Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Scary Movie Month, Day 9

The Thing (2011)

There's a question that I've heard Patrick Bromley pose a few times on F This Movie! that was going through my head through most of this premaquel to John Carpenter's 1982 The Thing. The question is simple: who is this movie for? The answer in this case is also fairly simple: nobody.

It's positioned as a prequel to Carpenter's classic, but it covers all the same beats which makes it play as more of a remake. I don't know who was clamoring to hear the story of what happened to the Norwegian researchers before MacReady and his crew showed up, but if they're out there all they got was a bland carbon copy of the '82 version. If there are people who just want to see what the '82 version would look like with digital effects in the place of Rob Bottin's spectacular practical effects I guess they've got their movie, but to what end? It doesn't bring anything new to the table, and only leaves us wondering why bother telling us we're going to get an untold story and then just giving us a remake?

Carpenter's film was a remake to begin with, of 1951's The Thing From Another World, but it was smart in that it separated itself enough from the original to justify its existence. I can think of no justification for this. If you really want to know how the ax ended up in the wall, I guess this movie is for you. Maybe if you're out there you can let me know what difference knowing that makes, and if the answers found here are in any way satisfying.

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