John Carpenter's 1982 remake of The Thing is a horror classic. Kurt Russell trapped at the bottom of the world, menaced by a shape-shifting monster - the landmark work of Rob Bottin - from outer space. Good stuff. It opened with a dog running across the snowy plains of Antarctica, chased by a helicopter with someone shooting at it. Why were they shooting at the dog and what happened at the Norwegian research station they find abandoned and burned out?
This. (Watch the trailer to see the movie without the monster shots.)
In this totally unnecessary prequel, also titled The Thing, we get an almost beat-for-beat remake of Carpenter's Thing, which is pretty coincidental considering the storyline of an organism that mimics its host to near perfection. The only real changes are the addition of a couple of women, including star Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and the use of mostly CGI instead of foam latex to make the new (old?) monsters. Otherwise it's the same old song and dance. Who's the alien? BOO!!! There are a couple of BOO! jolts and a few good effects, but it doesn't really work, especially at the end with the alien ship and its jigsaw Tetris-looking thingie. How does a lifeform looking the way it does create and use a giant spaceship? Wouldn't it suffice to be just an organism with extraordinary infectious properties? The movie isn't interested in exploring the myriad ways for the world to be observed or building chills, it just runs a checklist of things the original remake did. (e.g. Remember that axe in the wall in Carpenter's film? Now you know how it got there. Put it on your resume.)
Half remake, half prequel, all unnecessary.
Score: 4/10. Skip it.