Remaking a genre defining film is tricky, risky even. It is a poisoned chalice. You are doomed to criticism from hardcore fans of the original. They want to hate it. Recreating the magic of an iconic piece of art is virtually impossible. However, ‘The Thing’ (2011) does a pretty good job.
You see, the producers pulled a really clever trick. They toe the line between prequel and remake. The story is a prelude to John Carpenter’s horror masterpiece.
Its plot triggers the events of the original but for all intents and purposes it is a remake. The premise is exactly the same and the whole movie, including the shots, is a homage to the source material.
The special effects are incredible, they totally capture that uncanny quality of Carpenter’s creations. The metamorphosis effect is totally unique to this franchise. You would be hard pressed to find any visuals as unnerving in cinemas today.
The scene in the rec room is a particular stand-out. The moment when the creature squashes two people together as it absorbs one of them is utterly bizarre. It stays with you, that’s what you want from a horror movie.
Another great scene is in the finale. We get a really tense moment when Kate realises that Carter is the new host. She cooks him alive with the flamethrower. That moment was electric, due mostly to some amazing acting.
It’s worth noting that this movie doesn’t have a lot of replay value. Sequences warrant a second watch but not the whole movie. There are some scenes where the dialogue is a bit stilted, knowing where the plot is leading takes away some incentive to trek through the slow sections.
This is a solid horror picture that gives fans of the original what they want. What they want, is a deeper look into the universe of ‘The Thing.