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RE: the thing - 9/1/2012 8:28:32 AM   

Posts: 9151
Joined: 30/9/2005
As mentioned a million times, not as good as JC's version, but I must admit I really enjoyed this. The effects were very good (perhaps not the CGI but the latex stuff was nicely done) the characters were unlikeable but I wasn't expecting anything different really. Some neat touchs, some nice nods to the '82 version (although it wasn't quite necessary to make such a deal about the axe), good deaths, not sure about the Evil Dead arm but I liked the split-face creature and the general gore count was good.
The helicoptor ending felt slightly tacked on (well, completely tacked on) which would normally garner huge mockery from me, but you know, I had enjoyed the film up to that point and didn't want to be picky, plus I was waiting for the link to the JC version so I did come over a bit fanboy
The Thing is my favourite horror film and I was never expecting anything remotely like it, but I was genuinely surprised it was entertaining.
I'd give it 3 and a half stars normally, but feeling generous, it gets an extra half star for not being a fuck up (like I really expected it to be)


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Post #: 31
RE: the thing - 9/1/2012 9:45:21 AM   

Posts: 237
Joined: 23/8/2009
Watched this at the weekend. It was absolutely terrible. Had no reason to be made and added nothing to John Carpenter's original. 


This Is The End - ***
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Post #: 32
RE: the thing - 31/3/2012 9:33:12 PM   

Posts: 10055
Joined: 30/9/2005
First off, I don't think anyone was expecting a classic that equals Carpenter's.

That said, I really enjoyed this. Very well made, respected the original and whilst it lacked the tension of the original, proved entertaining and relatively well-restrained for modern 'horror'. Some of the CG didn't work, but overall I thought the effects were great. The cast felt authentic (aside from the dubious addition of the americans) - was good to see norwegian actors speaking norwegian, and the nods to the original in terms of setting up the images we all know and love were done in a relatively restrained manor.

So, no masterpiece by any means, but a cut above most horror/monster tripe & remakes out there.

It could have been a lot, lot worse. I'll definitely be watching it again.

(in reply to nhassell)
Post #: 33
RE: the thing - 1/4/2012 12:36:25 AM   

Posts: 360
Joined: 13/2/2006
Such a flat, structure-less, missed opportunity. My expectations were low, yet weren't even met.

Carpenter's The Thing is one of my top 5 favourite movies but I'm not precious about it and wasn't concerned about a prequel - the claustraphobic location and paranoia-inducing concept is such a fascinating conceit I'm surprised no-one explored it sooner. Having just rented the prequel however, I really wasn't expecting the end result to be so dull.

For all of Carpenter's trademark skills in style and creating mood and tension in the original film, what's really under appreciated is his ability to juggle a large ensemble cast of unknowns and ensure the viewer could keep track of all of them - it's very well directed in this regard and crucial to why it works so well. This remake/prequel failed at doing this - too many characters, handfuls of which get killed off almost apologetically, as if they realised half way through they were struggling to keep so many balls in the air...

Plus, the score was overly intrusive - a few snippets of Morricone's classic and then generic, inappropriate orchestral bombast to try and create some excitement.

< Message edited by tommypocket -- 1/4/2012 1:27:35 AM >


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Post #: 34
RE: the thing - 3/4/2012 1:49:19 PM   
Vitamin F


Posts: 632
Joined: 6/10/2005
From: Norn Ireland, so it is

Compared to the '82 version it's pretty shit. That's that out of the way.

As a stand-alone film this is not the worst I've seen, the biggest letdown being (as usual) the CGI, which once again proves that CGI is just not scary. At all. There are some physical effects here that work ok, and they make the virtual ones' duffness stick out even more.

I only started to really lose interest here towards the last 15 minutes, it had been going ok up to that point. The stuff in and around the downed craft just didn't work for me. Although I have to say I actually did like the end linking scene with the helicopter despite it feeling like the biggest after-thought ever!

Not recommended as part of a double-bill with the '82 version then, but ok if you've never watched that superior film.

(in reply to tommypocket)
Post #: 35
RE: the thing - 3/4/2012 7:42:00 PM   
Cool Breeze

Posts: 2372
Joined: 9/11/2011
From: The Internet
I watched the new prequel version of The Thing last night and really enjoyed it.Maybe perhaps i dont hold the original in such high regard (Though i do like it) as most people here, but i think its a great complement to the Carpenter version.The end credits scene where they set up the begining of the 1982 film is very well done (Especially the use of the Morricone theme).

