The Thing (2011) – Review

1 1/2 Stars


The Thing starts off with a fantastic pre title sequence, full of tension, spectacle and a forbidding sense of isolation. It then proceeds to dissipate that great opening and is content to rest on its laurels for the rest of the way. It’s a lazy effort that is both overly familiar and boring for large stretches of its drawn out running-time. To be fair this isn’t a sequel or reboot to the John Carpenter film but yet a prequel. In actuality it most closely resembles an Alien film with a determined heroine stalking about strapped with a flame thrower. Featuring a nearly all Norwegian cast this is practically a foreign film, the characters aren’t defined clearly through the script and the cast of smiliar looking actors only adds to the confusion. Even Joel Edgerton, who was so magnetic in Warrior, is rendered ineffective and bland in this his second feature film.

The plot involves a group of scientists in Antarctica that have been assembled to examine the lone alien survivor of a crashed spaceship. When the creature escapes it begins impersonating every life form within reach. This prequel attempts to employ the stomach turning special effects of the 1982 film yet ignores story and character for too many drawn out scenes of dismembering, skinning and body organs flying about. Many familiar beats are present, most notably a sequence in which the alien infested member of the team is determined through a mouth check for missing teeth and not a blood sample as in the Carpenter version.

This is now the third screen incarnation of the plot first seen in the Howard Hawks film then boosted by Carpenter and finally transmuted into this subpar concoction. Outside of a few shots that are nearly identical to its predecessor this 2011 version is a pale imitation. Lacking the clever touches and ambiguous conclusion that made Carpenter’s film so intriguing.

Director: Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.
Stars: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Eric Christian Olsen

One thought on “The Thing (2011) – Review

  1. Never seen the original so to me this was entertaining. A little slow but “The thing” looked damned cool with peoples heads hanging off the body and stuff.

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