First, let me just shout:
“Beware SPOILERS, all ye who enter here…”
I managed to sneak out to the movies last Friday and see the new “The Thing” with some friends and, boy, I really, really wanted to like the movie more than I did, but I just couldn’t.
1) No character development
It seemed like every time somebody got killed I was like…”Who was that?”. The characters just seemed to exist solely to be killed by a monster. You never really saw anybody DO anything except drinking and getting killed. (Yeah, I know, the Doctor and the helicopter pilots had things to do, but, for example, who was the other woman on the post? What was she doing there? etc etc.)
2) No sense of “Who Dunnit?”
People just seemed to be inexplicably infected just to be able to move along to the next “gross-out transformation scene”. In the first one (1982), I was constantly trying to figure out who was alone with who?; where was he just now?; etc etc. Here, people suddenly got a weird look on their face and….”BLARGH! I’m a Thing! Look how gross I am!”
The creature effects ranged from Good to really, really bad. When the first thing popped out of the guy on the helicopter I was thinking, “oh no…that’s pretty bad.” And after that, I just could never really get back “into” the movie. Why couldn’t they just create real models of the monster like they did before?! It just totally ruins the mood when you can see that it’s a cartoon hand/head/tentacle/mouth etc…ugh. What a bummer.
4) The “Thing”
This monster in no way acted like the “Thing” should act. The Thing is supposed to hide, lay low, and then strike when somebody is isolated. The “thing” in this movie just seems to pop out of somebody and go ape-shit trying to kill everybody in the room, chasing people down hallways, etc. etc. It never seems to try and run away into the darkness and snow to hide like before. Kind of strange.
5) The UFO
Oh boy. Why? Still money left over in the CGI budget?
Now, before you complain that I’m a grumpy old man, here’s what I did like:
The final tie-in with the previous film is well done. (But the dog doesn’t look the same, but, hell, let’s overlook that.)
The Norwegian actors are fun to see and hear, and I’m glad they weren’t totally overshadowed by the Americans. (I live in Norway, so maybe I’m a bit biased:) )
By the way, why did they have to go all the way to America to hire a lousy paleontologist? And why were the helicopter pilots American? As one reviewer pointed out: it’s too bad the studio didn’t have the balls to film the movie entirely in Norwegian with English subtitles…that would have been cool.
Curious to hear what other people think as well.