci-fi for any era.
I prefer to think that Carpenter's movie was the first film version of the short story "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell, Jr. It is much more faithful to the source material than the 1951 version (which is also a classic).

Anyone who has not read Campbell's short story should do themselves a favor. Don't let the fact that it was written in 1938 deter you. It is great sci-fi for any era.
+8
9:56AM on 10/13/2011

First instinct was 7

Changed it last minute to 6, but yeah, 7 makes more sense to me after sleeping on it.
Changed it last minute to 6, but yeah, 7 makes more sense to me after sleeping on it.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
9:05PM on 10/13/2011

What?

"The best thing about Winsteads performance is that she is not used as a sex object. "

Well, then, I won't be seeing THIS little film . . .
"The best thing about Winsteads performance is that she is not used as a sex object. "

Well, then, I won't be seeing THIS little film . . .
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+6
11:17AM on 10/13/2011
Gald to read that JimmyO liked the flick. This is one flick I've been waiting to see this year, everything I've seen so far I've liked. There really is no need to compare it to the original; people just like to be nostolgic and try to protect something that they preceive to be precious. I'm a huge fan of the orginial and whether this film turned out good or bad it does that damage the legacy of the original. Instead of bashing this film even before seeing it people should go out and watch it
Gald to read that JimmyO liked the flick. This is one flick I've been waiting to see this year, everything I've seen so far I've liked. There really is no need to compare it to the original; people just like to be nostolgic and try to protect something that they preceive to be precious. I'm a huge fan of the orginial and whether this film turned out good or bad it does that damage the legacy of the original. Instead of bashing this film even before seeing it people should go out and watch it cause if it is a a good horror flick, something that hollywood rarely does now adays, it should be supported.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+6
9:54AM on 10/13/2011

For reals

THE FOG was the worst horror remake I've ever seen.
THE FOG was the worst horror remake I've ever seen.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:23PM on 10/13/2011
There is no topping the original, which is, IMO, the greatest horror movie ever. So I am happy to settle for 'good.'

Scott Pilgrim was the movie that sold me that Mary Liz Winstead is the Sigourney Weaver of our day. More than just a genre queen, she has a natural vulnerable confidence. She can be scared without shrinking. You root for her. That she's a tall, tough, beautiful brunette with big eyes only heightens the similarities.

I want Tarantino's next to be whatever cheerleader movie
There is no topping the original, which is, IMO, the greatest horror movie ever. So I am happy to settle for 'good.'

Scott Pilgrim was the movie that sold me that Mary Liz Winstead is the Sigourney Weaver of our day. More than just a genre queen, she has a natural vulnerable confidence. She can be scared without shrinking. You root for her. That she's a tall, tough, beautiful brunette with big eyes only heightens the similarities.

I want Tarantino's next to be whatever cheerleader movie Winstead's character in Death Proof was starring in.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
4:04PM on 10/13/2011

ehhh

It looks way to similar to the original, wish it could stand alone as its own movie
It looks way to similar to the original, wish it could stand alone as its own movie
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
7:52AM on 10/13/2011
Sounds like you enjoyed it, so I was really surprised to see you only gave it a 6, Jimmy. I hope you didn't knock off a point or two just because of the original films existence. One could argue that many good films weren't "necessary." Anyways, good review, man. I'm looking forward to seeing this now. I'm always down for some decent horror.
Sounds like you enjoyed it, so I was really surprised to see you only gave it a 6, Jimmy. I hope you didn't knock off a point or two just because of the original films existence. One could argue that many good films weren't "necessary." Anyways, good review, man. I'm looking forward to seeing this now. I'm always down for some decent horror.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
7:33AM on 10/13/2011
An ideal Halloween night should be this The Thing and John Carpenter's The Thing.
An ideal Halloween night should be this The Thing and John Carpenter's The Thing.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
4:25PM on 10/13/2011
The original was great. Your review makes me want to see it. I do like how you mention the score and the similar things the film resembles in that first sequence. Sometimes the score ends up making the film more entertaining than anything else. Shutter Island was a good movie, but the score made it a fantastic movie.
The original was great. Your review makes me want to see it. I do like how you mention the score and the similar things the film resembles in that first sequence. Sometimes the score ends up making the film more entertaining than anything else. Shutter Island was a good movie, but the score made it a fantastic movie.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:34AM on 10/13/2011

About what I expected

Though Id give this movie an extra point if Kurt Russell somehow shows up in the end. EPIC if that happened!
Though Id give this movie an extra point if Kurt Russell somehow shows up in the end. EPIC if that happened!
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
8:51AM on 10/13/2011
yea i dont get the 6 either. sounds like an 8 to me
yea i dont get the 6 either. sounds like an 8 to me
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
6:39PM on 10/17/2011

It wasn't half bad. Certainly better than any new horror movie I've seen in awhile.

