“What were they doing flying that low? Shooting at a dog…at us??!!?” Stir crazy…cabin fever… Who knows! These were questions asked in John Carpenter’s 1982 cult classic The Thing. Well, 29 years later we finally have some answers!
This prequel (to Carpenter’s) film, directed by Matthijis van Heijningen, is set in Antarctica in 1982, just before Carpenter’s film. This film gets an A+ in continuity, that needs to be said. Everything you see in John Carpenters classic 1982 film The Thing is here. EVERYTHING!!! Whether you like this film or not, continuity is there. With that being said…I thoroughly enjoyed this film, but it isn’t perfect. However, it’s a damn fine horror/sci-fi film, especially if you enjoyed the original.
The creature/monster/alien effects are great; they match Carpenter’s film yet manage to be even more graphic. I saw this movie with friends, some of which I know (as in I’ve watched Carpenter’s film with them) are big fans of the ’82 classic and there was a mixed bag of reviews. Everyone I saw it with enjoyed the film. Period. However, some of us enjoyed the film more than others. One of my friends thought “It felt too much like the original”, which to me was a good thing! The film starts off slow as you meet the expedition team but quickly becomes a gore fest. I might have written the end sequence slightly different (no spoiler) but I enjoyed it none the less.
For anyone unfamiliar with the original, this film opens with a Norwegian expedition team discovering a 100,000 year old spaceship in Antarctica under the ice. An international research team gathers and soon unearths a frozen alien. The team brings it back to their research facility and that’s where things start to go wrong for the unfortunate crew. This ‘thing’ can replicate itself into exact copies of almost anything, like the members of the research team, thus the paranoid horror thriller begins!
I expect this film to become a cult classic, just like the 1982 version. It is very gory and may not appeal to the general public. However, for true fans of John Carpenter’s version, this is a real treat that is exactly what it should be- a gory, grim nightmare of a story. I thank the film makers for not making a Hollywood film, but a true chapter in The Thing saga. No matter how people feel about this prequel film, the one ‘thing’ that everyone should have in common is going out and watching John Carpenter’s film, whether it be again or for the first time.
P.S. The 1982 version is available to watch on Netflix Instant Stream