Review: The Thing (the NEW one)

I’m not sure… but I may have just seen the greatest movie ever made. I don’t know what the critics are saying about this Thing, but if they tell you that it’s garbage and not to waste time seeing it… they are lying. Either that, or they’ve been attacked, eaten and replicated. In which case you should track them down and set them on fire immediately.

This movie is glorious.

This is a prequel to the 1982 movie (also glorious) by John Carpenter. It has the same name, which is a bit confusing since it’s not a remake. It deals with the events at the Norwegian camp that discovers a crashed spaceship and an ever-hungry, shape-shifting, face-eating, slime-spewing, claws-and-tentacles waving alien survivor.

How can you not love that?!

If you saw and liked the 1982 movie, then you there is no question you will love this one. This movie is better. That’s right; I said it. This movie is better. It has the same style, tension and suspense. Perhaps not as MUCH suspense, but you’ll barely notice the difference. It’s like they took out a cup of tension and poured in a half gallon of claws and tentacles. Then they set it all on fire. Literally. The special effects are done the same way as the original; those CGI-haters out there who thought Hollywood would ruin this movie with fancy technology (I don’t understand you people), can breathe easy. There is SOME CGI, but the good stuff… the money shots… are all real, just like the original, but with 50% more “You Gotta Be Fucking KIDDING!!”

In fact, the biggest difference between this movie and the 1982 version is the amount of time the creature spends on screen. This Thing (heh) is all over the place. There’s an old saying in horror about not showing too much and letting the reader’s (or watcher’s) imagination fill in the rest. That’s supposed to be superior, because what they come up with is darker and better than anything you could show/describe.

This movie says “FUCK THAT” and proceeds to throw horror after horror in front of you as if daring you to come up with something to top it. The 1982 movie did that as well, but this movie does it more. And better, longer, harder, deeper, and faster. While on fire. There was one scene toward the middle of the movie where the main character is getting attacked, but manages to run out of the room just in the nick of time. You EXPECT the scene to end there. No. The Thing runs after her, chasing her into a brightly lit hallway… down the hall… into another room… into ANOTHER room… gets set on fire… runs under the fucking SPRINKLERS to put the fire out…

Hell. Yeah.

The original version couldn’t touch that shit.

Anyway, another thing (heh) I liked about both movies is the characters. True, none of them are long for this world and you don’t really get to know many of them, they are all REAL people. What I mean by that is this: When confronted with horror, they react the way real people would… by perforating it with large caliber projectiles, burning it, then burning it again. Without hesitation. There are no silly teenagers. No “Let’s communicate with it” nonsense from the scientists. None of the cliche BS that you find in Every. Other. Horror. Movie. Once the crazy shit starts happening, it’s all Claws and Tentacles vs. Guns and Fire until the credits roll.

Well, mostly.

I must say that the ending was a bit of a step down. Here, we actually go inside the alien spaceship for a final confrontation with the OMGWTF!!. Honestly, I wish they’d gone a different direction, but hey, it wasn’t my movie. The special effects took a hit on the climactic scene, as the final creature (particularly the face) could have used some more love from the FX budget. Then they tried to go for an ambiguous ending like the 1982 version, Okay, well… whatever. I suppose I wasn’t supposed to notice that this movie doesn’t exactly match up with the 1982 plot, since in that Thing, the alien ship is blown to shit, and the end of THIS movie has the ship intact. I guess ‘someone’ could have gone back and blown it up later. Whatever. The ending has problems, but its still better than anything else I’ve seen this year.

BTW, be sure to stay through the first half of the credits. After the credits roll for a few seconds, there is a series of scenes that ties the end of this movie with the beginning of the 1982 movie, and I think they may have used some of the same footage. It doesn’t add a lot, but it does answer some questions. (i.e. just who WERE the people in the helicopter).

Bottom line: go see it. If you’ve got the money, go see it in the theater. It’s worth it. But this does assume you liked the older version of the movie. If you hated the 1982 Thing, then don’t waste your time with the prequel. If you never saw the original, do your self a favor and see it first before you see the new one. Consider it a pre-test before the final exam.


4 Comments

  1. DarkIcon, October 15, 2011:

    1982 Thing: The Head-crab.
    2011 Thing: Arm-Worms.

    Nuff said.

  2. WizardofOz, February 19, 2012:

    It’s been a while since I’ve had five seconds to myself to visit DI. When I’m not working, I’m writing some of my own stuff (non-fiction junk meant to get me even more business) or doing stuff with the family.

    That said, no joke, you are easily the best movie critic EVER. Even if someone doesn’t agree with your actual “critic” or opinion of the movie, your write up of the thing is just … F’ING AWESOME.

    Now I’m not saying I don’t agree with your opinion of the movie (I do) I’m just saying that what you say about them is absolutely CLASSIC. I found myself laughing so hard at times I had to stop drinking my coffee (I kept spitting it all over the monitor which was ticking the wife off).

    Seriously, this was awesome.

  3. DarkIcon, February 19, 2012:

    I’m glad you’re still around, and thanks for the kind words.
    I should probably do more reviews. Usually I watch at least ONE movie every weekend, so there’s no shortage of material. I guess I got lazy in my old age.

  4. WizardofOz, February 19, 2012:

    Check out the Asylum Walls, I just gave some ideas for that.

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