The CG did suck pretty hard though, Yeah a 7 is probably about right.
The CG did suck pretty hard though, Yeah a 7 is probably about right.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+0
9:40PM on 10/13/2011
I'm interested. I don't get all the fuss. This isn't even a remake, it's a prequel. Yes, it is very much like the remake (cause, you know, that's what Carpenter's was), but still, not a remake, a prequel. I don't expect it to hold a candle to Carpenter's, but it seems like it will be fun.
I'm interested. I don't get all the fuss. This isn't even a remake, it's a prequel. Yes, it is very much like the remake (cause, you know, that's what Carpenter's was), but still, not a remake, a prequel. I don't expect it to hold a candle to Carpenter's, but it seems like it will be fun.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
5:30PM on 10/13/2011
Over at Arrow it got a 4/10. Said the effects are mostly CGI and crappy CGI at that. I think I'll follow the review over there and pass on this.
Over at Arrow it got a 4/10. Said the effects are mostly CGI and crappy CGI at that. I think I'll follow the review over there and pass on this.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+0
11:03AM on 10/13/2011
I'll give it a shot, I haven't seen a horror movie in the theater in a while and it's still a little while longer until Paranormal Activity 3.
I'll give it a shot, I haven't seen a horror movie in the theater in a while and it's still a little while longer until Paranormal Activity 3.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
-1
4:59PM on 10/16/2011
My main gripe with this film is it's not enough of it's own movie...remake are remakes for sure- but prequel suggests new territory...but this film is too much carpenter's version...i wish it would have been as different from carpenter's as carpenter's was from the 50's version.
My main gripe with this film is it's not enough of it's own movie...remake are remakes for sure- but prequel suggests new territory...but this film is too much carpenter's version...i wish it would have been as different from carpenter's as carpenter's was from the 50's version.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
4:58PM on 10/13/2011
"you have to question whether this film was necessary at all"....thank you captain obvious, shouldn't that be said for any remake really? I'll wait for DVD tyvm.
"you have to question whether this film was necessary at all"....thank you captain obvious, shouldn't that be said for any remake really? I'll wait for DVD tyvm.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
5:46PM on 10/13/2011
You are right. You could say that about any remake, but you could also do it without abandoning manners. Fuck tact when on the Internet eh Phillip;)
You are right. You could say that about any remake, but you could also do it without abandoning manners. Fuck tact when on the Internet eh Phillip;)
1:13PM on 10/13/2011
Should I take this review seriously? NOPE because it's JimmyO.
Should I take this review seriously? NOPE because it's JimmyO.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:21PM on 10/13/2011
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!
1:30PM on 10/13/2011
JimmyO is one of the best reviewers on this site chump. Far better than the pre-biased reviewing of many other reviewers here.
JimmyO is one of the best reviewers on this site chump. Far better than the pre-biased reviewing of many other reviewers here.
1:57PM on 10/13/2011
Yeah. Sure he is...
Yeah. Sure he is...
4:28PM on 10/13/2011
agreed with DarkElfa - JimmyO is a great reviewer who actually has a UNIQUE opinion and an open mind, unlike many many other reviewers and especially many many many PEOPLE on this website and around the movie universe web.

I can totally trust JimmyO more than most reviewers actually.
agreed with DarkElfa - JimmyO is a great reviewer who actually has a UNIQUE opinion and an open mind, unlike many many other reviewers and especially many many many PEOPLE on this website and around the movie universe web.

