So after grinding my teeth after first hearing that some mad fool was going to remake one my all time favorite movies THE THING I was pushed by sheer curiosity to go see the film. What had first been said to be a remake was in fact a prequel to the seminal Carpenter film, something not necessarily needed but nonetheless intriguing.
For those who may not have seen the movie or who are forgetful, in THE THING two characters from the American base head over to see what happened to a neighboring Norwegian science base after two of the ‘Swedes’ (as Mac calls them) cause some chaos at the American base. What the two find at the Norwegian base is a massacre and a destroyed camp…and a thing. This prequel is the story of that other camp.
Now a lot of the horror nerds out there are up in arms that someone DARED to make a prequel to this hallowed classic…despite the fact that Carpenter’s was a remake of another revered classic and both are adaptations of a short story. So, I mean, this is one of my fave movies we’re talking here but cripes, get over it.
It’s a movie.
The days when I was shocked and outraged at Hollywood, or moviemakers in general, for their lack of new ideas are long gone. Make a good movie and I am with you. Life is too darn short to freak out over stuff like that. I mean, it’s part of the fun of being a nerd, and I am all in for that sort of banter, but sometimes ya just gotta get over it.
So is THE THING -2011 any good?
Yeah, it is, actually.
It’s not the same movie as the original, and while it has similar beats to it and goes to pains to tie into the Carpenter film but it is its own beast. The biggest complaints I had were that there’s something that happens that isn’t really explained or referenced afterwards (cut perhaps), and some of the monster effects are really CGI-looking. And I am not upset that they used CGI. They didn’t do it in the original because the tech wasn’t there then. It’s probably simpler and less money to do CGI than physical effects now. Do I prefer physical effects? HECK YEAH! They just don’t do them a lot these days and I have seen a LOT of bad physical effects in my day too so they are not the be all end all that the old schoolers like to tell you. Much like the ’80’s were not this safe haven for great horror. Puhhhhhhhhlease!
THE THING – 2011 is not a great film but it’s a fun, solid film and offers a lot of good surprises. There are some faults for sure but overall I liked the heck out of it. And ya know what, it was just what I needed right now – a solid monster movie, and on that end, it delivers.
7.5 out of 10
(original is a 9, so ya know)