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:: The Thing

I still remember the chills I had running through my body when back in 1982 I first saw The Thing with Kurt Russell, in the lead role. Now nearly thirty years later comes its prequel and I must say that as a horror film I was really impressed. Not many modern horror films have made me jump over the years, but such is the suspense of The Thing that I found myself jumping as many times as I did in the original.

This time around we see young scientist, Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and her colleague, Adam Goodman (Eric Christian Olsen) chosen by the legendary, Dr. Sander Halvorson (Ulrich Thomsen) to help investigate a crashed UFO (and the creature that was inside it) that has been discovered in Antarctica. However, when the creature breaks lose soon all the scientists on the base, and the pilots, Sam (Joel Edgerton) and Derek (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) are under attack from it. Even scarier is the fact that it can assume the identity of it’s victim, meaning no-one can be trusted.

As far as horror goes, Director, Matthijs van Heijningen Jnr. is at the top of his game. The suspense that gets out of this storyline is incredible and he (and the screenwriter) use the setting perfectly. As in the case of 30 Days Of Night the Artic conditions make the fear in this film even more real for the audience, the fact that the characters can’t escape the base adds another element to the story that totally engrosses you. Along with the brilliant direction, screenwriter, Eric Heisserer has made all the characters believable and likeable. So many horror writers forget that in order for the audience to invest their emotions into a horror film then they have to be caring for the characters and hoping that nothing happens to them… Heisserer has delivered that here and that is one of the main reasons why The Thing works so well.

The producers also haven’t let down by their cast. While the leads aren’t names that jump out at you straight away they certainly don’t deliver B-Grade performances they are A-Grade all the way. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is likeable as Kate while Eric Christian Olsen uses the film to remind Hollywood that he is still a worthy actor. Ulrich Thomsen relishes the role as the ‘nearly evil’ Dr. Halvorson but the real shining light is Aussie, Joel Edgerton whose Hollywood star is certainly on the rise.

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes showed us earlier this year that prequels to classic films can work, and The Thing only enhances that. This is a great modern horror that due to its great direction and terrific script uses suspense to make its audience jump… and that is all you can ask for from a good horror film.