Topic: In defence of The Thing (2011)

I was on the "fuck this remake" train, until I actually WATCHED the movie.

It's a prequel. To anyone who's watched it, and questions this... what exactly were you watching?

The trailer REALLY hurt the movie. It was cut exactly like the Carpenter flick, and was very misleading. I was totally on the fence about seeing it, but my love for Mary prevailed, and I'm glad I checked it out.

Again, it's a prequel, pure and simple. Yes yes, it hits many similar beats as the first, but how different can it be when you have the same alien entity, in the same local, in the same year... shit, the same week/day?

When people review the flick, and call it a "remake" I question if they even watched the movie at all.

The Thing (2011) is a prequel, and might I add, a pretty damn good one too.

Last edited by Zed_Chuva (2012-01-02 05:57:58)

Re: In defence of The Thing (2011)

Just because it was in the same week doesn't mean that the characters would recreate almost exactly the same situations. By doing this the movie shot himself in the foot because it forced the viewer to make comparisons to Carpenters in their head while watching it. Also you are dismissing the lack of character development, horrible, plastic looking CGI, poor dialogue and that annoying screeching noise the dumb thing makes as it lumbers around the base chasing the humans etc. Note that i don't think CGI is necessarily a bad thing though, it was just done poorly in this case(look at Troll Hunter for a better example)  It is missing the things that made Carpenters a classic, things that are standard in any good movie of this kind. For me this was a highly forgettable movie and i am shocked it is in the sites top ten movies of 2011.

Last edited by Vasquez (2012-01-02 10:33:10)

Re: In defence of The Thing (2011)

And the part where it looked like it was raping the guy and everyone in the cinema pissed themselves laughing.

Re: In defence of The Thing (2011)

In the defense of Zed_Chuva and his opinion, the Carpenter version was badly panned when it came out originally and did as poorly at the box office. I saw the Carpenter THING first run (I'm THAT old), and remember not liking it all. I guess the point is, not unlike books and paintings, time will tell whether this prequel (film) will be seen, as the Carpenter version, as something greater than it is now.

Re: In defence of The Thing (2011)

^^I agree^^

I remember seeing Carpenters flick when it came out (I too am also that old), and thought it was pretty cheesy and not all that good. Took another watch when it came out on video, then a few more to appreciate it.

Not saying this The Thing is a masterpiece, but it's not the horrible piece of shit many make it out to be. And like I said, it's not a remake, like many reviews would make you think.

Hey, maybe they tacked the ending on after the fact to make it appear like a prequel? Eh... I still enjoyed it.

I totally respect when someone doesn't like a flick, I'm just disagreeing with people when they say it's a remake.

Re: In defence of The Thing (2011)

I didn't dislike it, but I didn't love it, either.  I liked Mary Elizabeth Winstead as the hero lead -- Carpenter's original didn't have a single female character, not that it hurt that flick any -- and I admired the effort they put into at least trying to build tension and suspense, as well as the admittedly well-done CGI.  I just think it resembled Carpenter's flick a little too much and didn't really strive to set itself apart.  My biggest complaint is actually the twist they tried to add with one character being revealed as a thing, after that character had just spent a substantial amount of the movie killing them.  And of course there's the fact that for the most part the characters are interchangeable.  There were actually characters I got confused with others, and some I never noticed had been around until they were killed.

I did like how it tied itself to details in Carpenter's original, though -- for instance the guy McCready and Doc find in the call room with strands of frozen blood on his wrists, and then the end with the guys who chase after the dog in the helicopter, even the two guys "thinged" into one which Wilford Brimley dissects in Carpenter's flick.  And I appreciated that the filmmakers made it a point to include things which would be "later" discovered by the crew in Carpenter's flick.

