Tag line : It's Not Human... Yet!

Almost 30 years since John Carpenter's tale about alien body-snatching, "The Thing", graced cinema screens and Universal Pictures FINALLY decided to make a follow up to it. Set in 1981, prior to the events that took place in the earlier film, this story follows the exploits of the Norwegian group mentioned in that movie that unearthed the alien and the subsequent events that lead up to it being chased into the American camp.

In this version, a group of Norwegian scientists from an Antarctic research station are investigating a mysterious radio signal emanating from somewhere underneath the ice, when they discover a space ship at the bottom of an ice chasm, and what looks like an alien frozen deep in the ice nearby.

They begin excavating the craft and extract the alien body, which they take back to camp for analysis. A couple of American scientists, Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Adam Finch (Eric Christian Olsen) are brought in to help study it, but soon after their arrival, they discover the creature is not in fact dead (well it wouldn't be would it?) as it promptly thaws out and goes on the rampage throughout the camp.

Having sent the creature to a suitably "crispy" demise, they then make the shocking discovery that the being can absorb and take over the people it kills, meaning that any one of them could now be one of these aliens. But with their helicopter out of action and no means of contacting the outside world for assistance, it looks like the surviving members are going to have a hell of a time trying to work out who is not who they appear to be, before they all fall prey.

Whilst one may question the necessity of making a prequel, or any sort of follow up, to John Carpenter's film so long after the event, the film still proves to be highly entertaining, is fairly gory and manages to tie into the earlier film quite nicely (I won't call the earlier film the original, as Carpenter's movie was itself a remake). The only thing I will say is that it lacks the air of paranoia of the earlier film and I did get the impression that this possibly started life as a remake, but was hastily rewritten to be a prequel, as some of the scenes appeared to have been directly lifted from John Carpenter's film.

But anyway, if you enjoyed the 1981 version, you should enjoy this.

Overall marks : 6/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • As with the John Carpenter film, the movie was actually shot in British Columbia, Canada.

  • The films budget was $35,000,000. Which is 3 and a half times that of the 1982 film. Sadly, it tanked at the US box office, barely making half its money back.

  • The axe Joel Egerton's character leaves embedded in the wall is meant to be the same one that Kurt Russel's character comes across when checking out the burnt remains of the Norwegian camp in the 1982 film.

  • The songs the Norwegian crew are singing are "Samiid Aednan", which was actually Norways entry for the 1980 Eurovision Song Contest, and "Jeg gikk en tur på stien" (I walked along the forest path), which is a well known Norwegian children's song.

  • Universal had originally wanted to do a remake of John Carpenter's film, to capitalise on the current bout of remakes circulating at the cinema, but the producers convinced them to go with a prequel as they said "This would be like painting a moustache on the Mona Lisa". However, they decided to stick with the same name as the earlier film, as they couldn't think of a suitable alternate sub-title.

  • The song Kate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is listening to on her walkman is "Who Can it Be Now" by Australian band "Men at Work".

  • The character of Kate Lloyd was based on Ellen Ripley from "Aliens".

  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead also played Wendy in "Final Destination 3" and Lee in "Grindhouse : Death Proof".

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Other films in the series.

The Thing (1981)

 

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