Movie Reviews The Thing
They're calling the third rendition of The Thing , a prequel, but most critics indicate that there's not much difference in the plot between the earlier Thing s and this one (including, obviously, the title). Several maintain that this version is no improvement on the earlier ones. David Germain of the Associated Press argues that "the new Thing kind of does what the alien does -- digest the original and spit out a creepy copy whose sole purpose is to survive at any cost. There's not much suspense, and the few scares are cheap jolts that could have come from any old monster movie." Jeannette Catsoulis in the New York Times adds, "Where the earlier film pulsed with precisely calibrated paranoia and distinctly drawn characters, this inarticulate replay unfolds as mechanistically as a video game." And Roger Moore comments in the Orlando Sentinel "Try to forget the earlier, superior versions of the tale. This Thing still doesn't deliver much more than the odd jolt or provoke any praise other than 'Cool effects.'" Actually, the movie is drawing quite a bit of praise. Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune writes that this version "engaged me more than Carpenter's," and Joe Neumaier in the New York Daily News observes that the point of going to see such a movie is "to jump out of our skins. And the narrow corridors and shallow focus are perfect for wondering what's behind the corners. In terms of scares, this old-fashioned Thing is better than most new things." And Tom Russo in the Boston Globe remarks that "Dutch director Matthijs van Heijningen and company deliver lean suspense, and they update the Carpenter crew's gnarly alien-shapeshifter effects skillfully enough to remind us why the concept captures geek imaginations." But Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times suggests that perhaps there is just too much technical skill exhibited here. "The more you see of a monster, the less you get. It is the unseen, the imagined, that scares you. This version ... provides such graphic and detailed views of the creature that we are essentially reduced to looking at special effects, and being aware that we are."