Friday, October 23, 2015

The Thing (2011)

Year 7, Day 296 - 10/23/15 - Movie #2,181

BEFORE: Maybe I've got "Star Wars" on the brain, but my linking tonight comes straight out of Episodes II and III - Christopher Lee from "Gremlins" was also in two of the prequels with Joel Edgerton (last seen in "The Great Gatsby").

I was a little concerned, because the linking told me that I should watch this film first, before the 1982 film of the same name, but that was when I thought that this newer film was a remake of the older one.  But then I learned from a friend that this is a prequel, so it makes sense to watch it first, and the linking was ultimately pointing me in the right direction. 

THE PLOT:  At an Antarctica research site, the discovery of an alien craft leads to a confrontation between graduate student Kate Lloyd and scientist Dr. Sander Halvorson.

AFTER: As with the two "Gremlins" films, I think I'm going to see a massive difference in the quality of the special effects when comparing two different films in the same franchise.  The effects here were really good, at least in terms of creating nasty-looking disgusting creatures caused by an alien life-form taking over human bodies.  There are a lot of those "Oh, snap!" moments when things are really quiet, or two people are having a conversation, and then something JUMPS out from behind the door or someone's revealed as a host for the creature, usually by the Thing ripping out from their body, or splitting it down the middle to reveal a very hungry mouth.

And I usually don't go for this sort of thing - the gross-out moments would have really affected me when I was younger.  (After seeing "Poltergeist" as a kid, expecting something more akin to "Gremlins", I slept with the lights on for a few weeks.)  But I'm an adult now, I can handle a little gore, especially since I know much more about horror effects and how they're filmed.  I fell asleep during this film last night and had to finish it this morning, but that was largely due to how much beer I drank at an event last night.  And this enabled me to go to sleep this morning after the sun came up, which, you know, helps keep the monsters at bay.

This film typifies the paranoia often seen in horror films, like in "Alien" or the zombie films, where one or more people from a group in a closed space might be infected or evil, and the group has to work together to figure out who it is.  I guess it goes back to locked-room murder mysteries or stories like "Ten Little Indians", so ultimately it's all Agatha Christie's fault. 

Also starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead (last seen in "A Good Day to Die Hard"), Ulrich Thomsen (last seen in "The World Is Not Enough"), Eric Christian Olsen (last seen in "Celeste & Jesse Forever"), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (last seen in "Pompeii"), Paul Braunstein, Trond Espen Seim, Kim Bubbs, Jorgen Langhelle, Jan Gunnar Roise, Stig Henrik Hoff, Kristofer Hivju, Jo Adrian Haavind, Carsten Bjornlund, Jonathan Walker. 

RATING: 5 out of 10 tentacles

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