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The Thing (2011)

8.21 h 43 min1982X-Ray15
It's not human. Yet. From the producers of Dawn of the Dead comes the chilling prelude to John Carpenter's cult classic film. When paleontologist Kate Lloyd travels to an isolated outpost in Antarctica for the expedition of a lifetime, she joins an international team that unearths a remarkable discovery.
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Supporting actors
Joel EdgertonUlrich ThomsenJonathan Walker
David FosterLawrence Turman
NBC Universal
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
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4.4 out of 5 stars

3425 global ratings

  1. 65% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 19% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 10% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 3% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 3% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

PagespinnerReviewed in the United Kingdom on 03 September 2018
3.0 out of 5 stars
Unimaginative reboot, but worth a look
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It's never easy to capture the sweaty paranoia of the book on which a film is based, and this is equally the case with Richard Matheson's 'I am Legend' and the John Campbell's classic pulp tale 'Who Goes There?' Every so often (every 30 years in the case of the latter) someone has a go at it and inevitably falls short.

When John Carpenter released 'The Thing' in 1982 fans of the Campbell book and the Howard Hawks 1951 film complained that the creepy atmosphere had been sacrificed to special effects. In the novella the alien is four foot tall, three-eyed, blue-skinned, tentacle-armed with thin lips and snake teeth; crucially, though, it can read minds and clone a human or animal from a drop of its own blood. In the Hawks adaptation its brief appearances seem to suggest the Frankenstein monster. But Carpenter went some way in getting the creature's modus operandi right and making Campbell's rather incoherent story (he was forced to juggle a lot of characters who might or might not have been the monster) easier to follow.

One would have hoped that this high-budget reboot (pitched as a prequel) could have resolved the issues of impressive creature versus the sweaty atmosphere of testosterone-fuelled men camped together in the Antarctic having to isolate themselves further and further to contain a threat to the rest of the world. Except this source of tension has to go because this is 2011 and two women have been injected into the story, one of whom is the hero. Now their presence among these sex-starved characters - one or more of which might be a rabid alien - could have been made into a tension-builder by a more skilled director, if not a clever comment on human sexuality, but despite a remark made early on not much is made of the situation.

Otherwise, besides populating the camp with many Norwegians and a more-or-less by-the-numbers shadowing of Carpenter's achievement, little has changed in the van Heijningen version, and what has is not always for the better. Indeed, it starts off wrong-footed with an off-colour joke and never quite recovers. Fans of previous versions may wonder what happened to all the dogs (the book had huskies, cattle and even an albatross). The presence of the sole dog here proves eventually a pretext for a groaningly weak twist. And the all-too-visceral monster which fans of the novella complained about in the Carpenter version reappears here in spades, complete with the sort of chase sequences all too familiar in post-'Alien' sci-fi flicks.

But if you like science fiction films and can't find better this is worth watching for nothing. It is entertaining if you don't think too hard - but also quite forgettable. The bottom line, though, is that a rare opportunity for a classic version of the story has been sadly missed.
15 people found this helpful
DaisyReviewed in the United Kingdom on 09 August 2018
4.0 out of 5 stars
A worthy second best
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The 1982 movie with the same title was groundbreaking in its effects and impact, and its settings, soundtrack, casting were a brilliant package, that took this chilling masterpiece of science fiction respectfully from its Who Goes There? (by John Campbell) origin and a step beyond to its first movie incarnation in 1951 as The Thing from Another World. I watched this therefore with little possibility of being objective, but I have to say the prequel story of the Norwegian expedition to the Antarctic has been done a lot better than I anticipated. Admittedly the stunning frozen landscapes and slightly slicker special effects along with plenty of tension-building and unexpected frights make this a very worthy remake (because that's what it is really, despite the prequel label), but it couldn't better the effect the John Carpenter version had over three decades ago. It's maybe a little bit obvious but the beautiful husky provides the required link...
8 people found this helpful
JMDReviewed in the United Kingdom on 13 August 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
We found a ********* Alien!
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Im a great fan of carpenters take on the thing.
And i think they did a good job of this one. Its pretty much a pure remake, under the premise of being a prequel.
The prequel aspect is pretty good, showing us what happened at the Norwegian station (worth watching the extras to see the lengths they went to).
And emulating the originals plot means it cant really go wrong in that area.
The special effects are ok, with what seems a limit on CGI (the 82 thing still has convincing effects to this date)
IMO this isnt just worth a watch, its thoroughly enjoyable.
9 people found this helpful
Steve WatsonReviewed in the United Kingdom on 07 November 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
A worthy prequel. (Little spoiler)
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I love this movie.
It is undoubtedly a worthy sequel to the original.
The story ties nicely together with it's predecessor. Almost flawlessly in fact.

