Quick Shot: The Thing (2011)
Directed by: Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.
I held off on watching this for as long as I could. Seriously, I avoided it like the fucking plague. For me, it just seemed ridiculous to think that anybody could top John Carpenter's version. I mean, seriously! You just can't touch it! For me, John Carpenter's The Thing still represents the best that 80's horror and practical effects has to offer. So then comes word almost 30 years later that they will attempt a reboot, prequel, sequel or whatever the hell you wanna call it. I don't think they ever actually clearly defined what this was supposed to be. But yea, fanboys all over the world were in disbelief, including me, and so I just made it a point to avoid this for as long as I could. But then the other day I was looking for something to watch and had this in my possession, don't ask me how, and thought "what the hell?". So here we go.
I'll be honest and give you the lowdown right up front. This wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting it to be. It's not great, but I didn't hate it like I wanted to. Because I really, really wanted to. First of all, it looks great. Beautifully shot with a decent ensemble cast. And despite the use of CGI, there is a nice amount of practical physical effects too. What I didn't like is the excessive use of CGI (yea I know it's cheaper to do it that way), Mary Elizabeth Winstead in the lead, and not ever knowing until the very end what the hell this is supposed to be. I'll just tell you. It's a "prequel". Though for 90% of the film it feels like a direct remake. I'm telling you, it seriously does. Yea there are changes here and there as you would expect from a remake, but man this looked and felt like an identical remake of Carpenter's 1982 version and I just could not shake that feeling the entire time I was watching this. Not until the very end is it made abundantly clear that this is a prequel with events leading right up to the opening sequence of The Thing (1982). So there, now we all know.
But you know, it was a decent flick. I had moderate fun with it and all the actors did there best. There was some nice suspense, good effects (just too much digital), some interesting gore sequences, and I liked the overall look of it. The first time director here gives it all a nice clean, streamlined look, and integrates some of the bigger special effects well. The ending even surprised me a bit, which says something I guess. All in all, not a bad film. My main thing is that it just felt "needless", much like the A Nightmare on Elm Street remake. There just felt no need for this to be made at all.