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thething

  • Directed by: Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.
    • Other movies he directed: Uh, none. This is his first movie, but he did do a few shorts.
  • Notable Actors:
    • Mary Elizabeth Winstead
      • You know her from John McLain’s daughter in Live Free or Die Hard
    • Joel Edgerton
      • You might know him from Warrior, King Arthur, or Owen Lars from the Star Wars Prequels.

 


Non-Spoiler Alert: I will not give away the ending, but if you’ve seen the first one, then you know what probably happens.

(Note: There are three (3) “The Thing” movies now. The original called “The Thing that came from Another World”, a 1951 black and white classic about an alien eating people, and the scientists, U.S. soldiers and reporter all working together to fight it off. The 1982 remake, called “The Thing” by John Carpenter, and now the new, prequel to the 1982 movie, also called “The Thing.”... got it? No? Me neither.)

The movie, “The Thing” that is out now in theaters (2011) is a prequel to the 1982 movie of the same title directed by John Carpenter and staring Kurt Russel. John Carpenter’s movie is widely considered to be a horror classic, and is one of two John Carpenter movies on the all time best horror movies that he has on the list, the other one being Halloween.

When I heard that John Carpenter was not directing this new movie, I was a disappointed, and feared that the feel of the original would be lost. Feared that this new director would adopt the new, American horror cliche’ with big, sudden, loud scary noises and make you jump at crazy things right in your face, and shock you with increasingly horrific gore that make us want to curl up into a ball and cry, instead of relying on good directing, well written script and dialogue, and good, slow build up of tension.

But, after watching it in the theater, I was happily surprised that this new “The Thing” is VERY reminiscent of its predecessor. The story is about the discovery of an alien spacecraft discovered under the glacial ice in Antarctica in 1982. They also discover a “survivor” frozen in the ice a ways away from the downed spacecraft. (Note to self, never dig up a dead alien in Antarctica)

So, like any good scientist, they bring it back to where they live, in the big chunk of ice, assuming everything will be fine. But, they didn’t think about the fact they were in a horror movie, and of course, everything isn’t fine. If you’ve seen the original, you know what happens next. People start dying, and changing, so that no one knows who’s human, or who’s an alien .

This is not for the faint of heart, there is some pretty icky, weird, special affects in this movie, and it is definitely creepy. BUT, it is also not a torture porn flick, and by that I mean, the reason its scary is not because of the violence or gore, but because of the psychological uncertainty of who is or isn’t a friend, or where the alien is or isn’t. (It’s probably right behind you, just saying.).

With all the prequels lately, its hard to take some of them seriously, but this one DOES take the original seriously, and ties into the original story line perfectly.

But is this a perfect movie? No. The special effects or CGI, is a bit disappointing because the 1982 original was done with all in-camera special effects, which made it that much more creepy as it looked so real and impossible. Now, with Computer Generated Graphics, you can pretty much do anything you want, and you can tell which shots are CG. However, I will say this, computers can do things in-camera special effects can’t, so it was actually nice to see what happens when, well, if you’re a fan, I’ll let you discover what we saw in this one, that we didn’t see in the original.

Now, onto the issue of sex, or lack there of. There isn't any. This isn't your quintessential horror movie where we see full frontal nudity rght before someone's head gets lopped off because they're not a virgin anymore. Although there women in this one (there aren't any in the John Carpenter original), there is no sexual tension. The women in this movie are not used to add sex appeal to a bad movie, but simply there as coworkers, fellow scientists who are trying to fight through a horrible experience just like the men. I was worried that with the addition of women in this new Thing movie, that the female gender would be used to simply add sex appeal, I am very thankful that this is not what they did. This movie is rated pretty much solely for the violence and gore.

Over all this is a decent flick, one which I appreciate as a good horror movie, not one that reverts to shock and gore to “entertain”, but relies more on build up and story.

 

Implications?

Well, lets think through this, shall we? The universe is quite large. I don't know about you, but I can't prove there aren't aliens out there. I am a christian, so I believe in God and Jesus. I didn't read much about visitors from outer space in the bible, but this doesn't necessarily mean they aren't out there. And if you watch any of the classic sci-fli flicks, then you might remember the original The Day the Earth Stood still, where the aliens already believed in God.

Anyways, my point is, if we ever do meet some extra terrestrial life form that is sentient (self aware), then...I think there might be problems. Now, I'm not saying rip your face off problems like in The Thing, or blow everything up problems like in Independence Day. I'm thinking more along the lines of District 9 problems, only in reverse. Where it's not an all out war, but more like V. 

Think about it, what happened on our planet when a technoligcally advanced culture met a culture with less technology, and they lived on land rich with natural resources? Death, slavery, rape, murder, pillage.  And that's just us in North America.

But we'll fight them off if they're like that! Of course we will, or we'll try, but what if they have huge ray guns like they did in War of the Worlds? The only defense we'll have is our diseases, but remember what happened when the Europeans visited the natives in the Americas? It wasn't the newcomers that died off from diseases, it was the original inhabitants.

There is just as much of a chance that new, visiting aliens will have diseases that they have developed immunities to over thousands of years and those killing us, than our bugs killing them off. [spoiler alert] This is why I thought it was a bit unrealistic for the scientists in The Thing to take a tissue sample with no masks or quarantine precautions. Who the fuck knows what that thing has on it. The common cold from another planet could kill off everything on Earth, for all we know. 

So, my point is, even if E.T. looks really nice, don't shake his hand, cus he might just be trying to take your Oreos and give you Chlemdia.

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