The Thing (2011)

(USA, 2011, 103 mins, 35mm)
CAST Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen
Introduced by Fred Chapman, fx rigger, Image Engine.

Although critics were predictably sniffy about this prequel to John Carpenter’s film, it’s worth remembering the critical reaction in 1982 was equally hostile, with most reviews looking back nostalgically to the 1951 Howard Hawks production ’The Thing From Another World’. It took about a decade before Carpenter’s shocker was accepted as a landmark in modern horror.

Ingeniously devised to dovetail with events at the remote Norwegian Antarctic base, the latest ’Thing’ begins with the discovery of a flying saucer under the ice. American paleontologist Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) arrives to investigate and is shown the alien body that has been retrieved from the scene… A corpse that defrosts with a vengeance.

Showcasing top of the line CGI effects by Image Engine, the Vancouver company best known for District 9, ’The Thing" is a tense, horrifying movie that pays respect to the past while embracing the brave new wave in fx work.

"It’s full of chills and thrills and isolated Antarctic atmosphere and terrific Hieronymus Bosch creature effects, and if it winks genially at the plot twists of Carpenter’s film, it never feels even a little like some kind of inside joke." Andrew O’Hehir,