Watching the prequel and the Carpenter version should make for a great double bill.


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Post #: 36
RE: the thing - 7/4/2012 3:16:25 PM   

Posts: 5231
Joined: 2/10/2005
Brings nothing much in the way of originality other than the "blood test sequence" which thankfully offered something different and put the tension through the roof as in the original. The creature design is pretty good and while there is plenty exposure as in the 86 version it fails to produce any scares. It ends flat and I couldnt help it as im sure noone else could, to look for all the clues that we find in the "sequel". I think the only real moment of wtf-ness stemmed from the "blood test scene" with the inevitable transformation- im sure those were the exact same sound effects as used in the original which did the job excellently. Shame nothing else lived up to it.

The CGI didnt cause too many complaints for me, though yes, I did feel the practical element should have took precedence. Unfortunately, im not sure it would have had much of a difference of the overall film. Not really worth watching if you havent seen the original beforehand, a lack of memorable moments, and generally not scary. Shame 2/5


ORIGINAL: tommypocket

Plus, the score was overly intrusive - a few snippets of Morricone's classic and then generic, inappropriate orchestral bombast to try and create some excitement.

yeah, this was obvious to me

< Message edited by kumar -- 7/4/2012 3:23:49 PM >


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Post #: 37
RE: the thing - 8/4/2012 6:18:07 AM   

Posts: 656
Joined: 3/4/2012
The anticipation and final outcome of this prequel have been split right down the middle, was it a good idea in the first place?, should it have been a sequel with Russell? or perhaps completely remade, opinions differ hugely.

For me this has not been as bad as I expected in all honesty, I have seen much worse in recent years with the influx of reboots and remakes and this prequel isn't all that bad.

Yes the big wigs have been rather crafty, they wanted a sequel but decided not to out of fear I think haha, same for remake, why remake a cult? instead they turned to a prequel which basically gave them the oppertunity to make another which was pretty much more of the same but with an excuse.

So yes its more of the same and it all looks the same seeing as its set right before the original, OK no problem. The look is good, sets are good, costume is good, it all looks really real, cold and the cast are actually quite decent, wisely using unknowns for the majority. I also liked the kind of 'Alien' feel to the build up with Winstead clearly having a 'Ripley' type character of sorts.

Problem one of course is the effects, personally I think its a mixed bag, its all cgi of course but some of it looks pretty good whilst other bits look poor. I think the effects department (including Woodruff Jr.) did a good job in trying to create the creature around what was hinted at in brief moments of the original whilst also trying to keep it in tone with the creature we have seen already and at the same time making it different. I think the 'Juliette-thing' looked really good simply as a huge razor teethed gaping maw on legs with her head dangling round the back and there are some nice moments such as 'Griggs' starting to transform. Unfortunately the rest does seem rather unoriginal and dull simply utilizing the age old tentacles notion that doesn't really fit with the original and with later designs that looked like a 'Sarlacc' with legs or something from the 'Resident Evil' franchise.

One thing that did disappoint me was the lack of info on the creature, I was really hoping for some insight on its background, where it may have come from, why?, how and why did it crash?, is there an entire race?, why so hostile?, assimilate for food?, what does its original form look like? were there more inside the ship seeing as its so huge?, how did they create such technology originally and how do they pilot the ship in their form? etc...So many questions but you get nothing which is a shame really, maybe some don't wish to know but I'm just real curious :)

The whole film does seem a little pointless I admit as we can all guess what happened before the creature makes it into Carpenters film, but I do think they addressed the continuity quite well despite one or two issues and I loved how they made this prequel flow perfectly into the old original.

Not really scary or that dark and forboding but its not too far off, not sure what is suppose to have happened to 'Kate' in the end and the whole dog ending also made me think 'why not just run off in that form right from the start?' hehe.

My final thoughts....I quite liked it, better than most are saying methinks. My advice is simply watch this then the original Carpenter film straight afterwards and this film actually does seem allot better than you might have previously thought, they do connect together nicely.

(in reply to kumar)
Post #: 38
RE: the thing - 9/4/2012 9:13:39 PM   
The REAL Bozz

Posts: 3285
Joined: 15/5/2007
I thought this was solid enough. Did it's job. The only let down - as discussed - is the over obvious CGI in parts. More so with the final mutation, that was just horrible but other than that a solid creature feature.


