Thoughts on The Thing, a prequel
I am a huge fan of John Carpenter’s The Thing, it may even by my favourite horror movie, it’s an unflinching, remorseless bastard of a film, darkly intense and totally nihilistic. Carpenter perfectly captures the sense of terror and paranoia, while simultaneously piling on the gore and the goo with such gusto as to portray a deep affection of the genre.
It is probably unsurprising that I was somewhat concerned when news came of a 2011 prequel to The Thing, to be produced by the same people who brought us the reboot of Dawn of the Dead (by no means a bad film, but nothing to shout about). Our return to the world of The Thing focuses on the Norwegian camp, which is gingerly explored by Kurt Russell’s R.J. MacReady in the original film. The Norwegians are the first to discover ‘The Thing’ and so come to a rather gruesome end, while it’s true that we only know for sure that four of them die, I imagine that number will increase dramatically. My concern for a prequel to this classic horror film has been replaced with cautious optimism, the trailer seems to suggest a faithful attempt to capture the fun of the original, with plenty of scares and a healthy dose of gallows humour.
John Carptenter’s The Thing will always be a horror classic, and a fairly faithful adaptation of the book it’s based on, far superior to the 1951 version, The Thing From Another World, which is a rare example of a 50′s horror film that I found to be disappointing, especially as it missed the point of the story entirely. While I’m certainly not a fan of this disgusting trend of remaking classis horror films (and I’d like to just take this moment to say, fuck you Michael Bay, and while I’m at it, fuck you Rob Zombie too) I am interested in the idea of a new The Thing, if only because it seems to be embracing what made 80s horror movies so much fun, rather than attempting to reinvent old classics as desaturated, angsty torture porn (fuck you Michael Bay and Rob Zombie).
There has been a noticeable trend of great directors attempting to craft the perfect b-movie, Frank Darabont made The Mist, Martin Scorsese recently directed Shutter Island, and there’s a good chance Guillermo del Toro will make At the Mountains of Madness, while it’s true Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. is no great director (he hasn’t made any other films) I do believe The Thing prequel wants to be in this category, and I really hope it is.
UPDATE: It was rubbish.