Friday, January 25, 2013

The Thing (2011)

Meant to be a direct prequel to John Carpenter's 'The Thing', this movie takes the tone of suspense and horror and changes it to that of a sci-fi action film about aliens. Yay...

The story revolves around a girl named "Kate" and her constant dilemma of who to trust as an alien thaws out and starts cloning people. I wish I could elaborate on the plot, I really do.

Way to kill a classic, guys...

1. I'm aware that technology has advanced and filmmaker's feel compelled to use computer-generated images in place of time-consuming physical props for special effects, but that takes away from part of the greatness that was John Carpenter's 'The Thing.' Watching a prop of a head walk down a hallway traumatized me when I was little. This movie, however, is more like a video game.

2. My next issue is another flaw in the portrayal of the aliens. They're no longer hiding in the dark, waiting as the film builds suspense to attack. Instead they run, jump and yell as they chase their targets down in front of everyone, until they're finally burned or gunned down. Um, where's the suspense in that?

3. With the alien successfully screwed up, you might be wondering what's left to scare you - at least I was. Well, sorry to burst your bubble but it's not scary. It's not suspenseful. Actually it seems like the director was just so proud to have that actress play "Kate" that he decided to make a movie about her. What happened to her anyway? I don't know. She sat in a truck and the scene changed. Yeah, the movie didn't end there, the scene just changed.

4. With the music and sound effects taken directly from John Carpenter's 'The Thing', it looks like the only original part of the movie is the scene in the spaceship. Oh yeah, Kate gets chased around the spaceship until she blows up the alien, in all its special effects glory. Good scene... for an action movie.

5. It looks like they were really trying to make sure to link everything to the beginning of John Carpenter's 'The Thing', even down to the helicopter chasing the dog, but decided to add one thing: sex appeal. That's the only reason I can think of for casting 'Kate' as the main character - they wanted the audience's attention on her. Think back to 'The Thing' in the 80's. A handful of guys stranded in the middle of nowhere with an alien, because John Carpenter wanted the attention on the suspense and tension. In between the action scenes in this movie, however, we're stuck with no one taking Kate seriously because she's just a young girl. I'm assuming there was an underlying message of the struggles of being a young woman in society intended, but I don't watch horror for a message. Gimme some terror.

In closing, the movie does explain what happened prior to the 80's 'The Thing', so it's worth seeing just once, if only to have that knowledge. Then I would advise destroying it, so not even one cell of this movie can spread and infect the minds of people everywhere.

1 out of 4

The original didn't need a prequel.

Cheers and goodnight.

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