John Carpenters remake of The Thing is one of the top 10 horror movies of all time. Remember that when old school horror fans remind you how all remakes are nothing but crap. Remakes can be good it is just unfortunate that in many cases Hollywood takes the path of least financial burden and puts very little effort into the script, casting and frankly the ‘why?’. Why should anyone go see a remake? In the case of THE THING reason number one is that it is not actually a remake it is in fact a prequel.
John Carpenters remake was based in a US Arctic research base and the remake is based in the Norwegian base that we saw for a short moment at the start of John Carpenters. In Carpenters version we saw THE THING and the terror it could cause but we were left with the question where did it come from? The prequel answers that question firmly while introducing one of the coolest scifi killers of the 80’s to a whole new generation of fans who have no clue this is a remake/prequel or that there is a fantastic film out there just waiting for them to discover it.
The remake of The Thing ( sorry prequel ) is for the most part a very well polished film that offers a lot to new genre fans who are just discovering horror and also offers some value to older fans and fans of classic horror. The film is very polished with a great cast featuring Mary Elizabeth Winstead and has a story that works and a very nice mix of practical and CGI special effects that work well within the overall tone of the film.
The producer’s of this prequel story also worked on the remake of Dawn of the Dead another great remake and are really proving that lesser known actors who are cheaper to attain, a polished story and a great team on set can produce a remake that us veteran horror fans don’t have to hate.
Are the effects up to the practical effects of John Carpenters which are legendary? Frankly no they are not. But there is also absolutely nothing wrong with the CGI and the other various practical effects in the remake. Why is the original better then? Simple, it came first. Nothing will ever change the fact that Rob Bottin’s FX came first and that to this day they still look awesome.
The Thing is a fun film that does what it is designed to and entertains fans. It is not a movie I will watch over and over again but it is also not a film I am going to throw under the bus or speak negatively about. It did a great job at telling a prequel to a story that many of us consider the greatest sci-fi horror tale ever told. 8 out of 10 stars and a great choice for a date flick.