Prequels really get to me sometimes. Generally speaking, I don’t like them. The 2011 version of “The Thing” is a bit of an exception.
Nothing will ever replace the awe and horror of 1982′s “The Thing” by John Carpenter. The special effects were state-of-the-art in the early 1980′s, making a huge impression on me at the time. The 2011 prequel has much more impressive effects, but the story had only one place to go, and that’s to the beginning of 1982 story.
In other words, diehard Carpenter fans know how this all must end. But, true horror afficionados can enjoy a good blood-letting all the same. This new version has decent creature effects and moderately sympathetic characters.
Anyway, a team of Norwegian and American scientists discover an alien spacecraft deep in the ice of Antarctica. They also discover the remains of an alien near the ship. It’s the biological aspect of this dig that fascinates them.
Among the Americans is Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who warns against working too fast to examine the frozen remains. Of course, she’s ignored and all hell breaks loose. Hey, she had to be ignored or this would have been nothing more than a boring science project. Instead, the creature comes alive and is really pissed off.
Oh, yes. There will be blood.
The creature attacks by absorbing its victims and then replicates them into something that’s not quite human. Like the Carpenter film, the question becomes “who is human and who wants to make breakfast out of your brain?”
“The Thing” is not half as good as the Carpenter film, but it has enough shocks and scares to keep you interested. And, if you see it first, then at least you have the back story for viewing the 1982 classic. Gore is good. Grade: B-