Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Film Review: THE THING (2011)

The Thing - poster Director: Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.
Writers: Eric Heisserer, John W. Campbell Jr. (short story "Who Goes There?")
Running time: 99 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

Genre: Horror/Mystery/Sci-Fi
UK Release date: 2nd December 2011

Watched on Sky+ Monday 15th October 2012.


I remember with great affection John Carpenter’s 1982 classic, The Thing. For me, it’s one of the very best Sci-Fi/Horror films and when I heard they were making a prequel I was excited. It got released and was less than warmly received and so I decided to give it a miss until it turned up on TV. Since I'm writing this you can probably guess it turned up on TV. I’ll save my comments for the end; here’s a very brief summary first.

The Thing - 1 A group of Norwegian scientists discover an alien spacecraft buried under the Antarctic ice. They also discover the remains of a survivor. They bring in American scientist Kate Lloyd to aid with the investigation. The alien is dug up in a solid block of ice and taken back to their base and before long it has broken free of the ice surrounding it and has begun to wreak havoc around the base. This creature is special; it can mimic any organic being and so the crew don’t know who, or even what, they can trust. I’ll leave it there or the Spoiler Police (Antarctic Division) will be sending me to tidy up the base (again).

The Thing - 6 Pretty well made with some nice CGI taking the place of the physical effects used in the Carpenter film. The performances were all ok with nobody particularly standing out. So honourable mentions go to; Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Kate Lloyd, Joel Edgerton as Sam Carter, Ulrich Thomsen as Dr. Sander Halvorson, Eric Christian Olsen as Adam Finch, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Derek Jameson, Paul Braunstein as Griggs, Trond Espen Seim as Edvard Wolner, Kim Bubbs as Juliette and Jørgen Langhelle as Lars.

The Thing - 3 The main problem with this film is that it does nothing John Carpenter’s film didn’t do. Aside from some quite graphic CGI and a pretty good sequence inside the alien spacecraft, it had very little else to offer. It’s a shame really because I was expecting more. There is very little character development so you don’t really care who might not be human at any moment. There’s lots of action with little substance I’m afraid and so it doesn’t get my seal of approval I’m afraid. So why 5.5? Well I did like the sequence inside the spacecraft, the CGI was pretty good and I did like the way the ending tied in with the beginning of John Carpenter’s film.

SteelMonster’s verdict: NOT RECOMMENDED (Particularly if you’ve seen John Carpenter’s film ‘The Thing’ (1982))

My score: 5.5/10

IMDb Score: 6.3/10 (based on 50,502 votes at the time of going to press).

MetaScore: 49/100: (Based on 31 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).

The Thing - 10 Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 36/100 (based on 158 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 43/100 ‘Liked it’ (based on 35,586 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).

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[first lines]
Peder: [In Norwegian] Okay, I've got another one. A good one. A man and woman are making love one night when their young boy walks in.

Adam Finch: In the three years that I have known him, this is the most excited I have ever seen him.

The Thing - 5 Sam Carter: And the last place you want to be is cooped up with a dozen of Norwegian guys.

Adam Finch: You know, I never believed in this shit.
Jonas: I always did.

Colin: You think they're gonna pay a bonus for bringing home an alien instead of core samples?

Lars: [to Matias] That's not a dog! Start the helicopter now!
[both get into helicopter]
Lars: Get it up now! Come on!

The Thing - 9 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site: http://www.universalstudiosentertainment.com/thing-the-2011/

1 comment:

leeloo1967 said...

Chilling review Andy;)
Ive seen Carpenter's film which I must admit I didnt like it because I felt it was too graphic but it did scared the crap out of me. So over the years Ive began to appreciate it for what it is. A great sci-fi horror film. Now Ive seen this new one & I completely agree with your review. Great CGI & I really liked how the ending tied into Carpenter's film too