As we continue to be showered with one reboot after another, news of a prequel to the 1982 movie The Thing enraged most die-hard fans of the previous Kurt Russell-starring frightfest (which was a remake to the 1951 original movie, The Thing from Another World. How can they cheesify the concept? Put in in 3D? Alas, the prequel is nothing to have beef over. Rather, it is a great nod to the original movie that will find new fans.
In 1982, a group of scientists arrive in Antarctica to investigate alien life form on board an abandoned ship. They find a giant alien frozen in a block of ice and, in true scary movie form, decide to tamper with it. Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Final Destination 3) plays Kate, the wise young graduate student and Ulrich Thomsen plays Dr. Halvorson, the all-knowing scientist who's in way over his head. When the alien thaws out and breaks lose from the ice, pretty much all hell breaks lose. Kate soon learns that it is morphing into human life form---their life form--and taking them out one by one.
The premise doesn't differ much from the original. Sure, there's a new cast (including Joel Edgarton as one of the scientists) but the sentiment is still the same. But director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. has turned the scare factor--actually, the gore factor--WAY up for this version. We've now got slimy two-headed aliens (part your head, part its head) aliens gnawing the face of a doomed scientist, and even an alien that's storing one of the scientists in what looks like an embryo sac in its stomach. Super, duper gross. These images are clearly there for shock value, and they certainly horrify the audience. The movie, in all its gory (ahem, glory), is not going to be for everyone. It's not a particularly classy flick, but it's got clean editing, it's suspenseful and it's got solid acting (for a horor flick).
Those who enjoyed the original may get a kick out of the ending of this version, which pays nice homage to the original movie. The Thing doesn't necessarily reinvent the wheel, but it modernizes the format of the previous movies and ups the ante. Plus, it's a good Halloween watch, if you're looking for an addition to your scary movie marathon.