The Thing
The Thing
Image: Courtesy of Universal pictures

Film Review

Film title
The Thing
Director
Matthijs van Heijningen
Starring
Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton
Release date
2 Dec
Certificate
15

More info

The Thing is released 2 Dec by Universal pictures www.thethingmovie.co.uk

The Thing

2/5 stars
Film review by Thom Atkinson.
Published 30 November 2011

As an inferior prequel to a superior remake, it's dumbfounding as to why the title remains the same on this insulting inclusion to the canon. Helmed by first-time director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. and desperately nodding towards John Carpenter’s 1982 classic, its generic death-to-death scripting carries none of the taught paranoia, rich characterisation or the emotional investment of its predecessor. The slight plot involves American palaeontologist Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) joining a Norwegian expedition of personality-free scientists who have discovered a crashed spaceship and, within it, the supposed cadaver of the eponymous shapeshifting extraterrestrial . Once awoken from its slumber the alien sets forth on a killing spree, picking off those imitable one-by-one in increasingly gory puppetry of human corpse show pieces – complete with CGI that can't match the invention and artistry of Rob Bottin's work in Carpenter's picture. Floundering and forgettable, the final ironic shame is that this Thing fails to imitate its predecessor in any convincing manner. [Thom Atkinson]

Comments (5)

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  • Little harsh Thom. Was never going to compete with Carpenter's classic – though as sequel/prequels go, is a lot better than five fingers through the face.

    Posted by Royce | Friday 16 December 2011 @ 13:21

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  • Little harsh Thom. Was never going to compete with Carpenter's classic – though as sequel/prequels go, is a lot better than five fingers through the face.

    Posted by Royce | Friday 16 December 2011 @ 13:21

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  • Little harsh Thom. Was never going to compete with Carpenter's classic – though as sequel/prequels go, is a lot better than five fingers through the face.

    Posted by Royce | Friday 16 December 2011 @ 13:21

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  • This review is all wrong, seems the writer had made his mind up before his arse touched the seat. As respectful a prequel as any Thing fan could hope for - dovetails in perfectly yet stands in his own, which is particularly noteworthy this long after Carpenter's effort.

    Posted by Thingymajig | Saturday 17 December 2011 @ 14:20

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  • Can’t see much wrong with the review myself, Thingymajig.

    “... it's dumbfounding as to why the title remains the same on this insulting inclusion to the canon.” – A prequel having the same name to the first film is idiotic.

    “... its generic death-to-death scripting carries none of the taught paranoia, rich characterisation or the emotional investment of its predecessor.” – The Norwegian crew are laughably underwritten, with characters amounting to little more than ‘mean science guys’ or ‘hairy nice guys with beards’. You can’t root for characters that you can't tell apart and don’t know anything about.

    “Once awoken from its slumber the alien sets forth on a killing spree, picking off those imitable one-by-one in increasingly gory puppetry of human corpse show pieces – complete with CGI that can't match the invention and artistry of Rob Bottin's work in Carpenter's picture.” Again, spot on. The CGI will look terrible in a few years' time, while Bottin’s FX work is still nutty, surreal and brilliant after three decades.

    30 years after Hawks’ version, Carpenter made something uniquely his while honouring the original. 30 years on from Carpenter’s film Matthijs van Heijningen has made a lazy, uninventive rehash of the 1982 Thing and stuck on a coda that links it to Carpenter's version. There's no imagination, style or wit at work.

    You should demand better from today’s filmmakers, Thinymajig

    Posted by Jamie Dunn | Sunday 18 December 2011 @ 01:00

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