The Thing Review – A Pale Imitation


The Thing remake/prequel is a pale imitation to the movie that inspired it. Mary Elizabeth Winstead headlines a cast of nobodies that play characters you never care about in a story that’s an inferior retread of the original film directed by John Carpenter.

The Thing Remake

What makes me sad about The Thing is that, it’s not an awful movie, it’s just half-assed. Sets seem painstakingly recreated from the original film and the ending is, for the most part, smartly woven into the timeline for the series…yet all the money must have went into those efforts as the computer generated graphics of the creature itself are TERRIBLE. How does a 30-year old movie eclipse a modern day tale in terms of special effects and tension? Instead of a suspense-thriller, we’re treated to a shockfest. Loud noises and jarring crashes are what scares us in the remake, not the dread of not knowing what comes next. The story moves quickly, loaded with predictable moments and without anything new to bring to the table.

Perhaps if you’ve never seen the original film, you’ll find enjoyment in The Thing remake. I’m way too close to this as I’m a huge fan of the first movie, and believe there can be a proper prequel story told. I just don’t think this writer/director combo have the skill to tell the tale or commit to screen unfortunately.

In short, I wish I just re-watched the John Carpenter film. After all, and Melville put it best, “Better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation,” and as The Thing drops the ball on both levels, I can’t recommend it.

2 Responses

  1. Aaron P. says:

    Can’t disagree with your feelings about the new film, but just a bit of trivia — Carpenter’s film was a remake too. The “original” was the 1951 film The Thing From Another World, starring James Arness (of Gunsmoke fame) as The Thing.

  2. Eros Welker says:

    I remember that film. I’m sure I saw it before Carpenter’s remake. What I appreciated most about Carpenter’s take was that it was unique in its approach, the special effects were groundbreaking at the time (and mostly hold-up today) and the characters were great!