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This Week's Movie ReviewThe Thing
Three and a half stars

POSTED BY MICHAEL A. SMITH, October 14, 2011    Share

Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton and Ulrich Thomsen
Directed by: Matthijs van Heijningen, Jr.
Rated: R
Running time: 1 hour 43 mins

Antarctica. 1982. As they track an unknown signal, a group of Norwegian scientists suddenly find themselves swallowed up by a sinkhole in the ice. They discover, buried far below the ice, what appears to be an alien craft. And a survivor.

True in tone to John Carpenter’s version, which was actually a retelling of the 1951 film “The Thing From Another World,” “The Thing” is a suspenseful story that benefits from some outstanding visual effects. The story is familiar. A group of scientists and assistants find themselves among a creature that has the ability to replicate living tissue. It’s not long before fingers are pointed by and at each other as the Thing infiltrates the base camp. Among the inhabitants, no one is safe. Not even the dogs.

A little gorier and not as fun as the 1982 version, “The Thing” is a visual effects fans dream. Once it is established that “something” is trying to eat everyone, the film jumps into overdrive, with the special effects crew outdoing themselves. Where the Carpenter version featured effects by the great Rob Bottin, here the crew gives us the nastiest of alien creatures in all of their bloody glory.

The cast, mostly Norwegian, is led by Winstead’s Kate Lloyd, a paleontologist who is whisked off by Dr. Halvorson (Ulrich Thomsen) to investigate and autopsy the ice- enclosed survivor. They are flown to the continent by Carter (“Warrior” co-star Joel Edgerton), who soon finds things, and people, aren’t what they seem. First time feature director Heijningen sets up some good scares and the special effects crew go above and beyond the call of duty, introducing a new generation of “Thing” fans to some really gruesome sights.

This Week's Movie Review of "The Thing" is ©2011 by Mike Smith. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2011 by Nolan B. Canova.

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