27 November 2011 | steve1-1
Horror for a different age.
Now now children, some people will have different opinions than you and just because it's different, doesn't make it wrong. Having read the first couple of pages of reviews here and having just seen the film only quarter of an hour ago, I felt compelled to write something about this prequel to the 1982 'The Thing'.
It's fair to say that opinion is divided on the merits of this offering, but it's also fair to say that most opinions that lambast this film are from die-hard Carpenter fans who are woefully disappointed by what they have seen, and fair play to them. No, it's not like the original movie. Go figure. It's nearly thirty years later. If you want to see the same film, go and rent it (and then watch it) twice.
Having seen the original movie maybe three or four times in the past thirty years (I was fourteen when I will have first seen it in 1983) I was quite pleasantly surprised by the end of this prequel. True, it lacks some of the tension of the original and the acting from most, if not all, was below par. I remember the wonder of the special effects taking my breath away in the early eighties. This effort failed to bring me those same kind of delightful terrors. However, this is not due to the realism or effort on the part of the film-makers.
This is purely down to my experience of horror movies throughout the past thirty years. My expectations at 42 are not the same as that 14 year old boy and I am a grisled and wisened old movie cynic these days as opposed to a wide-eyed horror newbie. I think I watched this around the same time as my pirate VHS copies of The Evil Dead and Poltergeist.
In short, this wasn't half bad. It was faithful enough the original film for my liking, though having only seen it a few times, I am far from an authority on the subject matter. Continuity sputtered from time to time and there were slightly too many plot lines left dangling for comfort, but altogether, this was an enjoyable hour and a half. Yes, it's true that you didn't feel for the characters as much as say MacReady (or whatever Russell's name was) in the first film and some of the blame for this should fall squarely on the writers. After all, bad though the acting may have been, they can only read what's on the page in front of them.
Don't be put off by the comments you read here that tell you this is nothing more than an awful pile of monkey doings, because that is judging it too harshly. It's never going to be the classic that Carpenter's film ended up being, but given the last decade of truly terrible remakes we have been forced to sit through, horror-wise, this is almost a breath of fresh air. Remember what decade you're in be thankful that whilst this is not a classic, it is better than much of what we've seen recently.