Friday, October 21, 2011
If you want to see a decent horror film now that we're in the midst of the Halloween season, you can do worse than The Thing, which we caught last weekend. A prequel to the 1982 horror classic directed by John Carpenter and starring Kurt Russell, this new film has neither the sharp direction and distinctive characters of the Carpenter film, but it's pretty good in its own right. It's got a few decent scares, a little cleverness, one or two impressive set pieces, and a nice central performance by Mary Elizabeth Winstead as the lone American scientist helping a Norwegian research team in Antarctica investigate a very strange discovery buried in the ice.
The Thing didn't exactly set the world on fire at the box office last weekend, so you better catch it fast if you want to see it in theaters. As I said, it's not spectacular, but it's sufficiently creepy and scary if you're at all in the mood for that sort of thing. And, best of all, the main characters aren't spoiled rich kids living in Beverly Hills.
If you never saw the 1982 version of The Thing, you can have a little fun by seeing this new film first and then going home and watching the '82 movie. The new film ( a prequel, remember) flows smoothly into the events of the Carpenter/Russell film. An added bonus is that the quality of the story and direction will shoot up significantly as you move into the second story!