What can I say about The Thing that would make you want to see this remake or rather a prequel to the 1982 John Carpenter’s The Thing? Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Deathproof, Sky High) was probably my only reason to want to watch this. Usually, there needs to be a hook for me with the actor/actress for me to feel invested in the story. (Yes, I do have a crush on Mary.) Granted, Mary is no Kurt Russell (Macready) and she is not even a strong Sigourney Weaver (Ripley) type. What do you have to rely on? The Thing; of course.
Back in 1982, the computers back then, like the Commodore 64, could never rival today’s cgi effects. Effect masters like Rick Baker and Rob Bottin showcased their talents on The Exorcists, An American Werewolf in London and Carpenter’s The Fog and Carpenter’s The Thing; respectively. The effects were done live which lent a sense of believability. Bottin’s work on The Thing is, forgive the pun, is a thing to behold.
When watching the prequel, most of the cgi effects of the alien looked more like something you would see in an anime where creatures had tentacles and huge mouth to eat you up. Meh. Yes, I’m jaded and spoiled because old f/x had to work realistically. Below is a shot from the prequel. While it looks impressive, I’ll admit this shot was kinda cool, overall the effects failed to capture my imagination.
So, with no emotional connection with the lead actor and the visual f/x failed to deliver the good frightful scare that Carpenter’s version delivered; this is not worth your time. To boot, I knew how the movie was going to end because it really begins The Thing (1982). However, the character Mary played winds up left out in the middle of nowhere and the fate of her is unknown. Spoiler alert…. but honestly, you don’t care by the end.