Director: Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.
Screenplay: Eric Heisserer
Based On "Who Goes There?" By: John W. Campbell, Jr
Producers: Marc Abraham, Eric Newman
Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Eric Christian Olsen
Country: USA, Canada
BBFC Certification: 15
Duration: 103 Min
I'm going to be completely honest. The film is essentially a remake of the John Carpenter, 1982 classic horror, but it's the prequel story of the Norwegian Scientists of the first film. But as a stand alone film, it is remarkable.The plot is fairly substantial, with minor character development, which in an ideal world, would be expanded on, but with the majority of the cast being Z-list foreign actors who are bound to be killed off anyway, we're not going to complain.
The first 20 minutes of the film are a little bit slow, building up the tension of what the scientist's have found, and what they plan to do, but then after this, the situation unravels, and the trust between what appears to be a close knit group of colleagues, fades away, and all hell breaks loose. Visually, "The Thing" itself is quite impressive, with the high standards of CGI today, the creature is both terrifying and revolting to observe. There are several moments in the film, where I genuinely felt terrified, and even though we've been here before (If you've seen the original that is) It's quite refreshing to have an expansion on the cold, unsettling situation that the original created.
But, the film lacks originality in places. There are several attacks that are so similar to the original, they could've easily been part of a remake. Also, some of the solutions the team come up with for fighting The Thing are nearly a 21st Century copy of John Carpenter's masterpiece. The film also pays homage to another creature feature, Alien, with a face hugger copy-cat. (If you haven't seen Alien, watch it, and you'll immediately understand) Elizabeth-Mary-Winstead does come across as an Ellen Ripley style character (Female lead in Alien), she's quite sassy, but intelligent, there aren't many characters like that in movies lately, but something a little bit more different would've been appreciated.
The only other downfall to the film, is that if you've seen the original, you know how it all ends. This almost ruins it for the viewer, as an unpredictable ending is always better than one we already know before we've even watched it. But as i mentioned earlier, as a stand-alone film, it's brilliant. The killings also surprised me, for a 15-rated certificate, it was rather gory, more than expected. It's an interesting one, it's ruined if you've seen the original, but as a film by it's self it's quite intriguing.
Written By Eammon Jacobs