Cinematic Releases: The Thing
As a fan of the original, I'd be hard pressed to not automatically tear this movie apart for "raping my childhood". After all, the 1982 film was the first R rated movie I was ever allowed to see. It was also the first horror movie my parents ever let me watch. It would be simple to destroy this movie on the premise of childhood memories alone. However, this prequel is one of the only current horror movies I've seen that features some genuine scares while returning to a familiar setting I was first introduced to as a child. And this "rape" nonsense needs to end here.
The Thing 2011 is a strong prequel that only builds upon the knowledge we have of this environment from a previous film. It was fun watching this movie and making the connections between the '82 film and this one. I kept checking for continuity errors and found that they did an admirable job of tying up what could have been too many loose ends. Yet, there is one really bad point ......
Unfortunately, we live in an era when CGI has taken hold of our cinema experience and ruins the realism of many effects. While I understand why it's used, I can say that it ultimately fails this movie. Too many scenes are over done with hackneyed animation and underdeveloped rendering. If they had matched the creature effects just a little more with the previous film, we could have been witness to a near perfect entry in a possible new franchise.
I've read many criticisms about common themes, familiar characters, repeated scenes, and too many similarities to the '82 Thing. In this vein, I will defend this film. What do people expect? We are returning to a similar terrain with characters that work in a similar field of scientific study in the exact same region of the world. Yes, there are going to be extremely strong similarities.
The big issue I've taken with this movie is the marketing tactics that were grossly misused. This film was never marketed as a prequel. It appeared to many as another under cooked remake. It is not. Without spoiling anything, it is the tale of the Norwegian science camp that appeared briefly in the previous film. This should have been used to the film's full advantage. Instead, we were spoon fed trailers that only showed the familiar scenes and quite effectively drove fans away.
The Thing is a solid movie that further develops a well known story while maintaining the integrity of the original. It's not a perfect film but is respectful of characters and a story that scared the shit out of me when I was nine years old. See it.
And don't ever forget, Wilford Brimley is an evil evil man.