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The Thing

4.6 3
Director: Matthijs Van Heijningen Jr.

Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen


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An American paleontologist and a team of Norwegian scientists fight for their lives against a shape-shifting extraterrestrial that can perfectly mimic any living creature in this prequel to John Carpenter's 1982 horror classic. Upon receiving word that the Antarctic research team has unearthed an alien craft, paleontologist Kate Lloyd (


An American paleontologist and a team of Norwegian scientists fight for their lives against a shape-shifting extraterrestrial that can perfectly mimic any living creature in this prequel to John Carpenter's 1982 horror classic. Upon receiving word that the Antarctic research team has unearthed an alien craft, paleontologist Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) joins the group to explore what secrets the ship might hold. Though by Kate's estimation the creature inside the spaceship has been dead for centuries, it has actually just been lying dormant in the ice. Perfectly preserved, it has awaited the day when it would finally be freed from its frigid prison; now, after eons of lying in wait, that day has finally come. Suddenly revived during a crucial experiment, the malevolent alien begins methodically mimicking each member of the crew undetected. By the time Kate realizes the frightening implications of the creature's unique ability, it may already be too late. As paranoia among the crew begins to intensify, it's up to Kate and the crew's helicopter pilot, Carter (Joel Edgerton), to make sure the extraterrestrial menace is exterminated before it has the opportunity to escape -- for, should it manage to make its way to a heavily populated area, humanity's days may be numbered. Matthijs Van Heijningen Jr. makes his feature directorial debut from a script by Eric Heisserer and Battlestar Galactica's Ronald D. Moore.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jeremy Wheeler
Nearly 30 years after John Carpenter unleashed what would eventually be hailed as one of the most-terrifying and creative sci-fi horror films in history, Hollywood delivers what could be called a "premake" -- a film that technically exists as a prequel, but copies the template of the original so completely that it's basically a remake. Those new to the game will most likely enjoy the proceedings, as the shape-shifting monster is still a unique villain. Fans of the original, meanwhile, will breathe a sigh of relief that the film isn't terrible, although it'd be a stretch to call it great. Indeed, 2011's The Thing proves to be a thoroughly okay horror flick. The acting is alright; the script is somewhat clever, but overall, just alright; the way they tie this film and Carpenter's together is alright, if a bit forced. One thing is for certain, though: It's not nearly in the same league as either Carpenter's film or Howard Hawks' The Thing From Another World. The setup is thus: A young paleontologist (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is recruited to head down to an Antarctic base with a group of Americans to investigate a long-frozen UFO and an alien species discovered by a group of Norwegian scientists. Indeed, this base will eventually become the burned-out building that Kurt Russell and his all-male group of blue-collar schmoes and scientists explore in Carpenter's film. Along with an American chopper pilot (Joel Edgerton), Winstead and her cohorts go through the process of discovering this alien species is alive and can replicate human beings. Thankfully for the heroine, everyone in the Norwegian camp, with the exception of the mysterious Lars (Jørgen Langhelle), speaks English, thus rendering the language barrier all but moot (just one of the film's convenient plot devices). Dutch filmmaker Matthijs Van Heijningen Jr. tries his best to replicate his predecessor's style, embracing a widescreen scope and, for the most part, restrained camerawork (although some needlessly shaky handheld footage does rear its head). The pacing goes from slow to thrilling, then full-bore creature action by the end. Kudos goes to Amalgamated Dynamics and Image Engine for their mix of practical and computer-generated effects, which are quite good, though they end up falling short of the nightmarish designs of prosthetics master Rob Bottin, who brought the creature to life in the 1982 version. With so many junky reboots, remakes, and restarts, it's really hard to knock 2011's The Thing, which is a pretty okay picture. Will it be remembered? Hardly. Will people dissect it to learn which of the iconic cast members were imposters all along? Nope (and the cast really isn't that great to begin with). The highlight of all of this is that it's genuinely nice to see this creature back in action, even if the movie it's in is just alright.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Deleted/extended scenes; The Thing evolves; Fire & ice; Feature commentary with director Matthijs van Heijningen and producer Eric Newman

