Review: THE THING (2011)

 

HOW DARE YOU?!!!

 

Do you remake Citizen Kane?
Do you reboot The Godfather?
Do you reimagine Star Wars?
(okay if you’re George Lucas,I guess my rant means nothing to you)
So how can anyone remake,reboot,reimagine, John Carpenter’s iconic sci-fi/thriller,THE THING?!!!

It’s Sacrilegious ,no?

Enter producers ,Marc Abraham ,Eric Newman and writer Eric Heisserer who wanted to stay true to the essence of Carpenter’s masterpiece and hired accordingly,first time director Matthijs van Heijningen.

 

Primarily renowned as an award winning commercial director,Heijningen had two criteria before he accepted the job :1)Hire Norwegian actors and 2) Utilize practical effects.That alone shows you what kind of movie the filmmakers wanted to bring to the screen and how much they respected the original film’s feel.

Here’s a quick synopsis:

 

Taking place three days before the events of The John Carpenter film,paleontologist, Kate Lloyd(Mary Elizabeth Winstead)is recruited by scientist,Sander Halversen(Ulrich Thompson) and his assistant Adam Goodman(Eric Christian Olsen) to join a Norwegian scientific team that has stumbled across a crashed extraterrestrial spaceship buried beneath the ice of Antarctica.They discover a frozen corpse of a creature that has seem to have died in a crash eons ago.

 

After recovering the creature in a frozen block of ice,they transport it back to their base and conduct an experiment that frees the alien from its frozen prison.Kate joins the crew’s pilot (Joel Edgerton) to keep it from killing and imitating them one at a time,using its uncanny ability to mimic any life form it absorbs through digestion,and potentially reaching civilization.

 

So that is pretty much the plot in a snowball.

What I LOVED about this prequel is that it pays homage to the vision that John Carpenter had back in 1982 while not bastardizing the original that is so often the case in today’s reboots.Director,Heijningen said that remaking Carpenter’s version would be like drawing a moustache on the MONA LISA .Heijningen creates a visual time capsule that transports the moviegoer back to ’82 …from the painstaking reproduction of The Norwegian “Station 31″ set piece to using practical creature effects that would make original film’s special effects legend,Rob Bottin beam with pride.Heijningen’s direction is fast paced and energetic.His slow burn storytelling is king here.Building the tension without losing momentum.(Heijningen has said that he would love to take a swing at another Universal property”An American Werewolf in London”,after this outing… he could totally do it justice.)

Joel Edgerton has been having a great time as of late with WARRIOR and now THE THING.Edgerton brings a familiar gruffness that may remind purists of Kurt Russell’s “MacReady” in the original but Edgerton convincingly owns his role as “Braxton Carter” without aping Russell’s legendary hero.

 

The star in this prequel IS Mary Elizabeth Winstead .While easily compared to Sigourney Weaver’s “Ripley” in the ALIEN franchise,Winstead brings about a conviction and believability to the role of Kate Lloyd ,that Ripley would be honored to kick some alien tail with.Winstead,once crowned a scream queen can now take on the mantle of “Queen of Badassery”!!!

 

This film is a fun popcorn flick,filled good old fashioned scares that is reminiscent of a simpler time when films were meant to fill you with terror and horror and not numbingly shock you with buckets of puss and blood.

 

This film is not your Daddy’s THE THING …it’s this generations THE THING!!! Welcome it!Embrace it! Heck ,let it take over your body and happily do the crab walk across the cineplex floor!!!

THE THING opens Friday, October 14

’til next time Cabrones!!!

Gary

Gary “El Boy” Deocampo provides insightful profiles & reviews with his own original tongue-in-cheek, macabre, fan-boy style.

Gary was born in the City of Angels and raised on a healthy diet of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Night Gallery, The Hammer Horror Films, and his favorite, Universal Studio’s Monster Movies.

But alas, it was a film that was released in the winter of 1973, where his love and perception of all things Horror would personally change him forever. William Friedkin’s, The Exorcist was that film. To this day The Exorcist still gives him the heebie-jeebies.

Presently, his affinity for the horror genre has broadened and spans the globe. His love and appreciation for director’s Takashi Miike (Audition) and Chan-Wook Park (Old Boy) from the Far East to Sweden’s Tomas Alfredson (Let The Right One In) to his favorite, Mexico’s very own Guillermo del Toro (Cronos, Devil’s Backbone, Pan’s Labyrinth).

In his spare time he likes to exercise and/or exorcise his inner demons. The little devil still resides in the City of Angels, in a suburb founded by Puritans (!) with his lovely and patient wife, his two equally lovely and patient children, two hounds and his pet Cthulhu.

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