The Thing Reviews
Where the earlier film pulsed with precisely calibrated paranoia and distinctly drawn characters, this inarticulate replay unfolds as mechanistically as a video game.
Here's the thing about the new "The Thing." It isn't as satisfying as the old "The Thing." And it's nowhere near as enthralling as the vintage "Thing," which inspired every other "Thing" to follow.
Dutch director Matthijs van Heijningen and company deliver lean suspense, and they update the Carpenter crew's gnarly alien-shapeshifter effects skillfully enough to remind us why the concept captures geek imaginations.
How can you dial up the bone-deep terror that comes from failure of faith in the humanity of your friends and colleagues if you never distinguish real from cardboard people?
This version of "The Thing," directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr., provides such graphic and detailed views of the creature that we are essentially reduced to looking at special effects, and being aware that we are.
The new Thing, helmed by first-timer Matthijs van Heijningen, nods deferentially to John Carpenter's still-scary cult film while displaying little comprehension of what made it work.
A decent cast and a pristine glacial setting are wasted on a movie of alien transmutations and alien dissections that lacks urgency, or even a sense that's its very cold in Antarctica.
It's full of chills and thrills and isolated Antarctic atmosphere and terrific Hieronymus Bosch creature effects, and if it winks genially at the plot twists of Carpenter's film, it never feels even a little like some kind of inside joke.