"As Nondescript as Its Title"
What You Need To Know:
Mary Elizabeth Winstead as the female paleontologist proves to be an effective action star. She has brains and conveys an appealing disposition. However, the other human characters in THE THING are not well drawn. In fact, they seem practically interchangeable. Ultimately, THE THING proves to be too much a case of having seen and heard it all too many times before. It also contains a significant amount of strong foul language and very strong, gruesome violence. THE THING is easily unremarkable, over the top and easily forgettable.
(H, B, LLL, VVV, N, A, M) Light humanist worldview with some moral elements in prequel to the 1982 remake of a classic 1951 monster movie; more than 32 obscenities and profanities; very strong violence includes gruesome monster attacks, scientists attack monster with flame, people and body parts are ripped apart as monster replicates their cells, helicopter crashes when a man bursts into a monster and attacks the pilots, plus shots of bloody liquid messes left behind by the monster attacks; no sex; partial nudity when woman is changed from being a normal human into a bursting alien monster and along the way her bare skin is revealed but not explicitly; alcohol use; no smoking; and, paranoia and cowardice.
THE THING is the third movie of the same name to be derived from the short story “Who Goes There?” by John W. Campbell Jr. It’s actually a prequel to the 1982 remake of the classic 1951 monster movie.
The story follows a team of American scientists led by a female paleontologist named Kate Lloyd as they arrive in Antarctica. They were sent to help a team of Norwegian scientists figure out what the monstrous creature they discovered far under the ice actually is. It turns out the creature (aka “The Thing”) is an alien being that crash-landed on earth 600,000 years ago. As it defrosts and breaks out of the ice wherein it was frozen, the alien proceeds to set bloody mayhem in motion by attacking the people one by one and replicating their cells to appear like the humans it attacks. This sets off a mix of over-the-top monster effects and bloody kills. The mayhem is offset by more restrained moments of psychological tension as the scientists start to grow paranoid because they don’t know who’s really human and who’s really a monster.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead as the female paleontologist proves to be an effective action star with brains and an appealing disposition. However, the other human characters in THE THING are not well drawn. In fact, they seem practically interchangeable. This not only makes the movie less compelling since we don’t know enough about the characters to truly care about them, but also makes their horribly colorful deaths less intense than they should be for horror fans. The movie has some suspenseful but gruesome moments. Overall, however, THE THING proves to be too much a case of having seen and heard it all too many times before. It also contains a significant amount of foul language and very strong, gruesome violence.
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