Tomorrow the Halloween movie season truly begins with the release of Universal’s long awaited follow-up to the 1982 John Carpenter classic, The Thing. Technically the third installment in the franchise (Carpenter’s film was actually a re-make of the 1951 film The Thing from Another World), this film serves as a prequel to the story - taking us back to explain a little more about the origin of The Thing.
If anyone knows how to make a good monster movie, it’s Universal - keep in mind that they’ve spent decades bringing classic horror monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Wolfman into the main stream and our nightmares. And they continue that tradition with The Thing … the new one - It’s confusing since the ’82 version was also just called The Thing, so for the purposes of this post I’ll refer to the new one as The Thing (2011).
The Thing (2011) is a shot in the arm the horror genre desperately needed - it’s not a zombie, slasher, or torture porn film it’s just a good old fashioned adrenaline pumping monster movie. It takes time to set up story and characters and then just when you feel safe, it scares the hell out of you.
This marks the first major directorial effort from Matthijs van Heijningen Jr., and I think it’s safe to say this guy will be a household name in no time … once you learn to pronounce it. His use of the camera is pitch perfect, paying homage to Carpenter and yet finding ways to modernize the visuals without losing what made the '82 version so iconic.