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The Thing, You Know, The Thing

Updated on March 7, 2012
Billboard for The Thing
Billboard for The Thing

If you're about my age you'll be acquainted with the three versions of the film: The 1951 version called "The Thing From a Different World." This is considered a sci fi classic. I liked the film although the director tried having everyone speaking far too fast as well as purposely overlapping dialogue. The end effect was just annoying. Generally, people don't speak fast. They insert "ahh", "um", or draw out a single word (like well...) so that their brain can catch up with their lips.

The 1982 version called "The Thing" is the flick with which most of us are acquainted. This version has almost nothing to do with "The Thing From a Different World." They both take place in the Arctic, but the monsters couldn't be more dissimilar. This version is (or has started to become) regarded as a classic in its own right. I liked this film too even though I generally don't care for movies where the monster is imitating a human being (such as in all of "The Body Snatchers" films. The 2011 version is basically a re-make of the 1982 film, give or take a few variables.

The suspicions about each others' identities reaches a pitch where the monster could just sit back with a can of beer and watch the humans kill each other off. The tone is completely the same, and blow torches are as effective here as they will be in 1982.

At the end we see the infected dog running toward his role in 1982 (inasmuch as this is a prequel). The performances are good, with no big names to carry the headline. The action sequences are directed well ... except toward the end when all mayhem breaks loose. This is the point when the audience cannot tell who is alive, who has been regenerated by the monster, who has been conjoined into a secondary monster, who was accidentally killed by flame thrower or other means. When this explosion of action hits the screen, it is less frightening than a snapshot of pandemonium.

Think of the 2011 version as a new kind of cereal. You've already had a bowl of Total, but have you tried it with raisins?

Mary Elizabeth Winstead in The Thing
Mary Elizabeth Winstead in The Thing

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