Fandango’s blog had a trailer for the new The Thing, scheduled to be released in October 2011. Initially, I was pretty excited about this movie, having just recently watched John Carpenter’s The Thing just a couple of months ago, thanks to Netflix. I’m a big fan of the original, and instead of a Kurt-Russell-type, director Matthijs van Heijningen, Jr. cast Mary Elizabeth Windstead in the main role. Yay for female leads in the science fiction/horror genre! Unfortunately, rather than the brilliance of John Carpenter’s movie, the newest trailer showcased a movie that was utterly underwhelming, heavy on CGI, and overly dramatic.
John Carpenter’s The Thing, starring Kurt Russell and released in 1982, is one of the best horror movies ever made. It is scary as hell – and if you’ve never seen The Thing, believe me when I say that the effects help make the movie. I have no desire to see another CGI monster, and nothing could terrify me the way Rob Bottin does. With such movies under his special-effects-and-makeup belt as Total Recall, RoboCop, and Seven, Bottin’s work looks nearly effortless, helping to create that illusion between reality and fantasy that we seek in a movie theater, or in our homes.
When CGI is used, it can often improve the movie, add to other special effects, and allow the filmakers to defy physics. When it is relied on, the plot is often ignored, and everything becomes about seeing the “money shot”, both figuratively and literally.
Now, I’m not a huge Kurt Russel fan, but much like Keanu Reeves in The Matrix, the role of R.J. MacReady (seriously!) suited him. If you haven’t seen The Thing and you’re up for a great horror movie, I suggest you give it a try. Carpenter gives the money shot, but also delivers tension, anxiety, and terror. The trailer for the new movie did not do justice to it, nor did it boost my excitement for this prequel. However, we’ve still got until October – perhaps a later trailer will change my mind – again.