Paleontologist Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) joins a Norwegian scientific team in Antarctica that has discovered an extraterrestrial ship buried in the ice, and an organism that seems to have died in the crash. When an experiment frees the alien, a shape-shifting creature with the ability to turn itself into a perfect replica of any living being, Kate must join the crew's pilot, Carter (Joel Edgerton), to keep it from killing them off one at a time. Paranoia soon spreads like an epidemic as they're infected, one by one, and a thrilling race for survival begins...
Another member in the recent influx of remakes and reimaginings of classic 1980’s horror movies, 2011’s The Thing sets itself as a prequel to John Carpenter’s original (which in itself was a remake of one of the first 1950’s sci-fi B Movies: The Thing From Another World) The Thing. A scientist is called out to a secret location in the Artic after an alien spacecraft is found buried in the ice, untouched for hundreds of thousands of years. Nearby the original members of the expedition uncover the frozen body of the alien presumably aboard the ship itself; taking it back to their station the crew assume they are safe from the monster encased in a millennia’s worth of ice.
Obviously, they are not, as if they were there would be no progression from the story of 2011’s The Thing to Carpenter’s version; and the crew quickly learn that the creature has the ability to shape shift, copying any organic life form down to the most intimate detail.
It is difficult not to compare this rehash with the cult classic that preceded it, but when taken on its own merits the more recent version does stand up very well. The sound, special effects and general design of the creature are great, drawing on all the best tropes of the genre. Whilst the references to the narrative of the sort-of sequel are slipped in very well. Unfortunately one can’t help but compare it to the original and in doing so the Thing loses a great deal of it’s promise; the story, though reasonable is not as captivating as Carpenters whilst the characters are a bit “American” for my liking.
All in all an entertaining film, but a shadow when compared to the 1982 version.