The original ‘The Thing’ by John Carpenter was released in 1982 and is a master class in horror and special effects. Rather than simply remake the film for a modern audience, director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. has instead created a clever prequel that foreshadows the events of the first film.
When a group of scientists discover an alien spaceship in the snowy wastelands of the Antarctic, curiosity gets the better of them. Before long, a bloodthirsty creature is unleashed from its frozen slumber, and starts to pick them off in a variety of brutal ways.
To make matters worse, the crafty monster has the ability to shape shift and assume the identity of his fallen victims. As paranoia starts to set in, the crew feel increasingly isolated and start to turn on each other. Armed with basic weaponry and an iconic flamethrower, the researchers struggle to stay alive.
Featuring a fantastic cast including Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ulrich Thomsen, Joel Edgerton, and Eric Christian Olsen, it also includes a number of actors described in an extra as the Norwegian Ocean’s Eleven.
As its hunger for human flesh grows, the Thing performs some spectacular body modifications. Faces meld together, arachnid-like limbs grow from its torso and multiple familiar faces decorate its twisted surface.
Fans of the 1982 film will really appreciate the lengths that the filmmakers have gone to in order to shed light on the original expedition. Almost having to reverse engineer the original film to tell a new story, every axe in the wall and mutilated corpse has a story to tell.
‘The Thing’ is a worthy update to the original that brings scares, tension, blood and thrills in equal measure. There are some insightful extras from the cast and crew too, making ‘The Thing’ an essential addition to your collection.
Feature Commentary with Director Matthijs Van Heijningen and Producer Eric Newman, U-control Picture in Picture, Deleted/Extended Scenes and some interesting featurettes.
Review by: Mark O'Connell
Date: 26th March 2012
The Thing (2011)
Rating out of 5: