Mary Elizabeth Winstead: you may recognize her from Live Free Or Die Hard, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World or Final Destination 5 and could say I have a sneaky crush on her.
My girlfriend would just say she's glad that she didn't get her gear off in the middle of The Thing to fight the monster.
After all; The Thing isn't THAT sort of horror movie.
I don't remember much about the original Thing apart from it having the most simple title and starting out as a bunch of guys camped out in the middle of nowhere together (which sounds like a different type of movie altogether). But from what I do remember, this "prequel" follows much the same path.
I put " " around prequel, because considering this is out 29 years after the original, you can have a near identical plot and a new audience wouldn't know the difference. Other than that, this serves as a direct lead-in to the Kurt Russell version.
So an alien ship is found deep beneath the Antarctic surface, in it; an alien frozen in ice. It's finders hire Mary, arguably the youngest, hottest paleontologist cinema has seen, to come have a look. The thing is dead, has been for 100,000 years...or is it? Of course not. And so it breaks free. Good news is, they can kill it. Bad news; if it comes into contact with you, it can spread itself and become you. Hiding in plain sight is always best, don't they say? And so, in the style of "who dunnit?" The Thing is a game of "who is it?". It's actually a really cool concept.
Where this remake/prequel succeeds is it's special effects. An alien morphing into a human being looks pretty shit with dud CGI. Not here, it's all top grade stuff. But that also might be it's downfall. The original had no chance of making a believably threatening CG creature, so went the "unrevealed" angle for most of the movie instead. And the unknown always seems more frightening. Think of Jaws: what was scarier; the water and music for the first three quarters or the robot shark in the last? Even with the improved CGI, a bit of the effect might've been lost...but not much.
Winstead’s a unique girl as far as Hollywood’s concerned. She plays the uber cute, harmless girl-next-door; but piss her off and she’ll tear you apart (see Sky High, Die Hard and Scott Pilgrim). She’s no stranger to either horror or leading a movie, but still holds her own here. She’s no Sigourney Weaver in Aliens but I can’t think of another female lead that’s had to take down a space creature by themselves…and look smokin’ doing it (you get the point that I could go on about her, but I won’t).
Joel Edgerton is quickly becoming the man. Gone are the days of him being the chubby little Aussie actor, even the days of him being the young Uncle Lars in Star Wars: Ep’s 2 & 3. He killed it in Animal Kingdom and I can’t wait to see him face off against Tom Hardy in Warrior at the end of the month. Here he’s an American pilot (with a faultless accent) who doesn’t play much part until the second half where he and Winstead go all ‘double-team’ on the ‘thing’.
Like I said, I don’t remember much about the original, but prequel or remake, The Thing is pretty good. It’s CGI is great, as is its action and – wow – there are actually scares on offer (other horrors take note). Oh yeah, and then there’s the end credits-epilogue: a very cool tease to whatever may come next. So in saying that, I’m off to Blockbuster.