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Mary Elizabeth Winstead Kate Lloyd
Joel Edgerton Braxton Carter
Ulrich Thomsen Dr. Sander Halvorson
Eric Christian Olsen Adam Goldman
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje Jameson
Paul Braunstein Griggs
Trond Espen Seim Edvard Wolner
Kim Bubbs Juliette
Jørgen Langhelle Lars
Jan Gunnar Røise Olav
Stig Henrik Hoff Peder
Kristofer Hivju Jonas
Jo Adrian Haavind Henrik
Carsten Bjornlund Karl
Jonathan Lloyd Walker Colin
Ole Martin Aune Nilsen Matias (Heli Pilot)
Michael Brown Security Guard

Technical Credits
Matthijs Van Heijningen Director
Marc Abraham Producer
Michel Abramowicz Cinematographer
Jeff Authors Asst. Director
Patrick Bannister Art Director
Tim Barraball Special Effects Supervisor
Marco Beltrami Score Composer
Peter Boyle Editor
Denise Chamian Casting
Julian Clarke Editor
J. Miles Dale Executive Producer
David Foster Executive Producer
Angela Demo Casting
Amalgamated Dynamics Makeup Special Effects
Image Engine Animator
Alec Gillis Makeup Special Effects
Sean Haworth Production Designer
Eric Heisserer Screenwriter
Gabrielle Neimand Executive Producer
Eric Newman Producer
Luis M. Sequeira Costumes/Costume Designer
Ken Steel Animator
Lawrence Turman Executive Producer
Tom Woodruff Makeup Special Effects

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Thing
1. Chapter 1 [4:31]
2. Chapter 2 [6:19]
3. Chapter 3 [3:49]
4. Chapter 4 [2:24]
5. Chapter 5 [3:33]
6. Chapter 6 [4:29]
7. Chapter 7 [7:39]
8. Chapter 8 [5:16]
9. Chapter 9 [4:56]
10. Chapter 10 [8:12]
11. Chapter 11 [3:57]
12. Chapter 12 [4:51]
13. Chapter 13 [4:47]
14. Chapter 14 [5:05]
15. Chapter 15 [:16]
16. Chapter 16 [4:24]
17. Chapter 17 [6:18]
18. Chapter 18 [3:47]
19. Chapter 19 [5:44]
20. Chapter 20 [4:25]


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The Thing 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This prequel honors the original - both in story and in special effects. The original was purely animatronics. This one used modern animatronics, and CGI's. It often blends the two flawlessly. The Thing is the same character as the original. The audience only gets a vague idea of the form it was in aboard the ship. It's mainly shown in human form, or mutated human form. The audience watches as massive teeth and claws emerge from seemingly normal human forms, but the terror of the Thing isn't just the shape shifting ability. It's clear that every brain function is cloned - including memories, mental capacities, and emotions. But the audience has to wonder if the Thing does more than copy/mimic. What's most terrifying is the possibility that it's victims aren't actually dead, that their spirits are trapped within the Thing. The audience sees the ship discovered by accident. Then the Thing is dug up, and taken to the base. Then the alien awakes and attacks people. The fear and paranoia matches the original, no way of knowing whose alien or not. These people never find a way to prove who is alien, only a test that proves who is certainly human. The climax is powerful and thrilling. Afterwards almost everyone was dead, the ship was destroyed, and the only piece of the Thing remaining was a dog. The few survivors grabbed guns and chased it in a helicopter. The end of this movie, is the opening of the original.
InnocenceDiesAbbyDosent More than 1 year ago
This movie is just as good as John Carpenter's. It is a prequel because the end to this is the beginning of carpenter's! ITS AWESOME!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome! I have the original Thing classic so was hoping this edition would live up to the 'franchise'. And yes Ms. Molly it did. Good solid creepy story in a very isloated setting; the CG effects added a new element and was not overblown like it could have. Had to watch the Carpenter movie following this. A great combo!