The Thing Prequel – Blockbuster Buster

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  1. Each cell of the The Thing is able to act independently. So a grenade wouldn’t have much effect against it. Shrapnel and concussive force are harmful to internal organs, which The Thing isn’t reliant on. It’s current form was disrupted by the concussive force but it can reform itself. The worst the grenade did was kill some of the cells from the heat of the explosion.

    That is also why someone in the base can be The Thing without it needing to teleport since it was a different and independent body that was in the crash.

    • Yeah, I hate to say it, but I think E-Rod got that wrong. The Thing works like a virus, infecting and assimilating living organisms, spreading and expanding out among the targeted populace in the form of the original victims until it either has the upper hand or is threatened enough to change. It keeps its old biomass as it absorbs new biomass, so it can expand exponentially. One Thing becomes two, two become four and so on. So in both the original and the prequel, there were multiple things running around at the same time.

      So in this case, the Thing in the ship probably got destroyed. But there was already a Dog-Thing back in the base, acting independently.

      • Yeah the thing didn’t need to teleport infact in some version it only needs to touch your flesh to be able to infect you in which case the main character was infected the minute she touched the the bloody teeth napkin or no the sells would move and touch her infecting her. So yeah the thing can infect just by touching however this does not help the original thing as all touching does is make another of it’s kind for the original to take on another shape it has to absorb the thing whose shape it wants also absorbing things could be its way of feeding. That being said yeah the thing acts like an idiot in this movie which makes no sense since not only does it have access to the brain power of the infected but being a hive mind trillions of independent sells it should have much higher intelligence than this hell if each cell is both independent and has equal intelligence it should be able to process things faster than a super computer.

        • That doesn’t work though. In the original it took more than a single cell to infect someone. By the standard of just touching someone, as Linkara pointed out, the thing could just jokingly poke people going “Does this bug you? Does this bug you? Does this bug you?”. Heck, it doesn’t even need to do that. Humans are constantly shedding skill cells that you don’t really see as dust. Everybody would be infected in a day if a single person was infected and all were in the same room.

          The way the thing infects is rather unexplained, but I think it has a few factors:

          It requires a certain amount of biomass to infect another organism indirectly, far larger than one cell

          Someone who is infected might not know it while being take over.

          Direct skin contact without visible melding isn’t going to infect someone.

          Seriously, by the standard of a single cell, the thing would take over the entire outpost in a day and the world by next week just by going to a major metropolitan area and standing in a crowded enclosed area. Everyone would get infected and it would spread fast.

          • Also, in Carpenter’s movie, there is never (at least never seems to be) more than one Thing. Only one person or animal is infected at a time. With a viral Thing, the whole place could be infected quickly, but there looked to be just one consciousness to it, going from person to person.

          • Actually Mayhem, there is. Palmer is (most likely) infected when Norris’s spider-head is trying to escape.

            It actually changes the context of the “You gotta be fuckin’ kidding me” line quite a bit.

      • The Thing isn’t very akin to a virus in how it’s body reacts, but more like a polyp (jellyfish). In polyp’s there is no central nervous system or organ structure, but a series of interconnected structures made of mesoglea. In Carpenter’s version we see the Thing react to hostility by breaking off from it’s body and creating new tissue, something some variations of jellyfish are capable of. (And other animals, but few are as effective at it)

        Also, Carpenter’s Thing showed that it does NOT have control over distant pieces of it’s body in the blood burning scene. The blood responded like a reflex action but did not come to life or move on it’s own, only the current form did, which attempted to flee.

    • I imagine that the loose cells that were not burnt or liquidated by the explosion succumbed to the cold, either with freezer burn or just going inert. The alien is not invincible, it still needs material to assimilate, and a lot of itself to form up and move around.

  2. I guess you could argue that the Thing was stupid because the Thing in the later movie learned its mistakes on how to survive, but that would be giving this movie good things. No thanks.

  3. Previewsly? Dude, I know English isn’t your first language, but your spelling sucks.

  4. Once again Erod, your narrow mindedness on reviewing movies never ceases to amaze me. Granted The Thing prequel wasn’t exactly a horror classic, but the film was decent enough to help bring about an origin to this alien creature and tie-in everything which leads up to the classic movie. I especially enjoyed the ending to this where they used the music to the first film as those Norwegians try to cap that alien dog.

    • No it was irredeemablely bad it tried to tie-in with first film and failed aesthetically, tonally, thematically, and plotwise. Neither the thing or the human characters were written worth a damn, there was no slow build-up and release of tension, the effects were pathetic, hell even basic concepts like the Norwegian base being staffed by Norwegians wasn’t maintained. it was pretty much a forgettable fail all around.

