Tim Cooper on
October 22nd, 2011
Universal Pictures Australasia presents
a film directed by
van Heijningen Jr.
Eric Heisserer, based on the short story "Who Goes There?" by John W.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ulrich Thomsen and Joel Edgerton
Released: October 13th,
the creative well running a little dry in Hollywood the multiplex
has been overrun with reboots, remakes, sequels and prequels. The
these offerings is a prequel to the much loved John Carpenter science
paranoia classic The Thing. While John Carpenters’ movie
a remake of a 1951 film, this time the story delves into what happened
the events in which Kurt Russell's R.J. MacReady battled with the alien
The story opens in Antarctica when a Norwegian research team lead by Dr
Halvorson (Ulrich Thomsen) discovers an ancient extraterrestrial
buried deep within the ice. Trapped in an icy tomb near the ship also
alien "Thing". Due to her knowledge on all things prehistoric,
Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is brought in to examine the
Kate’s professional advice, Sander decides to begin gathering,
find is too important to pass off to someone else or to wait. Revelling
their find, the team drinks and celebrates as Kate comes to know
pilot Sam Carter (Joel Edgerton). Their celebrations are soon brought
frightening close as “The Thing” escapes its frozen shackles to bring a
hell to the icy arctic wasteland.
setting of The
one of the
most immersing aspects of the film. The solitude makes the horror
inescapable. First time director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.
and understands that while his film sits comfortably in the science
genre, its beating heart is powered by human paranoia. The look of the
very similar to Carpenters’ film. The landscape is captured in stark
while the more human drama and suspense is shot up close and personal.
Unfortunately, the action is at times confusing as the scenes are shot
and you don't always see the bigger picture of what is actually
is a common technique in blockbusters and is used to induce a feeling
desperation and violence. However it merely comes off as confusing and
The director has also chosen to use the shaky camera technique for the
half of the film. This obvious attempt at trying to add some kind of
and uncertainty comes off more like a poorly shot episode of NYPD Blue. It is distracting,
unnecessarily and detracts from the overall feel of the film. Oddly
technique is dropped when the action, suspense and paranoia sets in.
of the film works well and doesn't let you go once the action is
until the very Hollywood ending do you start to lose interest. A more
close would have suited the film.
fans of Carpenters’ classic will be
salivating at the thought of what monstrous creations we will see
time they may be disappointed. Carpenters’ 1982 film was a new
creature effects by Rob Bottin (with a little help from the master
creator Stan Winston). With such technical advancements in computer
technology since the 80's, the director has chosen to use predominantly
computer graphics for “The
greater freedom to the alien menace and its movement but it does feels
detached than having a physical puppet on screen, especially when an
line does not meet the creature that is about to bite their face off.
still some notably gory moments and CGI work. Fans will cheer and the
will bury their heads in the popcorn box when things really get
acting in the The
adequate, while not living up to the original. Some
of the paranoia that sets in early is overacted and obvious. Mary
Winstead is not strong enough as an actor to carry a film yet. Someone
would have been a much better choice. Despite trying her best to bring
hardened attitude to the role, there is not enough conviction or
in her performance. In a dull performance, Joel Edgerton brings a bad
accent to a very underwritten role and an misplaced romantic subplot.
cast all do their part but the star of the show is “The Thing” and how
evolves to survive. This film will not be revered in cult cinema
circles but The
enjoyable popcorn entertainment. While fans may be let down on some
levels, there is still much to keep you interested in watching. Make
stick around during the credits for the final part of the story that
two films together over a very familiar tune.