Friday, October 14, 2011

The Thing (2011) Review

Whaaaaat up Internets?

The Bearded Bullet is here to review The Thing, which is a prequel to....The Thing.  The title unfortunately mimics (see what I did there...) the un-originality of the plot.  But really, how could a prequel that takes place days before the original film be that much different?  The answer lies in the middle.  The Thing faithfully sets up events that transpire in the OG Thing, while delivering a somewhat-satisfying story.

I'll try not to get too spoilery (for those who haven't seen the original), but the new Thing follows the Norwegian team that discovered and unfortunately unearthed the "thing" that ultimately ends up terrorizing them and eventually the American team in the original.  Mary Elizabeth Winstead's character is a paleontologist brought to the dig site to help excavate the frozen specimen.  The plot of the film unfolds pretty much how you would expect it to; "thing" thaws, terrorizes the team, paranoia is had by all, a test is developed to check for aliens, "thing" kills lots of people.  Despite the somewhat predictability I had a blast with the new Thing.  I enjoyed the characters and especially the set-ups for what comes in the original film.  Being able to spot things that Kurt Russel will find in just days made me cheer in my seat.  Fan service is definitely paid during the credits of the ends exactly where you think it will.  And I was completely okay with it.

I feel that I must make mention of the music and the visual effects in this new Thing.  The original Thing used the same tonal notes over and over again to add and build tension within a scene; the prequel also uses music to enhance a scene (as most horror films do these days), but perhaps not quite as effectively as the original.  The visual effects, for me, were not on par with the original's.  1982's The Thing featured absolutely incredible practical effects for the chest-busting, tentacle throwing, head-splitting aliens - and it stills holds up today.  The 2011 Thing uses pretty much all CG for the alien action.  Its pretty decent, but can't compare to the rawness of practical effects.  Why does Guillermo del Toro (and Ridley Scott with Prometheus) tend to use as many practical effects as possible?  Because they look fantastic and are more believable than digital effects (in most cases).  Much like the reboot of A Nightmare on Elm Street, specifically the Freddy-coming-through-the-wall scene, the original film's practical effects add a level of intensity and believability to a film about a 100,000-year-old alien.

While The Thing may not break tradition or really try anything new, I can say that if you are a fan of the original The Thing, I recommend you check this out.  The story is actually still enjoyable, as are the new characters the viewer is introduced to.  I had a lot of fun with this movie.

The Thing (2011) is pretty cool.

Bearded Bullet.

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