I am not really supposed to write a review on this “THING”, but just out of huge respect that I have for the original John Carpenter movie, I am writing it. So, here we go…
The story now is a prequel to the original film, and in the center of it we have young science student Kate Lloyd (the wonderful Mary Elizabeth Winstead) going to a remote Antarctica research site to help “dig deeper” in a discovery that was made by the Norwegian researchers there.
Turns out, the Norwegians found an alien life form, that is alive, and it’s hungry too, so our heroes will now have to save their butts, instead of doing research, and one of the many obstacles they have – is that the alien replicates people, making it hard to realize who’s who…
Although film’s trivia states, that the producers convinced Universal Studios to allow them to create a prequel to the original film (and yes, there are elements in the prequel that lead straight to John Carpenter’s 1982 film), it still looks like a remake to me.
Nonetheless, we will treat it as a prequel, but still, I feel there’s a need for at least a couple of comparisons.
Acting & Characters: “Thing 1982” had MacReady – tough, cool looking, a leader. “Thing 2011” has Kate Lloyd – an unlikely leader (which changes later), sexy, a solid female lead. Point for each film. (1-1)
The Thing itself… – The 1982 film, as far as I know, had all the special effects done by hand, thanks to Rob Bottin. The prequel has…well, CGI. Yes, very good CGI, probably as good as it can be, but its still not real. Effects of the original movie looked way more realistic. The “1982 Thing” gets a point here. (2-1)
Fear factor – I’ve always loved the original movie (among other reasons) for one thing – The alien does not have its own shape…throughout the whole film we never see the “original shape” of the alien form, we only see mutations, replicas, and that’s what made it scary. The prequel shows us the actual shape of the alien, which to me, was like “opening a box of candies” – there was no secret anymore, the only thing that’s left is how the alien form replicates people. The magic of the “unknown shape” was lost. Original gets one more point. (3-1)
Talking $$$ – The original “Thing” had, from what I know, a much lesser budget than the prequel, and it somewhat stood the test of time (special effects still look great, even today), and the prequel relies heavily on CGI. Original gets another point, and the fight is over. (4-1)
A better comparison (personal opinion): Original “Thing” is – something or someone, that comes out of nowhere, from some dark corner on the street, and sucker punches you… Prequel is – your official boxing match, where you see who’s your opponent, and lots of people watching you either go down, or triumph.
The “Thing” of 2011 is a movie for the masses, which tries to stick as close to the original film as possible, and on a technical level its great (with all the CGI).
But it doesn’t give you that feeling the original movie did. So, if you liked the original movie, watch this one, its worth it. But, the original was still better.
BZFILM SCALE: 7/10
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