16 October 2011
The Thing v The Thing
(Not particularly spoilery)
I had never seen John Carpenter's The Thing, so in deciding whether to go see the prequel, not-John-Carpenter's The Thing, I decided not to watch JC's The Thing first, but instead watch it after. Random thoughts:
- Special effects have come a long, long way.
- JC's The Thing is better than NJC's The Thing (at least at the beginning), but neither of them are movies I'm likely to ever bother watching again.
- The way the dog behaved (before the reveal) in JC's The Thing was incredible - easily the best thing in either movie.
- The 'intelligent infiltration' aspect fell away in NJC's The Thing, and was the lesser movie because of that, but even in JC's The Thing (given that 'contamination' can apparently be managed with tiny amounts of exposure), our alien creature was far too inclined to flail partially formed limbs and rubber hoses (ah, tentacles) at every opportunity. In both movies, the alien's behaviour is highly counter-productive to its own survival.
- There was a remarkable contrast in the way that the "infiltration announcement" was treated in the movies. In JC's The Thing, an older male scientist announces that the alien is able to replicate the appearance of other living creatures. Response: complete, immediate acceptance. In NJC's The Thing, a young female scientist (specially flown in apparently for her ability to drawn lines on ice and nothing else) makes the same announcement. Response: complete, immediate dismissal.
- Damn, people are dumb! So you cut a huge alien creature out of the ice, and it breaks out and runs off. And you go looking for it in pairs. In the dark. Without weapons. Did you SEE the size of the claws on that thing?
On the whole JC's The Thing was more powerful (despite some truly bad special effects), but neither movie really made me care about any of these people.