Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Thing (2011)

Alright, I'll admit it - The Thing, which I just saw an advanced screening of last night is not technically a remimagining. It is however a prequel of a remake - which I don't think has a specific classification... The only other example of this kind of film is The Scorpion King (2002) which was a prequel to the recent Mummy Films, which themselves were remakes of the 1932 Universal horror film The Mummy.

So doing my prep work to see the movie involved seeing the original 1982 John Carpenter film, and as that movie was also a remake, I also checked out The Thing from another World (1951) for good measure.

I probably saw my original (1982) The Thing when I was about 12 or 13, and it creeped me right out of my living room more than once. The remote location, the terrifying creature effects and the affective score by Ennio Morricone gave the film a really great vibe and it was one of the first John Carpenter movies I ever saw (the second was Prince of Darkness, which sits comfortably in my top five horror films of all time.)

The prequel, starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead (who I loved both here and in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) does a really great of maintaining that really creepy vibe the 1982 film set up (which to be fair borrowed a lot from the 1951 original - totally worth the watch as well), and although I had a few problems with it - they were mostly in the special effects department. The acting was good, the story (which was basically a connect-the-dots type story for anyone who saw the Carpenter film) was creepy and I especially liked how the film worked well within its constraints: having to be set in a Norwegian station, ending with a helicopter chasing a dog and showing how the base is destroyed before Kurt Russell and crew check it out in the 1982 film.

The movie had a lot of great shocks and the make-up based effects were quite good - I felt the creatures lost a little of there wow factor when the CG became too obvious, but overall a fun flick. I don't know if I would own it on DVD, but it might be fun to have a marathon with the two films some night to see if they would work in a back-to-back set up.

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