Review | The Thing
Released December 2nd 2011 | ★★
As the prequel to the cult John Carpenter horror, the confusingly titled The Thing has a lot to live up to. Set before the events of the 1982 movie, The Thing focuses on the discovery and subsequent escape of the titular creature from a block of ice in Antarctica and its reign of terror over the very research team that discovered it.
As a huge fan of the 1982 version, I knew I would be constantly using it as a comparison to this film all the way through so I apologise if you haven’t seen it or aren’t a fan. If this were a truly faithful prequel, the alien should have a tendency to strike only when alone with another person and then will try to take the whole group over slowly by hiding amongst them. The fact that the creature does anything but this is what first disappointed me. The creature in this prequel outright attacks people and at one point takes out several people at the same time. The Thing is meant to be vulnerable when out in the open and more dangerous in enclosed spaces, the research base for instance.
All this prequel seems to do it show the creature far too much. The effectiveness of the 1982 version was the mystery. The viewer never really knew who had been taken over by the thing until it felt threatened. What we’re given here is a creature that cares little about hiding away in the group and shows itself whenever it can, causing the humans around it to defend themselves with whatever weapons they have at hand. What worked so well in John Carpenter’s version is completely disregarded here. I can’t help but feel if less time was put into littering the film with endless references to the 1982 film, maybe the feeling of that film could have been more effectively replicated.
If you haven’t seen John Carpenter’s far superior The Thing, I would desperately urge you to watch it first, or instead, as it is vastly superior in literally every way.