Monday, 24 October 2011

Film Review: "The Thing" (2011).




The film's tagline reads "It's not human. Yet." This is what it's all about in this untold prequel story of the horror classic The Thing. This science fiction horror film directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr, adapted by Eric Heisserer based on the novella Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell. It is a prequel to the 1982 film of the same name by John Carpenter. At an Antarctica research site, the discovery of an alien craft buried deep in the ice leads to a confrontation between a team of Norwegian, led by Dr. Sander Halvorson, and American scientists, led by graduate student Kate Lloyd, to realize too late that it is still alive.

After creating the Dawn of the Dead (2004), producers Marc Abraham and Eric Newman began to look through the Universal Studios library to find new properties to work on. Upon finding John Carpenter's 1982 film The Thing, the two convinced Universal to create a prequel instead of a remake, as they felt that remaking Carpenter's film would be like "paint(ing) a moustache on the Mona Lisa". Eric Newman explained; "I'd be the first to say no one should ever try to do Jaws again and I certainly wouldn't want to see anyone remake The Exorcist... And we really felt the same way about The Thing. It's a great film. But once we realized there was a new story to tell, with the same characters and the same world, but from a very different point of view, we took it as a challenge. It's the story about the guys who are just ghosts in Carpenter's movie - they're already dead. But having Universal give us a chance to tell their story was irresistible." In early 2009, Variety reported the launch of a project to film a prequel—possibly following MacReady's brother during the events leading up to the opening moments of the 1982 film—with Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. as director and Ronald D. Moore as writer.

The film stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Eric Christian Olsen. The cast, though a relatively big ensemble, did not give performances worthy of the original. Winstead unfortunately, most of all, was resorted to a role that spent of her time talking and running. Lacking the qualities presented by Kurt Russell in the original.

The Thing is full of blood and gore, and over the top special effects. But not enough scares or a coherent backstory story to make for a successful prequel to the famous 1982 horror film classic. Cliche, boring and repedetive, the film is an unsavoury exercise in Hollywood's unoriginal market of Horror brands that one hopes never to see. The story's been played in cinema God knows how many times now. It just makes me absolutely sick to my stomach and soul. Much less of a straight forward prequel, and much more a remake of a remake. In conclusion, attention horror fans: Demand more original scares from Hollywood than this pro forma return to the well. Has horror cinema ever been this dull?

Simon says The Thing receives:


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