The 2011 movie prequel The Thing, has exactly the same name as it’s sequel, The Thing that was originally released in 1982, and the name is the only thing that is similar about the two movies. Being a prequel the 2011 The Thing is set at the Norwegian and American Antarctica team that are mentioned by the American Antarctic research team that star in the 1982 film, confusing isn’t it!
We start the movie seeing palaeontologist Kate Lloyd played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead who finds herself getting recruited by Dr. Sander Halvorson, played by Ulrich Thomsen and is the team leader on the scientific research team in the Antarctic. Lloyd only knows she’s being flown out to help pull a life form from the ice, that was found near to a extra terrestrial ship buried deep under the ice.
Once things start to go awry, panic and confusion sets in with the Norwegian and American team, struggling to survive and never sure of who they can trust.
I’m a massive fan of the original movie and of John Carpenter in general, he creates tense movies that have bucket loads of atmosphere, and The Thing is probably my favourite movie of his. It has the remote location in Antarctica, it has build-up, pressure and lots of great action scenes that literally have you on the edge of your seat willing the characters to do something. It was only at the end of the original that The Thing 1982 movie tailed off a bit, but you can read the review of it here.
The 2011 prequel is very similar to the 1982 movie, and I personally think this is a great choice. The new movie has an almost identical visual tone and style, its only the direction from Matthijs van Heijningen Jr, which is great, but he’s just not as good as Carpenter yet at building up the suspense and tension required from this kind of movie.
The Thing is still creepy and a little bit twisted, but the whole internal struggle with the group when things go bad just aren’t focused on enough here, and they don’t work as well as the original. Regardless this 2011 movie was seriously fun and I still enjoyed it, it doesn’t taint the memory of the original but it doesn’t move anything forward. The main characters don’t get developed much, but Winstead is good as the only one who works out what is happening and Thomsen is suitably bossy as the team leader.
Ive seen The Thing 2011 prequel twice now and I enjoyed it more the second time, if you have seen the original, and dislike it then there is no reason to watch this prequel movie. If like me you love the original then your going to enjoy this movie, it’s not as good as the original movie, but it holds true to the design from it, and it has a great visual style and the special effects are amazing too.
Posted on - December 28th, 2011