      • It was a horrible failed tie-in prequel? Prometheus says hi.

        • Prometheus may have “failed” (it didn’t financially) but it was faithful to it’s source material, which makes sense because it’s the same director. And even then, it was dubbed a prequel after Scott had repeatedly said it was more of a reboot of the Alien franchise because he didn’t like the direction it took.

          • Well it can’t reboot the alien franchise now since a sequel is in the works that will pretty much null and void alien 3 and resurrection.

            And it was about as faithful as one wants it to believe. I found it to be an incredibly bad film and the fact that it was attached as a prequel made it worse. And now Ridley Scott is expecting me to sit through 3 more films to understand the origins of the xenomorphs? Fuck that. The mystery of where they came from was more appealing than actually finding out they are just test tube babies like the human race.

      • That depends of what circles you are, if you are in the circles of the crybabies that scream: “HORRIBLE, NOTHING LIKE THE ORIGINAL, BAD MOVIE, BAD MOVIE.” For every remake, prequel or sequel, then this would be a bad movie.

        But if you are in the circle of fans that spend hours and hours studying every film, the prequels wasn’t so bad, it had very scary moments, the Thing behaved more like a predator in the prequels than a intelligent being, but I wouldn’t go so far in saying that was a very bad movie, that are just for crybabies purist that critic every movie because they have unreasonable high standard and put the originals in a pedestal.

      • Tonally and thematically? Yes. Bad written characters? Subjective. Failing aesthetically? No, it was on par. It’s just a pity that Universal Studios covered the pratical effects with CGI.

    • He’s got a good point about the failure at the end. There’s no getting around that continuity error.

    • Did it need an origin?

    • It’s not a good tie in though. It changed how the Thing reacted to situations (like an idiot), fucked up continuity in a handful of places (the ship, the fact Kate escapes but a snowcat somehow left no tracks behind) and got the tone of the movie completely wrong. Carpenter’s Thing was a tight, well crafted thriller of a horror movie, the 2011 is a horrible attempt at amping up the violence to turn it into a slash movie because torture porn was popular at the time. (Thankfully it didn’t go that far over the edge)

      • The thing acting like an idiot can be because it didn’t understand how humans would react to it. As you can see throughout the movie it does learn to start attacking after it corners someone by themselves. When it attacked out in the open of a crowd it was killed on the spot. this happened too when it attack the dogs in the kennel at the beginning of the original. It only really attacked groups when it was exposed.

        The first ending was a mess. The ship continuity was screwed over big time. and since the thing hit Kate, she would technically be infected as well. Also as to finding no snowcat tracks. It would be covered up by more snow rather quickly.

  5. Wilford Brimley was just digging around trying to find his oatmeal.

  6. I do not get the hate for this one. I’m a huge fan of the “original”, but I thought they made a pretty good prequel.

  7. the cgi is worse when you learn that they already had practical effects ready to go for the film…and most of them got either cast aside or outright covered up by the computer stuff. great decision there studio execs…

  8. Can someone explain to me can there be two and more things? It always baffled me – does it have one consciousness or is it omnipresent? Does it operates like virus or does it devours, stores data and than can shift into anything it assimilated?

    The question: can one big thing split into two or more humans?

    • It is essentially a disease: it’s an infectious microrganism that replaces your cells. Each cell – and each individual thing – is an individual by itself.

    • When you’re assimilated it takes everything from you, dna, memories, you name it. Wether it can store forms or not we don’t know, as we only see it in the form of something recently assimilated. As to wether it can reproduce, nothing in Carpenter’s movie (or previous versions) implies that it can self replicate into multiple beings. If it could, overtaking the site would have been far easier, and means the blood seperated from Palmer reacts like a reflex to the blood, but does not appear to have any other movement capabilities (implying it has something like a nervous system but no control over distant tissues).

      • This is a surprisingly common misconception about the Thing, as there is ample evidence in the original short story and the movie to show that there are multiple Things about. In the short story, it’s extremely obvious. In the movie, you had the following examples:
        – The Dog-Thing assimilates an unknown person (shown as a shadow) before being locked in the dog pen and trying to assimilate all the dogs. Since the Dog-Thing was destroyed in the attempt, that meant there was at least one Human-Thing in play while the Dog-Thing was about.
        – Bennings gets assimilated by the supposedly-dead corpse from the Norwegian camp, not by the dog or another human.
        – Norris, Palmer, and Blair: the events leading to their discovery and ultimate disposal disallow any contact between the three from the moment Norris had a heart attack onward. They HAD to have all been Things simultaneously. And the fact that Norrris’s head was able to separate and get spider-like implies that while it’s not the Thing’s M.O. to sever itself into pieces, it totally can.

