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Mike Wilder brings you movie reviews. Each week a Selection of reviews for new releases and older films plus movie comparisons.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Review of The Thing (2011) by Mike

Title: The Thing (2011)

Original UK Release Date: 2nd December 2011

Original US Release Date: 14th October 2011

UK Rating: 15

US Rating: R

Director: Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.

Genre: Horror

Plot: Scientists working in the Antarctic are terrorised by a shape shifting alien.

Mike's Review
This is a prequel to probably one of the best horror films ever made, a true classic and a very good addition to the story. It tells what happened in the events leading up to the original film. The last shot of this film links to the first shot of the original.

At first I was worried about this film for two reasons. First, as the film was set on a Norwegian camp how much reading would I have to do whilst trying to follow the story? Second, the original film is amazing a true classic of the horror genre. Would this film do justice to the story and would the use of modern effects change the feel of the story? My fears were soon put to rest. Fortunately it appears that the universal language for scientists working in the Antarctic is English! There are a few subtitles throughout the film but not that many. Now a big thank you to the producers of this film. It is clear that they are true fans of the original and this is evident in the title. They couldn’t come up with a title better than “The Thing”. They could have gone with The Thing: Begins but nothing sounded as good. This film was made by fans of the original and they have ensured that it links into every reference made in the original to the Norwegian base, even down to an axe in the wall seen in the first film, showing how it got there in this one. The cast is made up of very good actors, none of them are particularly well known to everyone. I recognised a few faces, but this is good as you have no idea who will survive as there no major stars.

Story wise, if you have seen the original you know what to expect but the film makers know this and throw a few curveballs in. The famous “blood test” of the original almost happens here but cleverly it gets change for something else also unexpected. The creatures origins are left alone and rightly so as there is no way of knowing them. It is just a creature trying to survive by killing everyone in its way. Do we really need to know more than that?

The effects are also very good, but this is what you would expect from modern effects. Where the original films effects were ground breaking, the ones here are what you can see in most Hollywood creature films. The difference here is the attention to making the creature effects look like the original. Again the makers of the film have done a great job in making the two films fit together both story wise and visually. I wish all sequels/prequels would have enough respect for the audience like this one has.

Anyone who has read the “About Mike” section will know about my nemesis. They struck again with this film. They rated this film a “good strong 3 stars” asked why not 4 stars they stated that Happy Feet Two was released at the same time and this was a 4 star film and they enjoyed it more. What???! How can you compare a horror with a cartoon? Shouldn’t you rate them as individual films in different genres?

Rant over.

9 out of 10

Additional Information

It is a prequel to The Thing (1982)

Stand out performance: This film didn’t really have a stand out performance for me. Not to say that they were bad just equally good.


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