Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Thing

Written by Joe the Revelator

The Thing is a Sci-Fi horror thriller about an alien creature, which can split itself off into any number of pieces to infect the hosts around it. (Not to be confused with the 1982 John Carpenter movie, The Thing, about the same alien, in the same part of Antarctica, under the same circumstances.)

Once The Thing manages to infect a person, it effectively creates another Thing, which is able to mimic its host so perfectly it blends into the group. It can emulate their emotions, their features, and even their bad acting. This new Thing then tries to infect others to make more Things, which seem to have the same agenda as the original Thing; kill all humans in gruesome ways, and eventually cart our DNA away to another planet.

That Thing

A sense of mistrust and paranoia are the driving points of The Thing (both the original and the remake) which is amplified by the desolate, hostile setting. Everyone is forced to remain indoors throughout most of the movie, or die of exposure and chill. The immediate results are infighting and suspicion. Everyone's trying to guess who's still human and who isn't. And every once in a while someone will sprout teeth from their forehead and try gnawing on the cabin mates.

One thing I'll make special mention of is the effects of The Thing. The monsters aren't all CG. Most of the nasty beasties in the movie are a blend of puppetry and animatronics, with a liberal dose of computer animation to help the transformations along. Think a realistic Dead Space, even though the monsters from that game borrow heavily from the original Thing.

This Other Thing

Compared to the original John Carpenter movie, the 2011's The Thing is essentially the same movie. Chronologically it takes place before the original, and the leading protagonist is a mousey scientist played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World) instead of a grizzled Kurt Russel. The prequel goes so far as to remake a few monster models from the old movie, so fans of The Thing will not be disappointed by The Thing.

To end this headache, my recommendation is to go watch The Thing. Either version. And send your hate mail to John Carpenter, who couldn't be bothered to come up with an entirely new title, despite The Thing being a re-imagining of "The Thing from Another World."

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