The Thing: Original vs Prequel
by Nicholas Robinson
Scientists in the Antarctic are confronted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of the people that it kills. – IMDB.com
Now, even though the summary above is officially for the original, it basically applies to the prequel as well. In preparation for the prequel coming out last week, I watched John Carpenter’s original horror/thriller movie The Thing. I loved every minute of that movie. The plot wasn’t great but it did what it needed to do to facilitate what was really important in horror movies in the 80’s, the suspense and the kills. This got me extremely psyched for the prequel because in the first half of the original they tease you about what happened at the Norwegian camp and I couldn’t wait to see what exactly happened there. I was wrong.
Firstly, let me tell you about the plot of the prequel. There wasn’t one. It felt like they wrote how you got the things you saw in the original and then quickly put something together that allowed you to tie it all together. It didn’t work at all. In the original they spend at least half an hour teasing you as to what is going on without explicitly telling you. There are so many questions like: Why is this Norwegian shooting at a dog? Why am I seeing random shots of the dog alone with people? To be honest I knew the answers already because I’m watching it 29 years later but if I saw it when it came out, that’s what I would be thinking. The prequel doesn’t have the mystery; the intrigue. Once the alien breaks out of the ice, everything follows standard modern horror of as much blood and gore as possible with no creativity or intrigue. The most you get is about 5 minutes of Mary Elizabeth Winstead wondering what was going on which just isn’t enough.
Secondly, anybody who watches the original knows who lives at the end once you get to the camp. I won’t say why but it is just completely obvious. And even then, how they keep that character alive is utterly stupid. In the middle of the movie you see the character get pulled into a building and appear to have been taken. After the final scene you randomly see that the character is still alive and you are like “Really????”
Thirdly, the way they determine who is human and who isn’t is completely stupid. The original at least had some form of logic. This one just doesn’t pull it off. I mean they can only tell who is definitely human, while the other half are just plain possible not definitive.
However, there were a few things I liked. There were a few moments that referenced Ennio Morricone’s amazing score for the original. Also, the effects for this movie were very good. The CGI looked realistic and made me actually think I would be scared if I encountered it in real life. Apart from that however, this movie is bad and should be ignored by everyone.
IMDB says 6.7/10
RT says 33%
I say 3.5/10