Monday, 2 April 2012

FILM REVIEW:THE THING 2011


In contrast to my cynicism of premature re-boots, I believe that The Thing (2011) was produced using the correct values.  The producers of it went to Universal and convinced them to be allowed to make this film because it WASN'T going to be a re-make, as they felt the original could not be improved upon. Bravo! At last, a movie maker that takes a better view on how to build on the success of another film, whilst still respecting the qualities that made it a success.  The 1982 version is one of my favourite films, so i was already a little sceptical as i struggled to see how they could improve on, in what is my opinion, one of the most atmospheric horrors ever.  I have to say i was pleasantly surprised.  Straight away it tells us it is a sort of pre-make, in that it uses the scenario of  its predecessor; an isolated group of scientists who become increasingly paranoid due to an alien life form that can assume any ORGANIC form by a type of assimilation of the victim.  It acknowledges that if you haven't seen the 1982 version you wont have lost out on anything, its just you will gain more if you have.  There are no really big hitters in terms of the cast and this makes it a better movie because you have no pre-conceptions of style that you would expect from some famous actors.  It sort of ties up a few links and pieces of continuity to the original but without forcing them down your throat, they are quite subtle.  As in the 1982 version, a large amount of the effects were created using animatronics with only the most difficult of them being created with cgi.  This again for me only showed respect for the '82 version as they could have simply cgi'd all effects, but they didn't and so the look of the films maintained their "genetic" look.  You could watch this film without having seen the 1982 one and enjoy it. You would then enjoy the 1982 version even more, despite the age difference.  Given the tools at film makers disposals now, i think that if they do insist on continuing with re-boots and re-makes or whatever you want to call them, they would do a lot worse than to look at what has been done with The Thing 2011.  If you don't feel a good enough sequel can be made then don't just re-make, look at prequels as an option.  Okay George Lucas struggled with The Phantom Menace, but Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith got a little better each time, then again it was almost impossible to better episodes 4,5 and 6.  Promethius by Ridley Scott is due out soon and i am lead to believe it is some sort of predecessor to the Alien films. I am looking forward to it and already anticipate it to do well simply because it will not be a re-make.  It also looks like Men In Black 3 will also be following a similar route.  On the whole i enjoyed The Thing, and whether you have seen the '82 version or not, you will still enjoy it if you like atmospheric horrors.  Just be careful who you watch it with...it could be anyone of us....

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