  9. God, I could write a small book on this movie’s plot holes. From how the creature somehow BURSTS out its icy prison after millennia of dormancy and leaves a nice neat hole (because the impression I got from the original is that the creature was either thawed or cut out, as scientists are likely to do with ancient remains), to the Dog-Thing choosing to escape the camp AT THE EXACT TIME the last two survivors are standing around when it could have waited for them to leave (or have escaped any time prior) to the American Pilot-Thing somehow forgetting which ear had the earring (memories aren’t altered – perfect copy, remember?) to the GODDAMN SPACESHIP BEING OPERATIONAL…

    Sorry, but this movie is terrible. It is so busy trying to be a prequel and connect all the pretty little plot dots that it constantly comes up with irrational, illogical reasons for why things happen. Couple this with bland characters and subpar effects and you get a movie that absolutely deserves the drubbing it gets.

    • There’s a difference between “perfect copy” (subjective by itself) and willingly pierce yourself with metal.

      • It was a BS plot point anyway that they pulled out of their ass and contradicts how the thing was shown assimilate existing host cells not replace them out right in the first movie. There’s no actual reason things like fillings and piercings wold be any different in an assimilated person.

        • Assimilating = replacing. Also, that still wouldn’t make the Thing handling metal satisfactory.

          • No. Replacement implies the original host cells are destroyed which they aren’t they’re infected and become Thing cells, they are not destroyed and replaced. This is clearly depicted in first movie There no reason things like teeth and ears would change at all during the infection/assimilation process. That was just a lazy ill conceived plot point which directly contradicts what was depicted about the nature of the Thing in the first film.

      • What TerminalSanity said. Also, my point was that the American fellow didn’t know which ear was pierced and picked the wrong ear to finger, prompting his flaming death. Which makes no sense. As a Thing, he’d have all the memories of the original. He’d at least know he had a pierced ear and which one it was.

  10. MidnightScreeningsman2014

    Wow the cgi must have been pretty bad(bt from what I saw yeah pretty much). Remember when I said last week when I said that it ruined the great makeup that Stan Winston was pretty much ruined by all that cgi that they put over it it well the cgi in this movie ruin rings shame to the great makeup that stan Winston and pat did in the john carpenter version.
    Really good review though and havent seen any footage from the annabelle movie but heard Chris stuckmann hated it so this one should be good. Also I don’t know brad jones opinion on Annabelle so I’ll have to watch his midnight screenings for it.

  11. Three Degrees of Bacon

    It didn’t bother me so much that the Thing acted so stupidly in the prequel. After all – couldn’t it have learned from its mistakes in the prequel, making it more dangerous in John Carpenter’s?

    • The Thing was either member or prisoner of alien race intelligent enought to master space travel. I think it would act smarter than mindless beast even before its first human contact.

  12. It cannot replicate inorganic matter… except for complete sets of clothes (including zippers) and accessories like glasses, which we see in both movies.

    • well it depends, if you get changed by a bite or small amount I would assume you would keep your clothing, it’s only when it fully absorbs you like the dog that your clothes are ruined.

    • As a fan of the original, I think this movie was alright, if flawed. If we want to nitpick the Thing’s behaviour, there’s plenty in the original too–it could’ve won if it just casually infected people as a dog in various ways without trouble, and so on. I guess here you could say it’s still disorientated from coming out of the ice after so many years. Likewise, to be honest, apart from the helicopter scene which looked like it was using PS1 graphics, I was indifferent to the CG. Some of it looked good, some of it was meh. The filmmakers apparently wanted to do practical, but were overruled by the studio.

      But yeah. It’s not on the level of Carpenter’s film, though I knew it was never going to be. As is, there are issues, but I don’t think it’s as bad as some say. I think they were definitely trying, as you can tell by all the call forwards to the original. As modern horror films go, it could’ve been much, much worse.

    • The clothes are suspected to be ripped during assimilation; it’s a major plot point. Also, there’s a difference between clothing and small, precise metal objects.

  13. what I always wondered about is, at what point do you become the creatrure? If it’s like the dog where it’s asborbing all at once it’s obvious, but if you get a bite from the “thing” dog or such would you ever know? Would you be just as shocked as everyone else when you were revealed?

  14. No mention at all that all the effects where done practically, but a complete waste of time because the studio thought it looked “unrealistic” (while looking amazing) and made everything CGI.

    Because reviewers don’t friggin care about research and information anymore, but just the stupid ass storylines everybody skips because they are EMBARASSING!

