Articles the thing

Published on July 15th, 2011 | by John


Tease Me, Baby! – The Thing, 2011

I love The Thing. In fact, a few friends and I get together monthly and have a bit of a movie night. This month, it’s my turn to pick a film. Coincidentally, it’s this movie that I’m showing. I think it’s a great little flick. My feelings on this new prequel/companion piece are mixed. I can be swayed, but prequels in general aren’t, well, just that… my thing.

I should say here, if you haven’t seen The Thing ’82, spoilers may be hangin’ around.

In 1951 Howard Hawks turned the story, Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell, Jr. into the movie, The Thing from Another World. In 1982, John Carpenter took a stab at remaking the film and delivered a recognised genre classic. A science-fiction horror oozing with suspense and paranoia, solidly led through-out by his usual leading man, Kurt Russell.

Once or twice it was mentioned Mr. Carpenter had a sequel idea, but the project never took off. It was then announced, albeit minus Carpenter, that a prequel had been green-lit. Pretty irrelevant if you’ve seen Carpenter’s The Thing. We know what happens. Well, we mostly know what happens. Looks like the blanks, whether we want to know or not, are going to be filled in.

Behold, the trailer for a prequel to a remake of an original movie based on a book!

– ’48 hours ago, we found something quite remarkable.’

Really? Wow. I’ve been following Miss Winstead’s career since 2005’s Sky High. The lady is gorgeous. And talented. Look at her filmography to da—oh. You were referring to the alien you just discovered. Not Mary. Right. Gotcha. Sorry.

– We’ve been here before.

Back in 1982 with MacReady and co. I have to admit, it’s exciting to go back to the Norwegian camp and see what went down. Hopefully, they made more snowmen than Kurt’s crew – the only thing lacking from the first film. Seriously, who wouldn’t build a giant Optimus Prime snowman with all that snow?

– ‘I’m going to take a tissue sample.’

Good idea. Why don’t we also throw down some electric blankets. Make a fire. Chip a few chunks off for our ice teas. Y’know, the usual stuff. I’m sure tampering with the frozen alien will do no harm. Nope. No harm at all. More ice, anyone?

Actually, at this point in the trailer, I find the tone is pretty spot on.
– Row, row, row your boat.

Altogether now! Yes, even you. Yes, you at the back. SING, DARNIT!

– ‘Did you hear that?’

Ah, the dogs are back. Nice little clip put in here for fans of the original. Also a nice hint as to how the film will transition from final scene to closing credits.

– Staff announcement: Clean-up to aisle five.

I find there’s a good build up of atmosphere in the trailer. Something John Carpenter was a master of in most of his films. At this point, there’s little to no CGI, and it’s clear the film (or I should just say at this point, the trailer) isn’t going for cheap shocks tactics.

– ‘Somebody was attacked. But it seems, everyone is fine…’

Someone’s paranoid! This clip is also reminiscent of the original. Looks neat, though. Look at that… that… THING!

 – ‘What are you saying? Not all of us are human.’

When in doubt, flame-thrower each other. Not singing any more jolly songs now, are we!

– ‘We can’t let this thing leave. If it makes it out of here, lots of people could die.’

I get the film and trailer needs something to aim for. But again, we know it’s a prequel. We know, for the most part, how this ends. If I were these guys right now, I’d just concentrate on those snowmen.


Looks okay. Hope they keep it to a minimum. We don’t need any big set pieces, but lots of dollops of atmosphere. Paranoia should be the aim of this game.

– To sum up.

Prediction: some potential. It’s not the re-imaging I was sure I’d see. I thought maybe some ice gags, maybe a Vanilla Ice track thrown in. An updating aimed for teenagers. Yes, I was fearing the worse. This teaser surprisingly holds early promise. Admittedly, there’s little chance it’ll hit the same notes as the original. I can accept that (and ignore it if it fails.) But it could be fun. I’m eager to see what else the follow-up trailer(s) provides.

I still maintain Thing 2: Thingier would have been a better title.

Tags: , , , , , ,

About the Author