The Thing (2011)

It was only last year that I saw John Carpenter’s 1982 The Thing, and I enjoyed it enough as a tense psychological survival horror movie.  And much like last year’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, this movie serves as a prequel to Carpenter’s movie, but skirting so close to the original that it’s very nearly a remake.  Director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. and writer Eric Heisserer attempt to fill in the details on what happened at the Norwegian camp in Antarctica and well, they achieve middling results.

The action begins when some Norwegians in Antarctica accidentally discover something frozen in the ice.  Dr. Sander Halvorson (Ulrich Thomsen) recruits a paleontologist from America, Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), to help him discover exactly what that something might be.  Then stuff happens that echo the ’82 version, complete with the paranoia and fire.  The humans get picked off one by one, heightening the tension and ending a lot less ambiguously than the original did.  I will recommend that you pay attention during the end credits, because those perfectly tie the two movies together.

It’s not a great movie, but it’s nothing spectacular either, especially if you’ve seen the original.  I’d like to ask fans of the original how they felt about it, as apparently Heijningen and Heisserer were painstakingly faithful to the details of the Norwegian camp discovered in the ’82 version.  I enjoy seeing Winstead in pretty much everything, and it’s also great anytime Joel Edgerton gets work as well, as they’re both talented actors that occasionally elevate movies.  I wonder what I would have given The Thing without those two in it?

2.5 / 5

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About SkoochXC
Long-time blogger, Canadian, cine-snark-aphile, Tweeter and generally lonely hearted guy.

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