Films I've watched
Star Trek Into Darkness ***
Iron Man 3 *****
Evil Dead (2013) ***
Bait 3D ***

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Post #: 39
Expected to be disappointed, and was - 11/4/2012 11:57:28 PM   
Leonard or Sammy


Posts: 67
Joined: 9/10/2010
I struggled, really struggled to care about any of the characters, along with many, many other parts of the movie, they all seemed cliched to the "Nth" degree (Joel E wanting to know the sports scores, the usual flirting with M.E.W, the "cool" African American, the scientist who takes charge and has no disregard for safety and HAS to tell M.E.W she is "not there to think"). As with most modern "horror" movies there just seemed to be masses of screams, noises and very little else. I felt this movie would ultimately be doomed because there was little it could do in terms of originality because of just how JC's version was. And, indeed, this is what ruined the movie for me. I could barely watch a scene without thinking about the John Carpenter and Kurt Russell.
I think the areas that disappointed me the most though was the CGI, I do not recall the last time I saw such a cheap and tacky effort (the CGI "cold breath" was probably the most annoying part of the movie). The poor CGI, lack of originality and pretty straightforward, characters, script and direction made me feel that this was just a money making idea from beginning to end.
Having said all of the above, if I had not seen JC's version, and I was not a fan old school horror, I would probably have enjoyed this movie, and I was very surprised and pleased to see how they incorporated the American speaking cast, and that we had Norwegian actors actually talking in Norwegian.

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Post #: 40
RE: The Thing - 15/4/2012 5:23:41 PM   

Posts: 7949
Joined: 24/3/2011
From: St. Albans, Hertfordshire
Antartica, 1982. One of the most inhospitable areas in the world is about to get a lot worse for a scientific team from Norway and an American palaeontologist as they discover a spacecraft buried in the ice, and the strange lifeform that once piloted the craft. They then make the mistake of freeing the beast from its icy tomb and bringing it back to base.

Clearly Universal's decision to greenlight this film was predicated on a desire to capitalise on 82 Thing's successful post cinema afterlife, but while the end result is a prequel/remake that is refreshingly free from cynicism on director Matthijs Van Heijningen's part, his admirable intentions are just not enough to save the film from being merely OK. 2011 Thing is an efficiently made film, but it lacks the pervasive atmosphere of dread and suffocating tension that made Carpenter's flick such a special film.

The lack of scares can probably be traced back to this depiction of the malleable alien life-form . What made the 1982 so special and so fucking scary was Rob Bottin's creature effects. His creations were so alive, so scary and strangely beautiful. Here, the Thing is a gelatinous, computerised glob of flesh and grue, and it's never really that scary.

Another thing (arf!) that works against The Thing 2011 is the lack of stand-out characters. While kudos has to be given to screenwriter Eric Hessier for turning over the lead character duties to a smart, capable woman, the film is completely devoid of the kind of well rounded, distinct characters that populated Carpenter's film. And with all due respect to Winstead - who turns in a perfectly good performance - her character is no match for RJ MacCready.

However, it is efficiently made film that is never boring, Winstead does a fine job of holding the viewer's interest, and the overall result is lot better than it had any right to be. Just imagine how bad it could have been if Bay and his bean counters at Platinum Dunes got their greasy mitts on the property. Doesn't really bare thinking about.


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Films watched in 2013

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Post #: 41
RE: The Thing (2011) - 14/10/2012 10:52:12 PM   
Fluke Skywalker

Posts: 9540
Joined: 23/4/2006
From: the dark side of the sun
This is actually not a bad prequel and three stars is a fair rating. It clearly benefits from being able to borrow from the first movie and does so with the setting (the whole set just looks a clone of the original at times) and the pretty decent variant of the blood test scene. I think people fully expected it to fall down on the CGI aspects and while the creature effects are horribly nasty at times it's still got that CGI sheen. It really fails in response to Rob Bottin's efforts overall but they were never going to match what he achieved without physically coming up with the FX. Seeing the creature walk about in the fashion it did seriously took the edge off it as well.

Character-wise I don't think anyone stands out, taking Kurt Russell out of it the rest of the original cast members like Richard Dysart, Wilford Brimley and Donald Moffat to name a few were far more memorable.