Anyway, as I said, there were some things (no pun intended) I enjoyed and appreciated about it, I just think I would have enjoyed it more if:

1. It had tried something new and less Carpenter-y
2. There'd been better written characters
3. They hadn't pushed that lame character twist at the end (again, being vague so as not to spoil it)

Re: In defence of The Thing (2011)

Just to be clear i know, myself its a prequel. I think the people involved approached it too much like a remake though, perhaps because they realised that the Carpenter version is so good and therefore tried to recreate a similar effect. By doing this however it created the opposite effect.

Re: In defence of The Thing (2011)

I really enjoyed the movie, and liked the fact that it looked and a bit like Carpenter's version. I completely agreeable with Zed that it should look like it, considering its the same setting, foe, etc. Ofcourse it has that same feeling, that was a givin' going into it for me so that never bothered me. I do also agree with Lon however that the character development was not the greatest and that may be my biggest gripe about the film. As far as the cgi, I thought there were certainly a few parts they were not the greatest, a few quick small parts looked downright bad but atleast they were very brief glimpses, such as the part in the helicopter. But at other times the effects looked pretty damn
cool and serve to be quite memorable, like when the woman is revealed to be a thing.

Its not perfect, and im certainly not much of a critic, I enjoyed the movie. I have watched it twice and everytime its discussed on here it makes me wanna see it again.

Re: In defence of The Thing (2011)

I really enjoyed the prequel, and as noted by others above, I also saw Carpenters film in the theater when it was realeased (I am probably older than anyone else on this forum) and it always surprised me that it did not do better at the box office.  I also don't understand all of the disdain for the CGI in the preguel.  I have seen far worse in other films, take the 4th Final Destination for example, that was horrible.  But for me it boils down to entertainment, and for me, I found the prequel to be very entertaining despite some of its flaws.

Re: In defence of The Thing (2011)

^ I haven't seen this movie yet, but I have read quite a few opinions on it.  Most have liked it and only a couple have complained about the CGI that I've read.

Re: In defence of The Thing (2011)

Carpenter's The Thing was released around the same time as Spielberg's ET, which stole not only The Thing's box office but every other film released at the time.

I think Carpenter and Russell nailed it most accurately on their DVD commentary, though, when they said general audiences just weren't up for a nasty, gory, paranoid, nihilistic alien monster movie at the time.  You have to keep in mind this was the early 80s, at a time when Care Bears, My Little Pony and other such saccarine things were all the rage and general movie audiences wanted lighter fare.  I think if Carpenter had made the flick, say, ten years later, when cultural tastes in entertainment began taking a turn for the darker and grittier, it probably would have done a great deal of business.

Re: In defence of The Thing (2011)

alien25 wrote:

I am probably older than anyone else on this forum.  I also don't understand all of the disdain for the CGI in the preguel.


I'm 49. You older than that?

And the use of CGI..... any time people wanna stop bitchin' 'bout it is fine with me. The days of big clunky prosthetic monsters bolted to the floor with servo cables and sh*t coming out their butt are over.  Just asked Rick Baker.  Of course there is good and bad CGI, but as alien25 wrote... it boils down to entertainment, like say er... ah... Supergator vs Crocosaurus.  wink

Last edited by Bunshinsaba (2012-01-02 15:13:52)

Re: In defence of The Thing (2011)

I'm not too far behind you, Buns.

Sadly. hmm

Re: In defence of The Thing (2011)

Bunshinsaba wrote:
alien25 wrote:

I am probably older than anyone else on this forum.  I also don't understand all of the disdain for the CGI in the preguel.


I'm 49. You older than that?

Yep!

Re: In defence of The Thing (2011)

i'm not gonna give a long winded explanation of why i enjoyed it but i did enjoy it when i saw it. It was very good in my opinion and that's all i have to say about it.

Re: In defence of The Thing (2011)

daxter wrote:

i'm not gonna give a long winded explanation of why i enjoyed it but i did enjoy it when i saw it. It was very good in my opinion and that's all i have to say about it.

Well said Dax.  Yes, this is the most important thing.

