103 Min. | Horror – Mystery – Sci-Fi | December 2011
IMDB Rating: 6.2
Director: Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.
Staring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen
The Thing Review: Surprised there haven’t been more than three versions of this one, The Thing From Another World is up there with Dracula and Frankenstein in terms of quality. John Carpenter’s 1982 version, however, was so pitch-perfect, and so close to pre-CG special effects perfection, that it seemed like you just couldn’t top it! A living ‘Thing’ from another world, recently excavated in Antartica, assumes human form and lurks amongst others, then splits, contorts and bursts open its human bodies in whatever way necessary to survive. Paranoia spreads, the cast never knowing who among them has been assimilated by this ‘Thing’. The Thing acts as a remake for the newcomers, but also as a prequel for people familiar with John Carpenter’s version, complete with homages to shots found in that film and a mid-credits sequence leading right into it.
The re-remake has been met with some anger on the internet due to its use of CG, after Carpenter’s film wowed people so much with its real-life animatronic effects. The bizarre truth is that the majority of this version’s effects shots are actually practical, with a bit of CG to smooth out the edges and to achieve a few of the things practical effects could not, Jurassic Park style. The fact that people have had trouble realising this is testament to just how far both types of effect have come. The ‘transformations’ here however are less visceral than they were in the 80s version, the bodies change shape and sprout tentacles and teeth without the gushing blood and pus from the ‘original’ and it gives the entire affair a ‘cleaner’ feel, where the monster is more of a marvel than a horror.
In fact, the most notable difference in this version is the pacing. Carpenter’s film bided its time, steadily working on the paranoia, only pulling out the glorious effects in a few key scenes, whilst this ‘Thing’ wastes no time showing off what it can do. It’s also nice to learn a bit more about the ‘Thing’, as great as the mystery of it all was in the ‘original’, it’s refreshing to get a further look into the kind of world this being may have come from and the kind of technology that brought it here. Overall, a great monster movie and another great retelling of a classic, but probably better for newcomers than for people with fond memories of the previous version(s). Less tension and more ‘BOO!’, less revulsion and more awe, this is the ‘accessible’ version of The Thing.