I can totally trust JimmyO more than most reviewers actually.
5:44PM on 10/13/2011
Yeah, yeah. Sure...
Yeah, yeah. Sure...
8:10PM on 10/13/2011
lol my point exactly.
lol my point exactly.
5:42AM on 10/14/2011
Wow, yeah, yeah. Okay, sure...
Wow, yeah, yeah. Okay, sure...
12:04AM on 10/15/2011
Example #3456 as to why the Strikebacks have less bearing than the IMDB message boards.
Example #3456 as to why the Strikebacks have less bearing than the IMDB message boards.
-11
10:48AM on 10/14/2011

Wow

I'm laughing at the reviewer, and I'm not alone. Jimmy O gave the Footloose remake a fucking 8/10. I rest my case. LOL.
I'm laughing at the reviewer, and I'm not alone. Jimmy O gave the Footloose remake a fucking 8/10. I rest my case. LOL.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:28PM on 10/14/2011
Really? That's your insult? One day you'll grow up and realize you should like what you like. If people laugh at that it says a whole lot more about them.
Really? That's your insult? One day you'll grow up and realize you should like what you like. If people laugh at that it says a whole lot more about them.
8:05PM on 10/14/2011
Footloose has an average of 72% over at Rotten Tomatoes, so it's more like JimmyO's not alone.
Footloose has an average of 72% over at Rotten Tomatoes, so it's more like JimmyO's not alone.
12:03AM on 10/15/2011
Remind me when you do a review neobob so I can insult your movie tastes accordingly. No wait, I DON'T act like a ten year old so dismiss what I said.
Remind me when you do a review neobob so I can insult your movie tastes accordingly. No wait, I DON'T act like a ten year old so dismiss what I said.
3:25PM on 10/18/2011
Lol. This movie sucks. And so does Jimmy's eyesight if he thought this movie was "gripping horror entertainment." I believe you were confused by the title of the movie Jimmy. That movie you were watching that was gripping was made 30 fucking years ago!
Lol. This movie sucks. And so does Jimmy's eyesight if he thought this movie was "gripping horror entertainment." I believe you were confused by the title of the movie Jimmy. That movie you were watching that was gripping was made 30 fucking years ago!
-11
11:04AM on 10/13/2011
McLane's daughter is gonna "hipika yay motherf*cker" that THING
McLane's daughter is gonna "hipika yay motherf*cker" that THING
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
4:34PM on 10/13/2011
FAIL
FAIL
10:40AM on 10/13/2011

This movie blows...

I like how on arrows page it gets a 4/10 and here its a 7/10...

This movie sucks. I knew this movie would be horrible. I bet it would have been watchable if they kept the practical effects and stayed away from CGI. Also, the casting was awful. As you said, Olsen is actually decent as a comedic relief character but having him play the straight man was a horrible choice. This movie had no balls like the original did.
I like how on arrows page it gets a 4/10 and here its a 7/10...

This movie sucks. I knew this movie would be horrible. I bet it would have been watchable if they kept the practical effects and stayed away from CGI. Also, the casting was awful. As you said, Olsen is actually decent as a comedic relief character but having him play the straight man was a horrible choice. This movie had no balls like the original did.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:48PM on 10/13/2011
So you saw this movie then? I don't know if it will be good or not until i see it regardless of what any reviewers say about it.
So you saw this movie then? I don't know if it will be good or not until i see it regardless of what any reviewers say about it.
-16
10:17AM on 10/13/2011
Please spoil the ending after the credits for me. I will not go see this. Love the original too much.
Please spoil the ending after the credits for me. I will not go see this. Love the original too much.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
4:28PM on 10/13/2011
what? I LOVE the original but that's WHY I want to see this...
what? I LOVE the original but that's WHY I want to see this...
5:33PM on 10/13/2011
I have a feeling it involves dog.
I have a feeling it involves dog.
5:44PM on 10/13/2011
Meh. "I will not go see this. Love the original too much."

That's like saying you wouldn't go see Star Wars: Episode I because you loved IV-VI so much. OK..maybe that's not the best comparison.
Meh. "I will not go see this. Love the original too much."

That's like saying you wouldn't go see Star Wars: Episode I because you loved IV-VI so much. OK..maybe that's not the best comparison.
9:20PM on 10/13/2011
I slap all you young douches. Especially you Rokk. What an idiotic statement.
I slap all you young douches. Especially you Rokk. What an idiotic statement.
2:05PM on 10/11/2013
"What an idiotic statement."

You won't go see the prequel because you loved the original too much. And I'm the idiot. This is what happens when people go off their prescribed medication.
"What an idiotic statement."

You won't go see the prequel because you loved the original too much. And I'm the idiot. This is what happens when people go off their prescribed medication.
View All Comments

Latest Entertainment News Headlines


Top
Loading...
JoBlo's T-Shirt Shoppe | support our site... Wear Our Gear!