Though the CGI requisite to bring the eponymous creature [#2-3 of all-time by its fascinating biology and power to become the apex organism in galaxy hierarchy] to life is of painful absence (advanced, but tragically limited by the resources of its era and overly-bawdy, cartoony) & the finale is mixedly-executed, The Thing is an ’80’s classic whodunit mystery x cynical antiauthoritarian Cold War / HIV atmospheric Lovecraftian cosmic treatise on anonymity, claustrophobia, identity, masculinity, xenophobia, humanity, mistrust, and paranoia x splatterfest gore slasher x alien sci-fi flick with fantastic [Kurt Russell-led] performances, blood-curdling Morricone score of deep bass crunches and palpable mystery/dread symphonics, & pure craftsmanship imagination further crowning John Carpenter king of the horror genre. 9.2/10.
Plot Synopsis: In remote Antarctica, a group of American research scientists are disturbed when they find a helicopter shooting at a sled dog near their camp. When they take in the dog, they realize there is something funny about it, and soon after find its remains and a beast in their camp that can assume different forms of its victims. A resourceful helicopter pilot (Kurt Russell) and the camp doctor (Richard Dysart) lead the crew as they try to discover and battle against the creature before it picks them all off and can escape incognito.
*Possible Spoilers Ahead*
Pros: Great opening scene as we are automatically hardwired to think on the side of the crew and wonder what is going on and why the man would be trying to shoot an innocent dog purposely manipulated by man’s best friend a wolf in [dog]’s clothing who even malevolently gives kisses to play the part – also mystery on just what happened to the norwegian base that startled and turned those men into such lunatics instantly luring you in and artfully splitting up the camp to let the thing fester and get a new host to impersonate behind the scenes /// epic Morricone score deep tone bass crunches creates palpable aggression something dark lurking beneath the surface, also mimics heartbeat what connects us all life but replicated by thing //// great performance by Kurt Russell skyrocketing his career as well as the other supporting actors, terrifying concept in having an imposter alien that can change form so you never know who is real and who is not really who they say they are, high squealing violins minor key mystery palpable dread feels wrong supernatural tugs at stomach knots /// one of the best usages of animal acting the dog lurks eyes wolf stalks camp plotting in secret /// pure imagination from John Carpenter crowning him as easily the king of horror genre such a hyperimaginative concept new age and better invasion of the body snatchers on capocalyptica scale and difference from halloween and his other icon entries; direction a little heavy at times alien xenomorph 2.0 #2-3 best movie monster ever created only after xenomorph godzilla fascinating biology can disguise itself as any life form by absorbing it in grotesque of ways only needs few moments alone with prey can hunt from anyone what u trust most ostensibly able to replicate even to memory personality iq level it knows all our names or learns from side very intelligent each part of body own organism all intent fighting for life even blood able to fight for itself move wants to conqer worlds invasion able to learn incorporate memory of every lifeform on that planet into its library dna code to build ultimate organism difference from xenomorph not to destroy life but to rule over it as apex organism still so much we don’t know about thing biology how does it replicate host can host still be alive to try to convince others still them and keep up charade?, bold and out-of-the-box setting for a horror movie in Antarctica and the snow references to the shining axe madness //// fantastic gore horror scenes divers horrific horror scene with the dogs in the pen when we see the thing for the first time attacking one of the most sacred animals for humans in dogs /// incredible pacing and storytelling unfolding of the mystery of what this thing is and how it was discovered, mystery angle impeccable as you wonder who is really who they say they are and who is not /// masculinity analysis can’t talk about it but then again of course thing would just deny it all that strength means nothing ties into cold war analysis tensions finale too exhausted to even have showdown, also could be allegory for how well men get along until outside force (women = thing) introduced into mix /// insane final act with shocking reveals of who’s a Thing including the biggest surprise in that Blair who first warned of their danger is the biggest one, evocative scoring and theme, atmospheric build-up of tension through claustrophobia and a stunning location setting, paranoia, sacrifice, preservation,
Cons: really, REALLY hate the opening shot – bad CGi’d alien spaceship flying saucer cliche for no reason why be so blatantly obvious about it obviously we know it’s an alien and later find their ship so why even necessary /// The FX and CGI pretty laughable looking back – although you have to take it with a grain of salt considering the time and it is very advanced for the time practical vfx blood gushing organism, organism looks too cartoony and like a guignol carnival instead of realistic alien ///, wish they would’ve named it something better/more menacing than “The Thing”, /// bizarre exclusion of even one female whatsoever – are elements indicating it could be a scathing indictment of male inability to express emotion /// characters a bit one dimensional couldve added 15-20 min for more characterization very short 1 hr 45 min we don’t even know any backstory about who they are proto-modern slasher /// do not like the ending after all that we don’t even know if any thing made it out what happened to main character macready or childs who was suspiciously going around not a true one-off requires a sequel
Full Review Coming Soon
The Rare [Of ~Nonexistence] Legacy Prequel 30+ Years Later On Par Or Better Than Its Classic Original, 2010’s Thing – though the FX are choppy, breathtaking until the infamous chopper scene by exec-forced CGI superimposition on crew-done practical VFX – celebrates, fixes, plays into, & even adds to ’82’s in symbiosis > parasitism x exploitation x oneupsmanship: its own thing with 10x better cinematography, (frost)bite in amplified black icy horror edge, lore expansion, plot-twists, characterization led by a capable of cast led by a worthy successor to K. Russell with female representation in Mary Elizabeth-Winstead, and far more humanity exposition spectrumizing a gamut of emotions from glory to cowardice to betrayal to arrogance to fear to avarice to love to grief to paranoia to deflection to blame to groupthink to murder vs. survival. 8/10.
