I saw The Thing a few weeks ago, so my memory of the movie is not as fresh as I would like it to be, but I felt a short review of the movie was still justified. From what I saw, there were more mumblings about the disappointment that The Thing was being remade than excitement for its release. That sentiment is fine and fair, but we should clarify now that it is not a remake, but rather a prequel to John Carpenterís 1982 original.
The movie stars budding starlet Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who I happen to be a fan of. Itís good to see her getting out there and getting more roles. It seemed like the production of Scott Pilgrim mightíve delayed her upcoming as the making of that movie took longer than expected. Winstead plays paleontologist Kate Lloyd in the film who is a powerful female lead character that isnít sexualized or bullied by her male counterparts. Iíve heard people call the character of Kate Lloyd the second coming of Ripley from Alien. Iím inclined to believe this aspect of the character appealed to Winstead as she, at least from interviews, seems to be an intelligent and articulate individual who isnít just looking to take the easy way to the top of Hollywood. In the movie, Lloyd is recruited to work at a base located in Antarctica where they have discovered a frozen item that could change the history of the world. Things begin to become complicated at the base when protocols are ignored due to swelling personalities and the desire to be immortalized in the history books. One of the superiors of the operation takes a risky path despite Lloydís pleas and chaos and paranoia ensues.
I must say that the prequel probably is not as good as the original. Itís been a while since Iíve viewed the original, but if my memory serves me correctly, the original did a better job with character development. The level and density of paranoia in the original also seemed to be greater, but this could just be due to my younger age and my horror movie phase I went through when I watched the original. During the marketing of The Thing, the cast continuously harped on how the level of paranoia and psychological stress is immense, and although the movie does a great job showing the trust issues the discovery team goes through, itís not as big of a factor to the audience as I would have liked. Another element the cast and crew kept boasting about was how the 2011 movie worked hard to tie into the original film. Although they do accomplish this, I felt like this element was a bit exaggerated.
The Thing was a decent movie, but I canít recommend it to everyone. If you went through a horror movie phase with your buddies in high school because horror movies are sometimes the best comedy movies, then this will be a good rental for you and your pals. If youíre a big fan of the original movie, and you would love to relive an updated version of The Thing, it is worth a watch. Otherwise, just rent it on a night you have nothing else to do.