Film review by Scott Arkovitz
Collegiate Staff Writer
Matthijs van Heijningen’s “The Thing” is a perfect film to evoke the Halloween spirit. For those who have not seen John Carpenter’s 1982 version, or Howard Hawk’s 1951 cult classic, “The Thing from Another World,” don’t worry. This film serves as a prequel to Carpenter’s version, which was only a loose remake of the 1951 version.
“The Thing” epitomized the horror genre due to its usage of long, dragged out suspense sequences coupled by an eerie sound track. It also made good use of cinematography , the isolation of the characters, and an almost unnecessary amount of gore to help make the audience uneasy.
The film stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, previously in the films “Grindhouse” and “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World.” She plays Kate Loyd, a paleontologist that quickly becomes the de facto leader of the group. “Winstead based her performance on her sister, a neurologist,” according to Saturday Night Magazine.
The film starts with Kate (Winstead) being summoned by a group of scientists who seem to have a mysterious agenda. She is told they have located a “structure” and a “species” somewhere in Antarctica, and she eagerly agrees to join them due to her compelling curiosity.
These series of events lead to the discovery of “The Thing” and it’s ability to mimic human cells. The film quickly becomes a suspenseful, whodunit with a twist. The perpetrator, who could be anyone, has the ability to absorb your body, and appear to be one of the humans.
There were other elements of this film that made it extremely captivating. The CGI effects used to simulate the creature, or “Thing,” were horrifying. The shot never stayed on the creature for too long, which added to the suspense. The film also made use of the flamethrower in multiple sequences, hence a lot of fires and torching, adding a flavor of intensity to the batch.
The acting was not noteworthy though it was not bad. Winstead has her moments of intensity, but at other times she seems one-dimensional. Ulrich Thomsen, a Danish actor, who played Dr. Sander Halversen was convincing as the self-centered scientist, who served as a secondary villain.
At times, the suspenseful sequences with an anxiety-provoking sound track, felt too long and dragged out. The film could have been made shorter and still kept all of its integrity.
The post-credits of the film pave the way for the beginning of John Carpenter’s version of the film. Overall the film was incredibly entertaining and worth a watch, but warning to the fellas. Do not bring your girlfriends! This movie is extremely graphic.