Some “Thing” Familiar…

 – – I saw some Thing this weekend that was both some Thing old and some Thing new…namely, the prequel to the 1982 John Carpenter classic film of the same name.  The film was basically true to the mood and feeling of Carpenter’s previous epic, and has been criticized for not striking its own identity.  Heavy on atmospherics and paranoia, the new Thing is a dark movie…as well it should be.  The grandfather of the series, The Thing From Another World (1951),  was a classic film way ahead of its time, drawing in turn from the 1938 John W. Campbell novella, Who Goes There?

While the alien monster in John Carpenter’s film went out of its way to hide its identity and avoid detection, this prequel alien is much more visible, looking like a Lovecraft-inspired horror of claws, jaws, and flailing tentacles.  When we see the full-bodied creature scrabbling about, it appears part cephalopod and part crustacean, morphing as it assimilates and mimics the cellular structure of its victims and then hiding within them until the time for its next power play. 

We are taken inside the massive starcraft of the alien when the few survivors of the decimated Antarctic Norwegian research station decide to limit the contagion by tracking the creature home, and in the closing scenes of the movie the filmmakers provide seamless transition scenes to where the Carpenter film begins.  While some of the prequel’s characters are monster kibble, Mary Elizabeth Winstead turns in a strong performance as paleontologist Kate Lloyd, a woman who like Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley knows her way around a flamethrower…

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2 Comments on “Some “Thing” Familiar…”

  1. carycomic Says:

    Who knows? Maybe she even makes it to the American station, just in time to rescue Kurt Russell and Keith David from frying each other’s (understandably paranoid) butts!


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