All Good “Things”…

June 25, 1982 was the date that John Carpenter’s The Thing came out, I was seven years old, far too young to have been able to see The Thing in the theater. I do however, remember going to the theater to see E.T., which had been released June 11, 1982. As it turned out, the masses embraced E.T. and were caught off guard two weeks later when The Thing came out. This alien was not about to use a Speak and Spell to phone home. Funny, I think that The Thing had a better and longer lasting effect on me. It probably was a good thing that I didn’t see it back then, considering the damage that Alien and Aliens did. I am referring to a few months of nightmares, thanks dad. Just kidding.

My father seems to think that the Hawks version called, The Thing From Another World is better than the John Carpenter film. I will argue with him incessantly that the “Frankenstein Carrot Man From Space, On Ice” film can not hold a candle to the masterpiece that is Carpenter’s The Thing. Carpenter’s film is closer to the original story, Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell Jr.

I have always loved most of John Carpenter’s movies. Halloween and The Fog were my favorites for a very long time, but over the years The Thing has crept its way to toward the top.

When I heard that there was going to be another movie about The Thing I was instantly excited, and worried. Would it be a sequel, would it be a remake, who is involved in it? Another big concern of mine was, is it going to come off as one of those cheesy SyFy network movies with bad CGI?

I will try not to give away any spoilers here. I will just give my overall opinion.

The Thing prequel was pretty good, and enjoyable. The film easily fits into the world and time in which the Carpenter film takes place. I really liked that Ennio Morricone‘s music was utilized. I also like that they used Men At Work’s song Who Can It Be Now in the film. I felt that was a nice little nod to what was to come. I was hoping to hear Stevie Wonder’s Superstition though. It was also cool that the prequel contained female characters. If you are a fan of the Carpenter original, the end of the prequel, was like a second wind. It got your adrenaline flowing. I could not wait to get home and pop the Carpenter film in the Blu-ray player. Also, another good thing, we finally get to see the inside of the ship.

I felt that the characters were not as vivid as the ones in Carpenter’s film, but maybe that was due to the barrier caused by the Norwegian language being spoken at times. The prequel didn’t seem to rely on fear as much as the original. There was also a lesser sense of claustrophobia and isolation in the new film. Greed and rage seemed to be more on display than fear in the prequel, which I guess could be expected when you think about the fact that these characters wanted the credit for being the first to discover an extra-terrestrial biological entity.

Then there is the CGI factor. I wish they had used more old school effects techniques instead of coping out with the CGI. Were the CGI effects bad? No, they worked. This movie was backed by a movie studio, not a cable station so the CGI did look believable. All the effects were good, but I feel they could have been better if they had been done the old way with minimal CGI tweeks.

All in all, good “Things” come to those who wait. I felt the movie was definitely worth checking out. I think the one major drawback is that they did not differentiate in the title that this is a prequel and not a remake. Many people steer clear of remakes, because in all honesty, remakes are mostly shit. That is very ironic considering that Carpenter’s film was a remake.

Before you drop what you are doing and run out to see The Thing, I just want to fill you all in on some cool things I found. A great site that is based on the Carpenter movie is Outpost 31.  If you are a fan of the Carpenter film, check out the site because I guarantee you will not be disappointed. Outpost 31 has just about everything that a fan of the original could want. The site also contains a decent amount of fan fiction.

The other day I came across a story called The Things by Peter Watts, which first appeared in the January 2010 edition of Clarkesworld Magazine. It tells the story of the Carpenter film through the perspective of The Thing. I highly recommend any true fan of The Thing to read it.

One more thing before I go. I found it strange when I went to see the movie, there was a woman there by herself. That not being the strange thing, what caught me off guard was her age. This woman had to be somewhere from sixty to seventy. It just surprised me a little.

Now that I’ve finished babbling, put down your iPad, laptop, and/or smartphone. Get to the movie theater and see The Thing. In the mean time, my dad can “keep watching the skies”, I am just going to “wait here for a little while, and see what happens.”

Also, if you like what I am writing, Like it! Comment on it! Spread it around the interweb like an alien virus.

Thank you for taking the time to read, I appreciate it.


5 Responses to “All Good “Things”…”

  1. Number 1 Son, Tuggy and I still feel that the original The Thing with Kenneth Tobey and James Arness as The Thing was much better and more believable than the 2nd edition with Kurt Russell. You may be (entitled) to your opinion, I’ll give you that much. When you get a chance you should see THEM with James Arness and James Whitmore. That was also a good SyFi movie. I just missed It, The Terror From Beyond Space with Marshall Thompson on TMC Channel last week. Check it out if you dare. I don’t want to give you anymore nightmares, but if I recall, you wanted to go see ALIENS. You have any more thoughts, think of poor RIPLEY (Sigourney Weaver). You had a 3ft. GODZILLA ! POP Don’t be SCARED

  2. Scarecrow jk Says:

    Dad, The Carpenter film is much closer to the original story, and it is much more frightening than the one from the ’50s. Honestly, I’d rather watch Wilford Brimley do Quaker Oats and Liberty Medical commercials because they are more creative than The Thing from Another World. I have seen THEM a few times. I don’t think I’ve seen The Terror From Beyond Space though.
    You and your friend wanted to go see ALIENS, I was just tagging along. The first two scared the hell out of me as a child, but they are among my favorites now. That GODZILLA toy beat the hell out of that ALIEN toy frequently in my childhood.
    By the way, Snake Plissken is much cooler and more of a bad-ass than Marshal Matt Dillon.

  3. Metal Odyssey Says:

    John Carpenter is a horror genre genius, both as a composer of music and director. “They Live” is a classic for it’s story line alone. “The Fog” was a film that scared the junk out of me as a kid.

    When it comes to the (original) “The Thing From Another World”, it is the black and white film that lends the scary atmospherics… as with any of the vintage B & W Horror flicks. Plus, the “less is more” approach when it comes to special effects in that 1951 classic paves the way for: what you don’t see is what really scares you. That 1951 film always left my imagination to wander with the absence of any non-stop special effects… and that can be scary in and of itself, lol!

    That’s just my opinion though and I enjoyed reading your thoughts on these films.

  4. I am a HUGE fan of the original “The Fog”, I even memorized the E.A. Poe quote that is shown before the movie begins. Also a very big fan of “They Live”. They live, we sleep! “I have come here to chew bubble-gum and kick ass, and I’m all out of bubble-gum.” I could quote JC’s movies all day long.
    I get what you are saying regarding the old movies from the ’50s, but “The Thing From Another World” took a few liberties with the story. There was much more to the Carpenter version than just effects. His story is filled with suspense, claustrophobia, tension, and it conveys the strong sense of mistrust among its characters just like the original story, “Who Goes There?” The Hawks film totally missed out on so much added emotions because there was no mistaking who the monster was. The 1982 film is Horror, it is Science Fiction, but it is also a Psychological Thriller. Carpenter’s The Thing also inadvertently or purposely mimics the paranoia of the AIDS epidemic which was just beginning around the same time they were making the movie.

    Thank you for your comment. I am always down for a good debate regarding Horror/SciFI movies and Music.

  5. Illia Moon Says:

    I loved what you said about Carpenter’s Thing and I didn’t even know about the story by Peter Watts. I am most definitelly going to be reading that! Thanx

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