Film: The Thing

The recent not re-make sort of prequel to John Carpenter’s The Thing ended up in my DVD.

I really liked the John Carpenter film from 1982:

And many years ago I saw the original 1951 version (b/W)

The original short story by John W Campbell JR was entitled “Who goes there ?”, retitled later “The thing from another world“.

Its available in The Antarktos Cycle, part of Chasoisum’s Chthulhu series of books.

So is the prequel/remake any good ?

Yes and No.

It is pretty much a remake in terms of plot of John Carpenter’s film. The discovery of the saucer, and the body. The creeping paranoia and so on. Its set in the Norwegians’ camp before the 1982 film. So far so many jumpers, beards and cute Norwegian dialogue. Some Americans get drafted in – a (female) paleontologist and some helicopter fliers. The inevitable storm coming surfaces like a wet sock in a boot though. Can’t we even have a white out ? And just how many flame throwers does each Antarctic research station pack, and why ?

Neat twists were how the humans spotted the Thing (I won’t spoil it), how the film was a prequel an segued into John Carpenter’s The Thing.

The SFX were ok, but interestingly I don’t think they were as much of a step change from the 1982 stuff ! IT seems they also used animatronics which probably explains why. They are decent enough anyway.

What was missed out on were the scenes inside the alien saucer, that could have been a bigger set piece – allegedly the original plot work included this. Now that would have been interesting !

Similarly, what was/is missing is whther the survivors at the saucer made it to the Soviet base mentioned ! Now that would be an interesting sequel – would both the Amwericans and Norwegians let two separate bases “go dark” without at least bsending an expedition down there, and they’d be sure to use the Soviet base as a stepping off point, cue lots of Cold War tension to add to the paranoia that maybe those Reds just weren;’t human after all …..