Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Film Review: The Thing(2011)

A Norwegian research team in Antarctica discover an alien craft buried under the ice-along with one of its crew. But when the creature thaws out, it starts to hunt down and kill the humans, assuming their shape until it is ready to escape and infect the rest of the world. The remaining team members must identify who is infected and kill them to stop the things reaching populated areas.

Prequel film to John Carpenter's 1982 film The Thing. 
Filmography links and data courtesy of IMDb.

The Thing(1982) is one of my all time favourite films so I was intrigued to hear of a prequel film showing what happened to the Norwegian team and the events that led the thing to the American team. I thought that this would be good to have, instead of just another remake, something that Hollywood is overdosing on just now. So I was very much looking forward to seeing this and it did not disappoint!

It keeps true to the other film in many ways...the dark creepy corridors, the drama of who is infected and who isn't, the atmospheric music, the scientists trying to work out ways to test the survivors for infection, the way the creature takes you over, the guys struggling back to the building after being outside too long being under suspicion. The scenes with the thing are similar to the ways the men die in the original film. In other words, all the elements that made the film work for me in 1982 were there in some form with this film. 

There are a few nice new touches though. We have the Norwegian party with singing and dancing just before the killing starts, which I thought was good fun. It's the sort of folk festival kind of thing that I would enjoy spending a few hours at on a Scandinavian holiday in winter! When the scientists are trying to come up with a test, they first consider the mixing of blood idea that they used in the first film. But instead of going to the hot needle in the blood samples, they start checking people for whether or not they still have their fillings as the thing can't absorb metal. That was a new and interesting theory for finding who was still human and led one guy to fear being killed just because he flossed, which amused me! 

I liked the mix of characters though it was always going to be hard to beat Kurt Russell and Keith David. Why does my favourite in the 2011 film have to die though? That really hacks me off! I won't say who it is of course as I hate spoiling the film for others. And the good thing is that it pretty much answers all the questions from the first film over what the Americans find-the guy in the chair who killed himself, the dog escaping with the helicopter following, finding the alien ship and its pilot etc. 

Overall, this was a tension filled, gripping and satisfying sci-fi film that is a tribute to the original yet a good film in its own right. I bought this for my personal collection.
star rating photo: 5 Star Rating 5stars.jpg

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