Rated: R Reviewed by: Frank Release date: October 14, 2011 Released by: Universal Studios, Inc.
The Thing is a story of a small group of people locked off from civilization and under siege. It truly is a play on Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians. Everyone in this Antarctica snow bound camp is in danger and no one is sure who the killer is.
In the end we find this is a prequel but it plays quite similar to the Kurt Russell, John Carpenter 1982 film, even when the internals of the space ship are explored making it clear that this vehicle came from outer space. The accidental discovery of the creature's ship happens when a snow tractor falls 200 feet below the surface into the hole where the discovery is made. From there the creature is located separate from the ship as he/she was in the 1951 The Thing From Another World. The ship is missing from John Carpenters 82 version.
While the 1951 original established a battle between the isolated group and a vegetable creature the last two have the alien armed with the ability to shape-shift. That process allows the fear factor to grow, but makes the script too easy to write and provides less sense of mystery and solution because everyone can change.
Another interesting aspect of Thing 2011 we find Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is the strong leader somewhat like Sigourney Weaver's Ripley in Alien. She is the only one we are confident is not inhabited by the creepy tentacle filled gross creature that lives in other members of the isolated community.
With the creature safely frozen in a block of ice, everyone relaxes until the fright night begins with a jump out of your seat loud greeting in the ice room. That begins the escape and infection by the foreign creature in the bodies of just about everyone.
Kate takes the lead in an attempt to isolate the those who can't be trusted but when that becomes complicated we see her limitations even when she takes the role of leader of the frightened, isolated, snow and cold bound scientist and technicians.
When the dogs howl we know this is a prequel and a pretty good one. The question is should we expect another version of the next adventure of the shape shifters in the ice down the road?
|The Thing 2011||B||C||B||B-|