That said fans of the original should definately watch it as it's a decent effort - if you haven't seen the 1982 version as a standalone horror it's actually pretty effective, it's just got the impossible task of trying to compete with a 5 star classic.

(in reply to MonsterCat)
Post #: 42
RE: the thing - 19/11/2012 7:50:35 PM   

Posts: 873
Joined: 30/9/2005
After watching the film a few weeks ago and hating the experience thoroughly, I decided to finally write a "proper" review of it.

Touted as a prequel to Carpenter’s grotesquely terrifying adaption of J.W Campbell’s ‘Who Goes There’, Matthijs van Heijningen’s The Thing is instead a poorly executed rehash, diluted and stripped of it’s predecessors intelligence. Set mere days before the original, The Thing ’11 sets out to answer the question as to what had happened to the Norwegian scientist who first discovered the titular creature, frozen deep in the Antarctic wastelands.

It is impossible to critique The Thing ’11 without making reference to it’s superior predecessor as, rather than exploring new territory or extending the current mythology, the prequel instead rushes through the salient plot points from Carpenter’s film, with none of the tension and a heavy reliance on action orientated set pieces. However, due to this constant referencing it makes the task of understanding where the film went wrong somewhat easier.

Carpenter’s film worked because it relied on character to create a realistic and believable environment (taking a cue from the truckers in space character dynamic in Ridley Scott’s Alien). The inhabitants of Outpost 31 appear real and the idea that any one of them could be the creature, waiting for its moment to attack, is terrifying. In contrast Heijningen’s crew are a Hollywood bastardisation of the original, with little of the chemistry and no believability. They wait to deliver wooden lines before blending back into the scenery. The addition of a sci-fi typical ‘Ripley’ character serves to only further the distance between the audience and the screen. Ultimately the character dynamic could be discerned from the cast and character list alone.

With believable characters Carpenter was able to intensify tension, drawing on paranoia as they turned suspicious eyes on each other. The inevitable revelation of the monster serves as a punch line to a slow and careful build of tense anticipation. The brief glimpses of this morphing beast would have had little effect without that steady growth. Here the audience is instead thrust into the action with very little build of tension. The few characters suspected to be the creature are quickly revealed so and all paranoia is shrugged off in favour of rushing the audience to the next monster scare.

Gone are the creature’s tortured transformations, replaced by fast moving CGI shadows of their former selves. And whereas stealth had previously been the creature’s mode of approach, remaining hidden even when moments from being uncovered, here a fart in a room is enough to trigger a change. One could have hoped that in assimilating the original film the filmmakers could have absorbed some of the key points that made it a classic of the sci-fi and horror genres.

The Thing ’11 is a film that constantly underestimates the intelligence of its audience. Breaking the ‘show, don’t tell’ rule of filmmaking, Eric Heisserer’s screenplay relies on repetitive dialogue to explain the various narrative developments in any given scene. It’s easy to lose count of how many times the creature’s method of reproduction (perfectly assimilating its hosts) is explained both on screen and through dialogue. Carpenter’s film seldom underestimates the audience, providing exposition through dialogue only when absolutely necessary.

Looking beyond how the prequel compares to Carpenter's horror classic, the filmmakers still fail to establish a consistent character for the titular creature. Instead the monster acts to serve the plot. Although it assimilates side characters with ease, displaying many efficient abilities to capture a victim, the filmmakers then have the creature trip over itself to excuse the heroine from being host, thus robbing the film of the little tension and fear it had. Why would any audience fear the capture of the protagonist when the filmmakers continue to make illogical allowances to ensure her survival?

Although there are few positive points to take away from the film, there is a notable attention to detail in the art direction, which perfectly captured the claustrophobic sets of the original. Also the sound design was incredibly effective in recreating and elaborating on the creature’s unearthly and terrifying screams. And although the characters are very one-dimensional the cast still attempted to make them work as individuals with the very little they had.

However, of all it’s faults it is The Thing’s inability to shake off an inherent redundancy that cripples it most. The majority of questions posed about the Norwegian crew had already been answered in Carpenter's film as the very same fate befalls their American counter parts. This is further amplified as the prequel refuses to offer an extension of the mythology to warrant its existence. In offering the same situation, in the same place, with similar people at around the same time, Heijningen and crew appear to have simply forgotten to offer something new.

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Post #: 43
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