I do however have a couple of questions.

Why is the Russian base mentioned "that's only 50km away" but no mention of the American base that was clearly out there?

Also "The Thing" can make itself into pretty much anything organic that it wants to.
It's not bound by our laws of physics.
1 cell survives, the whole "Thing" survives. That's how it works.

So at the end when she's actually on it's spaceship, and she finds a little gap to hide in, why doesn't it do what it would in any other situation?
Make itself longer? An inch or 2 would do it.

Why not snap off one of those crawly things that runs around to get her?
I don't understand why a creature that can basically make itself into anything would have trouble reaching somebody hiding around a corner on it's own ship???

Apart from that, I've got no holes to pick in this movie.
Original was 1982, this one is 2011, that's 29 years by my count, and they managed to keep the same atmosphere, the same state the Norwegian camp was left in when McReedy arrives there in (82) but after the catastrophic breakdown at the Norwegian camp.
Right down to the exact position of the axe in the door used to chops one of those crawly things in half... that soon just puts itself back together, but still very cool.

I love it. Almost as much as the original. Almost!

Great cast, great movie. Great link to the John Carpenter original. 👌🏻 10/10
One person found this helpful
ClareReviewed in the United Kingdom on 01 July 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
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Was expecting it to not be a patch on the first, but was so wrong. What an excellent film is definitely just as good as the first film & well worth watching. It tells the same story more or less as the first. The 1 hr 42 mins went by quickly & did not take my eyes off it all the way through. Had a few jump in your seat moments & has me taking to TV a few times e.g don't go after it, don't turn your back on them & it's the alien. Good cast, great scenery & good special effects & CGI. Will definitely be watching it again. Only down side no Kurt Russell.
6 people found this helpful
Martin HolifieldReviewed in the United Kingdom on 09 November 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Great special effects, but predictable story line
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A great film if you like science/horror with amazing special effects and action from the start. The problem is, most people who watch this do so because it is a 'prequel' to the 1980's movie and so, if you have seen that, then you pretty much can guess what the story line is and what happens to everyone. In fact there are parts where they have borrowed very heavily from the earlier version as some scenes were great crowd pleasers. We all know how the earlier film starts and consequently this prequel must end in the same way that the earlier film starts: so no surprises there. It is a bit confusing at the end working out who 'the Thing' is, but that is in some ways irrelevant. A good film and if you like lots of alien activity and tension then this is the one.
RikiReviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 March 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
A fantastic horror flick
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I watched this one before the classic original, and ended up liking this one more.

This movie didn't drag or get boring for me, I was hooked.
The effects where great, the acting was solid, the story was great - while it was basically the same premise, the way it goes about setting up the original, with all the details, while doing somethings different was great.

I liked a lot of the actors too. Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Joel Edgerton did a great job. As well as most of the side characters.

Gore and action was on point. Monsters where great. Ended up wanting more from this after it was over. Loved it.
Lee M.Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 04 November 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
Watch Out - Amazon will get you
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Great Film, five stars. However, want to watch any purchases overseas!! Access Denied. Even though you own it. Amazon Fire won't play it. Amazon player on TV won't play it. They have implemented a region zone so you cannot play you're owned goods!! You can however play it on you're computer and if you have an Apple TV you can play it to yout TV through that. Kind of puts all that development effort to stop you playing stuff abroad into the 'Reallly? What wasted Effort Bucket!' . Note Apple Purchases play anywhere and why shouldn't they? Top marks to Apple, which is sometimes an unusual statement to make. LMc
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