The Thing (Again)

I will admit, though a little kitschy, I really like John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982), a reimagining of the 1951 horror flick The Thing from Another World. The Thing offers a more unique approach than its extraterrestrial genre predecessors, and capitalizes on the tensions created when human emotions click into survival mode and are pitted against others who could either be friend or foe.I have often wondered what a modern interpretation of Kurt Russell’s encounter with the form-changing creature from another world might be like… Well, the 2011 version of The Thing, a prequel to Carpenter’s vision, which I had the opportunity to see recently with my girlfriend, fails to offer the satisfaction many have been waiting nearly three decades for. However, with only a $1.99 admission price at the nostalgic Byrd Theatre, I cannot deny that it was certainly worth every penny.

To be frank, I am not sure who would even consider giving these filmmakers the license to helm the wheel of such a cherished classic. This film would seem more at home as a cheesy SyFy Channel mistake. The heavy reliance on CGI is in stark contrast to the 1982 film’s approach, and the utter lack of an attempt to scare the audience with anything beyond cheap,  gory tricks gets boring fast.

The genius of Carpenter’s film was the psychological guessing games the characters played with one another, trying to figure out who really was who they said they were and who could be The Thing which, for most of the movie was an unfamiliar entity. In the 2011 version, the filmmakers showcase the full capabilities of the morphing monster fairly early in the movie, completing missing the mark of any chance to make their audience fear the unknown.

The best part of this movie was when the credits rolled. Literally. After a fairly anticlimactic and abrupt ending, we finally got our first spoon-fed connection to the 1982 film, which was strangely the most enjoyable part.

When [almost] all is lost, perhaps the online game may have some redeeming qualities?
The Thing The Game: The Thing – Station Survival – Unity Game.

About Robert Nyerges

Robert Nyerges is a filmmaker currently working in the Los Angeles, CA.
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