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The Thing (2011) Review

The Thing Movie Review

 

  This is the third film to spring forth from the John Campbell short story, "Who Goes There?" The first being the classic 1951 film The Thing from Another World. The second movie was a remake/reboot done in 1982 by John Carpenter and was simply titled "The Thing".

 

Yes/No The Thing

One of these things is a horrid abomination; the other two are horror films.

 

  This brings us to the 2011 movie that is a prequel to the 1982 John Carpenter film of the same name and follows the people and events that led to the destruction of the Norwegian research station that MacReady (Kurt Russell) and Doctor Copper (Richard Dysart) visited in the John Carpenter film.

 

  The movie opens with a Norwegian science team in Antarctica in 1982. They are trying to trace the source of a mysterious radio signal, when their small vehicle breaks through the ice and nearly plummets into a cavern. What they discover is the find of a lifetime, an alien spacecraft buried deep beneath the ice for the last 100,000 thousand years.

 

   Our protagonist Paleontologists Dr. Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is recruited by her old friend and colleague Adam Goodman (Eric Christian Olsen) and his boss Dr. Sander Halvorson (Ulrich Thomsen) to join the team when they find an alien specimen within the ice not far from the spacecraft.

 

  The team cut out a huge block of ice that contains the specimen and takes it back to Thule research station. Against Kate's advice the team drills a hole in the block of ice to take a tissue sample of the alien.

 

  All seems to be going well until later that evening, as the ice slowly melts the alien specimen that they believed to be dead for thousands of years, awakens and breaks free from the ice.

 

  The scientists begin a search of Thule station for the alien when two members of the team are attacked. They discover to their horror that the alien is eating one of their team members and open fire.

 

  Later that night the alien's body is brought back inside the research station so that they can perform an autopsy. The team discovers that the alien was not only eating but also absorbing their teammate. Kate learns that the alien cells attack other cells and mimic them in form. She begins to believe that not everyone at Thule Station is still human.

 

Spore or Thing?

Is this a new DLC for Spore? Or a scene from The Thing?

 

  The Thing movies revolve around the atmosphere and themes of isolation, trust, and paranoia. With a killer alien who can become or mimic any animal or human, who can you really trust?

 

  Both movies do an excellent job of making you feel the isolation and hopelessness of the people involved. This allows the later extreme actions and slowly degrading mental state of the team members to be believable.

 

  Unlike just about every other horror movie made in the last twenty years, the characters in this movie (with two minor exceptions) are very likeable. I could see myself hanging out with the majority of the Norwegian team. This makes the loss of several characters much more personal and sad later on in the film. It was such a very nice change of pace from what I was used too.

 

Standard Issue demotivational poster

Antarctic scientists take making smores extremely serious.

 

  I highly recommend viewing both of these movies back to back. The 2011 version flows very nicely right into the 1982 version. Be forewarned the special effects of the 1982 version have not aged well over the years but the atmosphere and creepy factor is still there.

 

  It was quite obvious to me that a lot of love and care was put into this film. I found it almost shocking how well the Thule research station matched up to what we saw in the 1982 version when we saw MacReady and Dr. Copper visit the site. So much attention to detail made this one of the best prequels I have ever seen.

 

  The biggest mistake that I could find between the two films was in the facial markings of the husky. With so much attention to detail put into all of the other l scenes in the film, I was a little shocked at how different the two dogs looked. Maybe it would have been a bit extreme to dye the huskies hair, but they could have at least looked for a dog with closer markings. Then again maybe I only noticed because I have a husky of my own.

 

Huskie 1982 vs 2011

One of these things is not like the other.

 

  This is one of those movies that you will want to stay for the credits as you get a little bonus scene that leads directly and pretty seamlessly into the 1982 film.

 

  Final verdict for The Thing (2011) 7.5/10 A nice prequel to the 1982 John Carpenter film of the same name. Go see this one in the theater and rent the 1982 version on Blu-ray/DVD to watch right afterward for a very nice experience.

 

 ~Professor

 

 

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