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The Thing - Film Review

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by TheOnlyFiona (subscribe)
In real life, I do discuss food exactly like how I write in my food review articles. As always my food reviews are scored only on what I've tried and the service expected of that type of establishment.
Published March 30th 2013
The Thing: the 1982 classic versus 2011 prequel

The 1982 classic and the 2011 prequel - two halves of the same story.

With almost three decades of special effects and cinematic advancements between them, they essentially have the same plotline, but it is the different styles used to scare the audience that sets them apart the most.

The Thing refers to the alien life form that terrorises a group of scientists in Antarctica. The prequel film deals with a partial origin story. An unidentified organism is found in the ice. Our scientists, led by Ripley-esque palaeontologist Kate Lloyd, dig it out only to find it alive and kicking. The creature stalks them.

Able to change its DNA to take on a victim's appearance, it lives among them, picking them off one by one. Yet our scientists find a flaw in the camouflage, allowing them to test who is human and who is not. The classic film essentially has the same storyline, however the alien is disguised as an Alaskan Malamute and the scientists are led by helicopter pilot, R.J. MacReady. The connecting arc between the films shows Lars, the dog herder, chasing after the dog with a shotgun.

For both films, the horror and thrills are the soul of the film. The prequel employs decent computer generated imagery (CGI) with animatronics. The Thing is a tank sized monstrosity, akin to a giant headless spider.

When it is exposed, it literally peels back the human form from its chest to expose itself. Truly creepy, as the Thing chases our protagonists with the head of a 'consumed' character on its back. Many of the thrills come from the foreboding dark spaces, where our scientists try to hunt it. The scientists' deduction of how to determine who is human is more analytical and logical than in the classic.

The prequel holds it own against other horror/creature films however against its predecessor, it lacks the outrageous over-the-topness that made it the cult classic it is today. Though not as brooding as its prequel, the classic is all prosthetics, animatronics, and stop-motion animation. The heart of the film, the animatronics and stop-motion aliens are fantastic, visceral and over the top. They drive the blazing glory that the protagonists get from the get go for fighting it off. The classic dives straight into energetic action scenes.

Both films offer plenty of scares and genuine moments of gore. The creature is continually developed in each film. Its horrid DNA morphing dynamic keeps changing and offers plenty of twists in the predator prey face off. I viewed the prequel before the classic and found in many ways the prequel works the psychological aspect of the film more. The special effects were adequate in conveying the Thing's flesh-merging capabilities and the spaceship is more developed than in the first film. Yet the classic has all the same moments of creature development that are more sophisticated, even with the more primitive animatronics and prosthetics. The designs of the creature are more diverse and when it segments, the results are truly squirm-worthy. If you were in the room with one of the creatures, the ones from the classic would definitely give you goose bumps.

The Thing as a complete story over two films work. Both films are perfect for a fright night. Recommended to be viewed in story order, where you get the benefits of modern psychological horror and visceral, shock value old school horror.
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Why? Classic film and its new age prequel
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Your Comment
Not sure I'm game to see this one
by Lucy Graham (score: 2|275) 2123 days ago
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