Any time you've got an alien life form that mimics and then kills some poor unsuspecting victims and their dogs in Antarctica, you know you're in for a treat. "The Thing," a prequel and quasi-remake of John Carpenter's 1982 horror classic, hits theaters today starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead ("Scott Pilgrim vs. The World") and Joel Edgerton ("Warrior"). The new movie sticks closely to the formula from the original, while exploring what happened to the Norwegian team featured in the beginning of the Kurt Russell film.
MTV News' Vanessa WhiteWolf thinks you should definitely see "The Thing," and here are five reasons to check it out in theaters this weekend.
Darker Than Expected
This remake/prequel/homage/whatever is much darker and more relentless than the trailers and TV spots might have you believe. Not just literally darker (which it also is – for a movie that takes place in snow-covered Antarctica, the sunlit hours are few and far between) but because it’s a tense, violent horror film. Once the killings begin, they don’t stop.
Speaking of the killings – there are a LOT. And they’re pretty gruesome, on almost an HP Lovecraftian-level. The titular monster latches on to each of the characters in horrific ways as it begins its takeover, and we in the audience are treated to every skin-pulling, cell-splattering, organ-ripping frame. Once you’re captured by The Thing, you’re a goner.
A Killer Cast
It’s always nice to see a female helming this kind of testosterone-fueled scary flick. Mary Elizabeth Winstead does a fantastic and surprisingly believable job as the brilliant researcher-turned-kickass heroine fighting to save as many team members as she can. "Warrior" star Joel Edgerton also turns in a great and scruffy performance, though his helicopter pilot seemed slightly underused. And I might be the only person who saw “Fired Up” and feels this way, but Eric Christian Olsen is always awesome. In “The Thing,” he may be screaming for help more than cracking jokes, but he still offers the very occasional bit of comic relief.
The ladies – and more than a few men – will be happy to see that the rest of the cast is rounded out with manly, gruff Norwegians. Certainly one of my favorite Scandinavian countries, it seems that Norway is filled with scientifically-minded men who can provide brute force when necessary. And it’s certainly necessary in this film. Sure, they all kind of look alike and it became more difficult to tell them apart as the movie went on. But those knit sweaters? To die for.
Nod To The Original
And though the movie fully stands on its own – there’s a fantastic nod to the original at the end. Stay during the credits, and you’ll see the final sequence that pays off beautifully for fans of the 1982 film.
Are you seeing "The Thing"? Tell us what you think in the comments section and on Twitter!