Plot Synopsis: The Thing is a 2011 science fiction horror film directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr., written by Eric Heisserer, and starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and Eric Christian Olsen.
*Possible Spoilers Ahead*
Pros: rare prequel respects original smartly doesnt even try to remake or one up but instead completes the story respects what carpenter originally did capitalizes on mystery of what happened at norwegian base before leading into opening scene of original thing fills in the gaps, love love love how perfectly it matches up obviously crafted by ultimate geekdom fan of originals every minutiae of detail even down to the wall coverings and ice block /// even og universal logo from beginning same, matches up exactly ssignal in ice from crashed ship, even typology same, looks same, photographs exactly match of excavation, ‘we’ll never look at the stars the same way again’, the dog plays major role, dog kennel first victims ///
Revelry Into A Nightmare: darker tone and score from openign wind howl diegetics, even recreates references og morricone score with more basic worst overall but still fine serviceable score, additions of ethnic songs norwegian netherlands revelry drunken before horror starts,
expands lore /// cant digest inorganic materials like metals so spits it out, far more human than original film able like other girl convincingly act human emotions like fear even fooled us in audience into believing she real but only a ruse of betrayal lie fear to kill kte MAKES 10X SCARIER! /// wish they had more exposition on what caused original crash apparently original ending did that explains spaceship beings collected speciments from millions of worlds but thing escaped so they crashed ship on purpose to try to kill it but it ejects aand gets frozen in ice, part of this can still be seen in fact adam references why leave ship bc trying to escape
cinematography 10000000x better of course helped by bigger budget and modern tech but still, jaw-dropping shots of arctic nothingness from opening flickers pure nature sublime awe, subartctic ice caverns blue dropping millions of miles incredible makes far longer and better shots making makes it feel way more bigger importance ancient supernatural /// end score is one of best sequences ever heard rest ois basic blockbuster but end 10x over saves it grace in ednsymphony orchestra
creature cgi of course biggest problem with original era limited but here actually makes thing better more alien like less grotesque guignol carnival splatterfest more realistic sci-fi, love love love how it looks almost xenomorphic in ice black long spindly powerful screeches jumps out ice seconds notice POWERFUL, 1000x000x0x better prism of how far technology humanity has come creature design is absolutely fcking beautiful spindly spider legs changing form force to be reckoned with bullets don’t work bigger faster stronger picks up twoards end hoply sht insane vfx hands FAR MORE AGGRESSIVE FASTER SCAERIER CREWATURE /// problem relies too much on cgi and creature bizarrely reveals itself a lot more sure it had just encountered humanity for the first time but stil /// appareantly again the studio forced cgi bc wanted shiny and new overimposed cgi onto practical fx crew already had done in post-prod like in juliette’s transformation
love that it references ‘who goes there’ 1938 john w campbell as true source of material I didnt even know that carpenter tried to take all credit for thing but not entirely his
cast and characters /// girl great mary elizabeth winstead awesome great pressence paleontology female reprenestation multiple females in thing kate llyod not only great actress but 34asy on eyes adds feminine warmth and stem representation new kurt russell cautious, hungry main guy cold power hungry tyrannical, peter warmth, absolutely badass mew /// sure not oscar pedigree screenwriting but does it need to be? need more bodies husks for kills even classic with this big a ship didnt have entire backstories far more dialogue and interplay /// characters wouldve been even better if not for studio interference scenes with sander talking to himself about his anxiety and depression why he wants to do something big with life make it all worth it
unpredictable screenwriting /// FIRE plot twists innocent girl even rats out other tries to shift blame to get kate alone just to kill /// makes you think it’s going the way of the original blood test but burns down don’t know as much what happens next good remake doesnt just copy or exploit or rely on original but instead paves its own path does its own thing like this /// main guy who fought alongside mew and was attacked by other thing itself /// AWESOME finale where og failed this more climactic back to spaceship /// fakes out obvious ending with dog running snow and makes it post credits DOPEST POST CREDITS SCENE EVER!
better humanity exposition /// better character motivations want to be scientific discovery of century alien life better explanation of what doing here intrigue /// talk of kids feel grief tragedy for lost ones, selfishness wants to keep going scientific glory discovery, fear, violence, cowardice, betrayal, love, arrogance, stubbornness, beg /// also love how not a scathing indictment of masculinity like original and instead shows against feminist misandrist interpretations obviously women would be just as scared and hopeless in situation cant reason with alien impersonates same and has access to alien abe to convincingly mimic human emotions too and plead innocence like teeth /// manages to be PROPERLY feminist w/o misandry, funny no one listens or puts much stock bc woman /// characters smart use scientific method treat it like virus quarantine not just scream then kill rinse repeat actually use more strategy /// love love LOVE how they make it a man and woman hunting down team in finale perfect gender balance true humanity experience
Cons: literally makes no sense what happened to the helicopter in the air how did other guy get infected? why doid hurt guy olav who had literal contact with thing blood not get infected? why did thing unveil itself unprovoked after saying everything fine and crash itself on helicopter instead of hijack or keep its cover? /// doesnt even explain how others got infected just turn around and bam half the camp infected no dog inside no time away no blood infection what happened crucial part of film explanation missing?
the chopper scene /// ~kills what was one of the most fascinating and investable movies up to that point, also killing what was absolutely breathtaking in practical vfx into mixed clusterfck human cgi by corporate execs forcing its superimposition over models already made by the crew /// with 30 yrs of advanvements too gaudy tasteless same shouldvebeen cleaner and better for a film known for vfx
Full Review Coming Soon