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‘The Thing’ prequel lacks any originality

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The daunting task of recreating the amazingly dreadful terror of “The Thing” unfortunately fails in living up to the 1982 John Carpenter film and falls in the department of recent dull horror remakes.

As a prequel to Carpenter’s cult-classic inspired by the 1938 literature piece “Who Goes There,” it tells the origins of the Norwegians discovering an alien life form buried in the Antarctic for thousands of years. To help in understanding the creature, the Norwegians bring in Americans on board including paleontologist Kate Lloyd (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead).

Soon afterwards, they slowly discover that the creature can almost exactly imitate any physical being including everyone in the Norwegian base.

From there it plays out like Carpenter’s version. The creature hunts everyone down and transforms into an imitation of one of its victims, causing distrust and skepticism within the whole crew. This wouldn’t be an issue if this iteration was actually thrilling or interesting.

One of the major things that made the Carpenter classic renowned for by critics and fans alike was the use of practical effects showing how disgustingly detailed and nightmarish ‘The Thing’ can become.

Unfortunately, the heavy use of computer graphics makes the monster looks less frightening and creative, making the cold environment less dreadful.

While ‘The Thing’s’ nature in the films is to kill off the crew hunting it down, what made it interesting in Carpenter’s version is how the creature attempts to conceal itself by imitating to survive. The remake puts less emphasis on that concept, turning ‘The Thing’ to more of a stereotypical slasher antagonist.

Another element in the 1982 original that made it unique was that due to the lack of ‘The Thing’ itself. It allowed a majority of the film to examine the memorable human characters and drama.

The current iteration’s screenplay prevents the side characters from having unique personalities which leaves them boring and uninteresting to care about. They are more or less obvious fodder for the monster.

If there was a redeeming element to this dull prequel to the series was Winstead. Although she is not of the same caliber as Kurt Russell was in Carpenter’s version, she is able to represent some characteristics in a cast that’s lacking.

This version of ‘The Thing’ has some flashes of what made the 1982 iteration memorable but numerous flaws make it more of a dull copycat. Save your money and watch John Carpenter’s more frightening interpretation.

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‘The Thing’ prequel lacks any originality