The Thing (2011) Review: Ain’t No Thang – OR IS IT?

Yell! Magazine’s review of The Thing (2011):

Hey everybody, remember The Thing?

The Thing (2011) Review

No – No, don’t do that… I mean, The 1982 version directed by John Carpenter.

The Thing (2011) Review

Yeah, that. That Thing. Well, just imagine that, but with less characterization, and you’ve got an apt description of The Thing (2011). There we go. Review over. I’m going away now. Later.

Whoa wait, what the hell?

God damn it. TheMatt warned me about this, but I thought he was just being weird. Sheesh. This job is too hard.

Alright, so what you’re looking at here is nothing more than a remake that was called a “prequel” because studio execs didn’t want Carpenter fans mailbombing their houses. The original was heralded as a ground breaking film that successfully combined human paranoia with the alien threat of a formless creature brought to life by some of the most progressive practical effects of the decade. It was a great film back then and still manages to hold that distinction to this day.

So of course, it only makes sense to rewrite the same story literally scene for scene, rearrange things a tiny bit, and replace Kurt Russell with Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Have you seen the poster? It’s not a prequel, it’s a remake. A remake of a remake of an adaptation.

To an extent, it seems that this so called “prequel” is catering to your standard Hollywood crowd by assuming you haven’t seen any movies made before the ’90s. Any fans of the original are then “appeased” by its chronological placement and get to have all their “questions answered.” Those sly dogs down in Hollywood will do anything for some dirty, dirty money — but does outright lying to people make a film truly not worth watching?

The Thing (2011) Review
Well, this explains that ice block from the first film. I have been thoroughly appeased.

Kate, a paleontologist (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) has been hired by Dr. Sander Halversen (Ulrich Thomsen) and his assistant Adam Goodman (Eric Christian Olsen) to provide them with an analysis — I guess — of a crashed extraterrestrial spaceship that was discovered buried deep within the ice of Antarctica. They make their way to the compound via helicopter, piloted by Sam Carter (Joel Edgerton) and happen across the corpse of a strange creature, also encased within a glacier. Could be anything — or it could be any THING!

After excavating it and taking some DNA samples, the damn Thing frees itself and goes on a rampage throughout the base. While hiding from utter destruction and assimilation, they manage to conclude that even something as small as the cells of the creature’s blood can manage to take over its host. Soon, trust is shattered, people are digested, and fans of the original film are sitting in disbelief that this prequel is nothing more than a re-hash.

Worse yet, it’s a lazy rehash, devoid of the quiet insanity and personality that allows the original to be remembered with such reverence.

The Thing (2011) Poster Large
Yell! Rating (x/5 Skulls):
Year Released:
14 October 2011
Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Eric Christian Olsen, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Paul Braunstein, Kim Bubbs, Jørgen Langhelle, and Ulrich Thomsen
Horror, Sci-Fi, Msytery
Official URL:
The Thing (2011)

Read about the verdict after the jump…

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Have Your Say Leave A Comment

  • TheMatt

    The ashes of problem employees jar strikes again! There’s no stopping it!!! 

  • TheSimpleDude

    Loved the ending in this 🙂 It made a perfect connection with John Carpenter’s The Thing. I was wondering why they didn’t use the score more often, and it made perfect sense at the end. These are the THINGS  that bothered in the new film: 

    1. Sound effects of the THING was much more creepy and hair raising in the original.  It was just so BAH! Nothing special at all, and nothing memorable. 

    2. Didn’t like the fact the THING moved so damn quickly, plus it was shown most of the time in half transformation state which I taught was less chilling to see. I preferred it the other way around where the transformation looked near complete and you see less of the THING. Or with more human looking body parts. Just a personal taste here.

    3. Characters where just so fucking boring, even Mary Elizabeth Winstead couldn’t hold up to the Kurt Russell like character. She was only OK!

    4. CGI – Couldn’t they do a better lighting job? At some points it looked so unbelievable that it killed the believability. People laughed during some of the transformations scenes… not good, not good at all!!!

    Overall, like some people say, just a decent entertainment flick. Nothing comparable, and memorable as the original. Sorry!

  • There were 2 cgi scenes that I didn’t like (face shifting inside the helicopter, and the stabbing tentacle)
    The spaceship scene was a failure, in my opinion.

    and the end before the credit ending made no sense. Wouldn’t MacReady and the Doc (in the ’82 film) have noticed the fucking burning tractor vehicle or the, if she stayed, the dead frozen girl in another tractor?

    From what I understood in the original, the Norwegians blew up the ship when they were excavating it. THAT made sense, because otherwise, why didn’t the thing just get back in it’s ship in the first place saying “Well, I landed somewhere cold where nothing lives. Gonna try that again.”

    The movie relied too much on jump scares and killing everyone off quickly as possible.

    The only character I liked was Lars. Lars was a bad ass.

    What I DID like about the movie was watching the thing absorb people and transform. The cgi in transforming into the split-face thing wasn’t bad at all.  The Thing monsters (in exception to the spaceship scene monster, the stabbing tentacle, and the helicopter crash scene) appearance and sounds were actually frightening on their own.

    This movie is not even close to being as good as the ’82 version, but I’d still watch it again.

    Movie makers: No more than one/two jump scenes please. The thing breaking from the ice after the “BOO!” was fine, but all others after that just made me think “ugh, here comes another jump scene”

  • car

    Was is it just me or did they have a border collie in the first part of the movie when it was sitting on top of the ice on the back of the truck with the man next to him and a husky at the end when he came back as the alien dog at the end or was it even a husky in the beginning at all???

    • Interesting, I didn’t notice that, but I’ll ask around to see if anyone else picked up on that.

  • barelycaredenoughtopost

    sigh. its not a remake, I stopped reading the review after that.

  • Hugo

    Carpenter’s film was an adaptation of the short story “Who Goes There?”, and not so much a remake of the 1950s film The Thing From Another World. The 2011 version has neglected to include a journey or character arc, so it’s just a bodycount movie.

    Carpenter’s film has characters who go from living together in isolation, to isolating themselves from eachother, in an attempt to live. The 2011 version has an outsider brought in Jurassic Park/AvP style, so she’s already a stranger from the beginning. No journey of acceptance, no character arc, no relationship development. Just crap.

    I prefer the 1982 version because the shots were smarter. We saw less of the creature, so we were more scared of what was unknown. The story was about real characters and the creature was merely the circumstance that these guys had to deal with. The 2011 version was just about using the creature idea for showcasing CGI effects. Such talent would have served better as a music video for a goth band or similar.

    Hollywood wastes money on crumby remakes. If a Norwegian film crew was consigned to make their own angle of the story with subtitles, the result would have had more heart and longevity, at a fraction of the cost. Remember how much better the Swedes made Let The Right One In?

  • It was acceptable. Not great, but acceptable.

    It moved really quickly, so tension wasn’t built.
    The character interactions weren’t impressive, a combination of writing and the film moving too quickly to get attached too. (remember the guy who received the UFO signal? Of course you don’t.)Too much was shown, or the camera was used in too heavy handed a manner. It became clear who was infected at what point fairly early, and missed out on lots of the ambiguity from the 82 one. 

    Did anyone else notice that there was almost no blood in the entire film? The 82 one had people exploding everywhere, gore dripping from crevices and the like. A character here explodes, but there isn’t any blood. It made it difficult to believe.

    However, The She-Thing was an amazing monster (though not used to potential). The scientific processes used to figure out the Thing were interesting (and different!)It could have been almost infinitely worse.