This latest version of THE THING actually serves as a prequel to the 1982 John Carpenter Sci Fi classic starring Kurt Russell. It traces the horrible and tragic events that hit a team of Norwegian and American scientist explorers in Antarctic after they discover an alien spaceship and an alien life form in the snow and ice. The special effects are fantastic in this film, and the lead female character played by actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead, seems to slightly channel Ripley from the movie, ALIEN. Ans although this is a very good Sci Fi film, it just doesn't quite match up to John Carpenter's version of THE THING. But, John Carpenter's version of THE THING was so good that it even compares as far better than the original 1951 film with James Arness, THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD.
Even the soundtrack of this 2011 version of THE THING is a little below the masterful music score provided by Ennio Morricone. Morricone is a great composer and orchestra leader. But, still the score provided by Marco Beltrami manages to successfully underscore moments of danger as well as drama as well as could be expected here. But, I remain partial to Ennio Morricone who has brought so much good great music to life for me.
The fact is that none of three THING movies are bad ones, each has been very good in their own way. With three different screenwriters, directors and actors, each different incarnation of this arctic Sci Fi horror tale has provided plenty of shock value and thrills for millions of viewers. Each is based off the 1938 short story by John W. Campbell, WHO GOES THERE?.
The Bottom Line: A very good Sci Fi outing by any standard, and the second best THING movie ever in the series, and far better than the Rotten Tomatoes lowly 35% rotten rating would suggest. This is a good movie, but just not the same sort of good as 1982 John Carpenter classic. ***Three Stars, Good. Buy or rent this one. This is a must see for fans of this classic Sci Fi story.