Blu-ray Review: THE THING

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Source: HoH

Mar 23, 2012, 2:1 AM

I was definitely in the "why the hell would they remake the damn near perfect horror film" camp when this one got announced.  With the current trend of "lets just remake anything that made more then ten bucks" pretty much being the mantra of those that produce horror films to say I was concerned would be an understatement.

So, first up lets just get it out of the way, this is not a remake.  It's not, not even close.  What they have done is try to tell us the story of what happened before that dog came leaping into Kurt Russell's world in John Carpenter's classic 1982 gore fest.

It really will change the way you feel about this film if you know this up front.  They are not retelling Carpenters story, they are prefacing it and story wise, it's actually pretty good.

My other concern was how would the effects look.  It's no big secret that Rob Bottins' effects in Carpenters original were ground breaking.  GROUNDBREAKING!  I knew they were going to try and "improve" things with that damn CGI, and they did.  Good news is, they also have a great deal of really good practical FX work that while still pale in comparison to Bottin's work, it looks pretty damn good.

Make sure to watch the handful of documentaries on the disc, they are good and really go inside how hard they tried to tie into the Carpenter film.

With all that being said, the CG still looks like shit, sorry.

The story opens with a couple Norwegians accidentally discovering the alien craft in a rather extreme way.  It certainly grabs your attention and serves as a nice entrance piece into the tension and paranoia that drives the first third of the film. 

As with the Carpenter film this version of THE THING dissolves into a handful of folks all sure that the person next to them is infected and and reacting to the horrific events unfolding around them.

I liked the storyline a lot and I really liked how they go through the motions of making sure that everything is in place so that when Kurt Russell and company show up to kick off the original, everything is where it should be.  They took great effort in making sure it's all in place and I appreciated that. 

This is another film where talking about it to much will ruin the viewing for you so lets just leave it at this.  The film is well made and adequately written.  They don't try to copy Carpenter, pay homage to Carpenter or talk down to the fans.  They actually try to tell the tale of what happened leading up to that dog running into Kurt Russell's camp with the helicopter close behind, and they accomplish that, and it's a pretty good story to hear.

I really do wish they would have foregone with the CGI, I know they feel it helps, it don't.  Against the really fine practical effects they accomplished, it stands out like a sore thumb.  That's really the biggest and only bitch I have about THE THING.

Oh yeah, they should have come up with a different name as well, it really does make it sound like a total remake and i think that will actually drive away some for two reasons.  One, true fans of Carpenters original will just and have flat out boycotted it and that's a shame because it actually is an adequate companion piece.  Two,  the people who are actually excited for a remake might be disappointed that it is its own stand alone story and has nothing to do with MacReady and the boys.

If you can get past all that though and just sit down and enjoy the film for what it is  - a prequel, then you'll be fine and life as you know it will continue.

THE THING is available now.


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