Re: In defence of The Thing (2011)

Most people on the Bloody Disgusting boards are putting it as what they think is one of the worst films of the year you know and i totally agree.  Just saying

Re: In defence of The Thing (2011)

Yes Vasquez, there is no doubt you don't like this movie.  You have made that very clear.

Re: In defence of The Thing (2011)

I really need to see this film.....  Just as soon as all the College Bowl games are over !!!

Re: In defence of The Thing (2011)

wolfman1959 wrote:
Bunshinsaba wrote:
alien25 wrote:

I am probably older than anyone else on this forum.  I also don't understand all of the disdain for the CGI in the preguel.


I'm 49. You older than that?

Yep!

Sorry Wolfie, I totally forgot about you!
Nice to know that there other old farts floating around here. wink

Re: In defence of The Thing (2011)

Look...it was not as good as Carpenter's version because Carpenter is a better director, the cast was better and the writing was better. Not to mention Rob Bottin at the very height of his powers.

That being said, it could have been placed in the hands of Michael Bay, a person who decidely does NOT love horror but loves the profits.

It is obvious that the filmmakers loved and truly respected JC's version and for that I give them props. I was 13 when JC's version was released and adults were walking out after the dog-thing scene so I have very fond memories of 'The Thing'. It was better than the average remake/prequel, and that is undeniable.  Sure it was missing the extreme paranoia and the nihilism, but the montague as the credits were rolling that connected the 2 films were as good as I have seen!!!!!!!

Last edited by Treuj (2012-01-31 21:28:04)

Re: In defence of The Thing (2011)

I have not seen the new Thing yet but you guys have convinced me…. That some of you are very old.

Re: In defence of The Thing (2011)

^ haha I am glad that is what you took away from this.

I wrote quick opinion about the prequel when I saw it in theaters and having seen it a second time my opinion remains the same. Yes it followed some of the same beats as Carpenter's version and I thought cgi was a bit iffy, though I sure as he'll have seen worse many times more, but I enjoyed it a lot. It was well made, added a few things demonstrating itself as a prequel and to me I feel it captured some of the atmosphere (I know others disagree but that is how I felt watching it) of the 82 version. It I a nice companion piece to Carpenter's, I think.

Re: In defence of The Thing (2011)

Just watched and liked a lot.

Did it follow the same beats, sure. But it’s those beats that you’re there for. The Thing creature isn’t the star of the movie; it’s the isolated Antarctic research station. The cat and mouse in the confined space is the magic of all three films. It’s what separates it from just an alien invasion movie, IE: Body snatcher, slither, etc…

you also come to see what kind of gross monstrosities it turns into, those need the local (and same beats) too, they just wouldn’t be quite as effective on a busy Manhattan street than inside the intimate confines of the station.

the CGI IMO was fine, there are many parts in JC’s that look dated and I dare say fake, but people are nostalgic for old school FX and over look it.

I love the first JC remake and like the B and W one to, I thought this was a fun addition.

Last edited by swollenguy (2012-02-03 12:21:36)

Re: In defence of The Thing (2011)

.....furthermore I would say that the plot point about not being able to replicate non-organic matter (i.e tooth fillings) was smart. I was expecting the blood test again to determine who was who. this is the same team that remade 'Dawn of the Dead' and that was one of the better remakes in a decade of remakes.

i was waiting for the thermite charges to unearth the ship, however the filmmakers said that to excavate the ship as it was done in JC's version would have taken hundreds of men instead of the dozen or so Norwegians they had in the film so they left it in the ice and that made sense.

and i guess in one last defence of this film, JC had a year to prepare to shoot his version back in 1981 and was released in 1982. That kind of shooting schedule now is unprecedented (unless you are the late Stanley Kubrick), and the year in pre production obviously paid off for JC. this version, from green light to wrap was done in 3 months, that is a big deal.

all in all i have to say that this was a successful remake.

Last edited by Treuj (2012-02-04 00:27:23)