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The Thing

Grade: C

“The Thing” is an ambitious prequel that falls flat with stale acting and a lack of suspense.

It begins shortly before the earlier movie, also titled “The Thing” (1982), at a Norwegian research facility in Antarctica. The science team there made the discovery of a lifetime  - an alien spacecraft and a specimen frozen in ice for more than 100,000 years. The team, along with American paleontologist Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), extract the specimen and take it with them. Once they return the alien breaks out of its icy coffin and begins imitating organic life. The once close group of people now find they cannot trust one another for fear one of them may be ‘the thing.’

I have to admit I was excited for this film, but after seeing it I’m very disappointed.

The film is comparable to the 1982 version in the way it uses certain props and themes. I enjoyed the nods to John Carpenter’s film; it reminded me of why I liked his version in the first place.

The biggest problem with the prequel is that it doesn’t allow for a build up of suspense. The use of suspense is what made Carpenter’s such a great film. The film takes about half of its running time to reveal who the character that’s been imitated is. While in the case of the prequel, within the first half hour the alien has revealed itself and now terrorizes the camp revealing its “true form.” It seems as if they scrapped the suspense to show off special effects, which made for a costly movie.

The acting in the film was subpar for what I thought was a good cast. Winstead’s performance was good in the beginning, but dropped off when ‘the thing’ was discovered. She seemed to overplay how frightened her character was so much that her acting became almost unbelievable.

My advice would be save your money and go rent or buy Carpenter’s version.

 

 

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