Friday, July 15, 2011

THE THING: A PREQUEL RECIPE FOR SALVATION

Okay, first of all, watch this.
You done yet? Now? Now?! Okay. Let us begin. 

Today the Gods of all things horror released to the public the trailer for the prequel to John Carpenter's masterpiece of the same name, The Thing.  While many have been up in arms since the announcement of the prequel about anyone going anywhere near his film, there are those (like myself) who have remained somewhat optimistic.  My opinion on perfection is that it's pretty hard to screw it up.  The best remakes/prequels usually pertain to films that were downright perfect to begin with.  For example: last year's dreaded remake of Let The Right One In was seen mostly favorably by horror fanatics and the infamous quote by THEoDEAD from Bloody-Disgusting that "the only problem with Let Me In is that LTROI exists," does nothing more than further drive the point I'm about to make about this prequel.  Based on the trailer alone, there are some key elements that are beginning to make me think that this film could be something we've needed in a very long time.

The thing that initially drew me in was the even balance of something old, and something new.  Hardcore horror audiences will enjoy the familiar feeling of the pool tables, poker games, and "mom's basement walls" in the setting of the sanctuary in the tundra.  We must remember that this movie is intending to take place right before Kurt Russell and Diabeetus sans stache accidentally let the ThingDog into their safety zone.  However, thanks to advancements in technology and just about everything James Cameron has touched, we now have the ability to create some mind-bending creatures that can be scary enough for the new millennium.  We'd be lying to ourselves if we didn't admit that twenty-something years later, the actual "thing" can at times look a bit amateur.  Today's audiences don't have the proper appreciation for that sort of thing, and our updated special effects may be what it takes to instill a few nightmares. 
While this film is meant to scare us, the original also brought us some of the most bad-ass uses of flame throwers and sci-fi action sequences.  They've kept the flame throwers in tact and this will appeal not only to die-hard fans of the original, but to today's violence obsessed audiences.   It isn't every day that films use a flame thrower for anything but ironic 1980's hair-metal concerts...or fighting Asian drug lords while filming a movie.  Regardless, the film looks pretty bad ass.  Where they could have taken it a traditional modern horror route and had most of the cast just run away in fear while scantily clad, they are keeping the snow suits and flame throwers and (hopefully) the Jive Talkin' arguments.
To add the icing on top of this cupcake, this film is delivering something I've been BEGGING for for the last three years.  It seems that we may very well have a strong, powerful, clothed, leading lady.  It's not every day that we're able to see a strong leading lady that isn't also melting with sexuality.  While Alice in Resident Evil is quite the bad-ass, she's also half naked and oh yeah, a fucking supermodel.  Mary Elizabeth Winstead has the capability to be extremely sexy, but this trailer showed her more than fully clothed the entire time.  Thank. God.  It is with that very decision alone that I feel this film will retain the true heart of the original because it is failing to conform to the modern horror film.  Long live the long sleeves and puffy coats.


Oh. And to those that think it looks too much like a remake, shut up.  It's in ANTARCTICA. What were you expecting, sand castles? It's what happened before they got there, I highly doubt the circumstances could be any more similar without it being a remake. Let it be.

11 comment(s):

The Mike said...

I'm right there on the optimism train with ya. This is a great story that lends itself to different interpretations, and I'm excited to see a new take on it.

matango said...

I have high hopes for this. It looks like it is at least partially based on the original (i.e. 1950s vintage) movie (which is excellent, by the way).

LC said...

I'm gonna have to disagree about the "outdated" special effects in Carpenter's classic. In my opinion, the effects have stood the passage of time fairly well.

I thought that Botin's effects were incredible and terrifying, especially during the Norris/head spider sequence. Although I do understand that something as great as the horror effects in the 80s wouldn't grab the attention of the youth of today and it makes me sad to think about that.

If Hollywood precedent is anything to go by, the CGI effects in this movie will be very blatant, very in-your-face and not very convincing. CGI is NOT an automatic improvement over practical effects. It just doesn't work for me, my eyes refuse to be convinced.

... oh yes and it is about fucking time that we have a strong heroine in a horror film that's not a scantly clad supermodel type. Needless to say, I'm anticipating this film's release.

Mr. Johnny Sandman said...

Umm…. I take offense because I WAS expecting sand castles. So far it's a negative 20 points for Universal. Anywho, though I'm not excited to see this… I'll definitely give it a fighting chance.

Dr Blood said...

I've just posted something about this too. I'm really looking forward to it especially as it looks almost identical to John Carpenter's version. Since the prequel is set only 3 days before that 30 year old classic, it should look the same.

Marvin the Macabre said...

Hear, hear. I wish I could preorder my tickets now. I do think this looks pretty similar to John Carpenter's version, but his is so great that more of the same is totally welcome.

While there's no Keith David or Kurt Russell's beard, I'm always up for Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Wait, that didn't sound quite right...

BJ-C said...

@LC-The effects thyself are absolutely fabulous, but some of the materials used could use an upgrade. I'm a total blood snob and the blood in the original looks far too pink to me and always distracts me.

Dan O. said...

Proof that this movie is still happening.

The teaser poster was pretty badass. I’m mixed on this trailer, though.

Anonymous said...

Why can't Burt Reynolds play the lead?

RayRay said...

BJ-C: being just about the biggest Thingamaniac I know, I was very apprehensive at any suggestion of a remake or sequel. The more I looked at this, and how seriously the source material was being taken, and how the director was using as the original as a blueprint to reverse engineer his prequel, I became more confident at the eventual outcome. I think this one is going to be something special, like Carpenter's was.

Mealy Monster Land said...

I am looking forward to seeing this film. Taking the optimistic approach.

Related Posts with Thumbnails