Day 39 – The Thing (2011)

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We found a fucking alien!

Movie Title: The Thing (2011)

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 1 hr. and 43 min.

Rated: R

Who did I watch with?: Flying Solo

Where did I watch it?: Home

Review:

I will be watching The Thing (1982) tomorrow before I play the new thing based board game called The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31 with some cool people. I will try to avoid comparing this movie to that one too much. The Thing (1982) is one of my favorite movies, so I can tell you tomorrow’s review will be glowing. I watch it at least once a year and I have probably seen it at least 20 times. Despite the fact that this movie carries the same title, it is a prequel to the original, not a remake. The Thing (2011) tells the story of the Norwegian camp seen in the original film. They are the people that originally discover and excavate the thing out of the ice. If you have seen the John Carpenter original you know what happened to these poor souls. If you haven’t, stop reading this review immediately and remedy the situation.

The Thing (2011) is a nostalgia fest. It works as a stand alone movie, but it works better if you know what is going to happen. Everything from the way the Norwegian camp is set up to the predetermined methods of death adds drama to the movie. It is able to keep an ominous tone even with that foreknowledge. It also pays distinct homage to the original. There are many distinct scenes that mimic scenes from the original. One thing I particularly dislike about the movie is the way it eschews practical effects for CGI. The practical effects in the original were incredible and more should have done with them. The CGI effects are decent, but at times could have been replaced with more practical effects. Rob Bottin is alive and kicking. Give him a call. With all that said there are a few CGI scenes that are very cool that could not have been done in the matte painting era of 1982. I watched the making of documentary on the Bluray and the animatronic for Edvard Wolner was very impressive.

The Thing opens with a Norwegian exploration team stumbling upon the remains of a crashed alien space craft. After contacting their scientific benefactors back in the civilized world, paleontologist Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a pilot named Carter (Joel Edgerton), and the expedition chair Dr. Sander Halvorson (Ulrich Thomsen) meet up with the Norwegian team in Antarctica. After discovering a survivor that left the wreckage they bring it back to base camp. A sample of the creature is taken to biopsy and with that extraction the titular thing warms itself and escapes from its long captivity in the ice.

The station crew quickly learns that they are not alone and that the thing is among them. The creatures are very impressive. The plot lines up very well with the original though not perfectly. Most noteworthy would be the sled left near the crash site and the lack of a detonation from above that was seen in the footage from the original movie. I thought the ending was rather bold and put a twist in place that was unexpected giving the explorations of the original.

Verdict:

The Thing is a fun ride and essential viewing if you are a fan of the original. See the original first and then see it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: The Thing (1982)

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