MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: ***1/2(out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
John Carpenter’s “The Thing” is one of my favorite movies of all time, and like many of the skeptics out there, I was nervous when I heard it was getting a prequel. However, I was also a little excited. While I knew it wouldn’t hold a candle to Carpenter’s vision, I was still eager to see it. When it finally came out, I got pretty much what I expected. And in a world with disappointing films, this is the best you can hope for sometimes.
This movie follows the tragic story of the Norwegian camp that originally finds the Thing in the ice. It follows pretty much the same story as the Carpenter’s version, only with more Norwegians and a couple ladies in the mix. There’s a little too much use of CGI, and the film isn’t the slow build suspense that Carpenter’s is. It’s definitely cobbled a bit by modern filmmaking styles and set-up. However, in many ways, it’s true to the 1982 film, including offering Easter eggs that show how iconic images were set up and keeping in line with the nihilistic view of the events.
It’s not the best version of the film out there, but it’s better than it could have been. And I’ll take that.
The Blu-ray includes a commentary track with director Matthijs van Heihningen and producer Eric Newman, as well as a set of deleted and extended scenes. Some of these scenes are better than those of most films because it shows a variety of effects moments that were left out. There’s also the featurettes “The Thing Evolves” and “Fire & Ice,” which examine the development of the film and the use of practical fire effects.
Additionally, the Blu-ray comes with plenty of networked features that have become common on Universal discs. These include U-Control for picture-in-picture features, BD-Live features and the pocketBLU app access.