The reason why many people haven’t seen the 2011-movie The thing is because they think it’s a remake of the classic 1982-version with Kurt Russell (also named The thing). Don’t! This movie is not a remake. It’s a prequel. It tells a story that happens before everything else …
The thing is quite original – to avoid confusing we’re only going to talk about the new movie – because it deals with events that are different from the ones of the 1982-classic.
In this movie there’s no Kurt Russell. There’s hardly any Americans to begin with. Most of the crew members – and the actors performing them – are from Norway, and to add to the reality of things, there’s even a few conversations in actual Norwegian.
The best thing about the new movie is that 1) it tells a fascinating story about the origins of the alien virus-creature and 2) the ending of this movie connects wonderfully with the beginning of the 1982-classic. In that fashion, the two movies interlock as one big whole … fascinating stuff!
As one can expect, the atmosphere is quite the same as before. It’s dark and grim. It’s desolate and creepy. It’s cold and dangerous.
The movie is about a group of Norwegian scientists on Antarctica digging up the remains of an alien entity, not far from where they found its spaceship. Along with a few Americans, the team excavates the remains out of the ice to uncover mankind’s biggest discovery yet.
Little do they know they’re about to release a monster that will hunt them through the night …
The story may not be very different from the original movie, but everything else is. The crew members are different people. The fight for survival is more brutal. There’s more action than the previous movie. And the leader of the gang is not an old guy with a beard … but a pretty young paleontologist with some backbone!
Not too many famous actors – but this is a good thing as it makes the whole experience more realistic – but one person you’re likely to recognize is actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Once the daughter of John McClane in Live Free or Die Hard, she plays the part of the paleontologist invited to join the group of Scandinavian scientists.
Born with a face prettier than most women in Hollywood, she’s actually quite fitting for the role of the American outsider who becomes a different kind of strength in the group of rough bearded Norwegian men.
As expected, The thing is quite the horror show. But it’s so over the top that fear and disgust makes place for sheer entertainment!
The special effects, mostly done in the old-fashioned way, are absolutely spectacular! You’ll never enjoy watching humans being torn apart like you will on The thing.
The only weak thing about the movie is that the spaceship looks too modern for the monsters … I mean: how on earth can big alien-insects ever build something as ultramodern as a UFO? Or perhaps – even after two movies – we have yet to see their true appearance!
Did you know?
The red ax that Joel Edgerton‘s character uses and eventually sticks into the wall can be seen still stuck in the wall when the Americans visit the Norwegian camp in the original John Carpenter movie.
Give it to me short:
The thing of 2011 looks in many ways the same as The thing of 1982. And yet … it’s not a remake! It’s a prequel. The story of the new movie predates the events of the classic 1982-movie. This means – and this is one of the stronger assets of the new movie – that the ending of the new movie connects perfectly with the beginning of the original 1982-movie. Still with me? Or in other words: you have to watch this movie first, and afterwards you can watch the old ’80s Kurt Russell movie.
As usual there is much horror to enjoy. And even though it’s clearly exaggerated and perhaps even a little fake, it’s all about the fun and the thrilling action! The thing never tries to be a serious horror-movie, just another action-packed thrill-ride you will not soon forget. If you care about the original 1982-classic, then you owe it to yourself to watch this movie first … coz this is where the horror-story réally begins!