    • Reviewers shouldn’t be required to list all the “might have beens,” honey. They’re reviewing what we GOT, not what we MIGHT have gotten in a parallel universe. And frankly, I’ve seen more information and research in recent years than way back when, when people didn’t bother to explore the behind-the-scenes stuff at all. But I guess mindless nostalgia trumps all.

      But adding all the background information would probably make the video twice as long, and it STILL wouldn’t make a difference to the movie because it would still have horrible CGI.

  15. One thing I will say–this prequel was still way better than the shitty videogame ‘sequel’. And most of the shitty comics (which had the Thing…having a romance…no, really). As such, as far as Thing media goes, you can do plenty worse than this film.

  16. Fuck this movie! I had fillings but they fell off. Guess I am the thing!…

  17. On the being there from the crash…maybe I’m wrong but I didn’t think the “thing” was one being, multiple people can be it at one time, now are they all collectivly one being or new versions thats a good question. it could have infected someone at the base then tried to escape in the plane, so one gets to civilization, while other finishes inefecting the base.

  18. As poorly executed The Thing was, I think the movie had something. The Thing never encountered humans before nor knew what they were capable of, so it panicked and that’s what we get in the movie. I didn’t expect the creature to easily outsmart everyone in the facility if it did, it’d already taken over the world.

    On the special effect though, I was too upset for words. When I first viewed it I thought it was another Resident Evil sequel. It’s sucks to know that most the effects featured in the movie were painstakingly hand crafted just to give the fans something to hold onto from the previous film but executives decided to butcher everything in post production.

    • The thing knows everything the host organism knows when they assimilate them otherwise they wouldn’t be effectively imitate them them moment it assimilated a human it knew everything it needed to know about them. So that’s not a valid excuse.

      • Well, we don’t know enough about how the Thing works. My theory is that it’s still a partially instinct-driven creature, given that even in the original it sometimes goes for assimilation even when it technically doesn’t need to, so sometimes it may just lash out. Plus, some people theorize that the Thing ‘hides’ inside people’s bodies, hence the tagline to the original, so they’d still be themselves until it forcibly takes over.

        • Actually we know that the thing is intelligent and passes on its intelligence to new things (otherwise Blair could not have made that partially constructed craft under the shed) and as i said it quite clearly retains all the knowledge of an infected host. In the first film it never tried to assimilate another person or animal openly unless it had already been revealed and it never openly just lashed out it worked covertly to undermine and so dissent and uncertainty among the remaining humans anticipating their efforts at every turn the only instinct reaction it ever seemed to have is that it could not help but react when threatened. In the short story this explained by the fact that each individual Thing only cares about its own survival. Once separate from a larger biomass a Thing becomes a new thing on to itself and gives no f-_cks about whether or not other things survive. An idea that seemed to be subtly carried over into the Carpenter film.

          • The short story is a separate thing to the film, and is kinda irrelevant to most viewers. Anyway, in the original, the Thing could’ve still infected the dogs and the people by far more subtle ways if it wanted to, given that it just takes a few cells to infect, so just saliva from licking could conceivably do. The thing is (heh), it’s a completely alien entity, so again, it’s entirely up in the air how exactly it thinks. You could easily say it shifted tactics in Outpost 31 after it’s less subtle approach in the Norwegian one–which was implied even in the Carpenter film, with all the strange and gruesome stuff MacCready and co found everywhere.

  19. I think that you are exaggerating, this movie isn’t that bad, and most of us think the reason why it behave like that it because the creature behave like PREDATOR instead of a intelligent human being, he is there for the hunt, still doesn’t understand the humans enough to copy them perfectly.

    • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again this whole “The Thing didn’t understand humans” crap you people keep throwing out out to explain away this movie’s poor writing is 100% merit-less nonsense on its face The Thing clearly retains all the knowledge of an infected host otherwise it would be impossible for the The thing to speak, write, and otherwise do all the things the original host did. The Thing by its nature can perfectly copy any organism.


  21. I think this prequel actually did have some promise. This is a legitimately untold part of the story, and they could even have harkened back to the old movie “The Thing From Another World” when it came to scenes of The Thing arising from the ice, and the whole excavation with thermite (which was almost identical in the footage of “The Thing”). It would have shown a real attention to detail and respect for the older movies.

    But someone in production, whether it’s executives or the director, apparently felt we needed a “BLAAAAAARGH I’M THE THING!” CGI attack every so often. And the teeth fillings thing… good idea potential, but it never should have been the DETECTION method.

    So really, this movie was just a mass of studio-interfered wasted potential.

  22. Love the new theme song for Halloween Havoc, E-Rod! In fact, can you continue to use that badass music more often? It just fits your logo!

  23. I remember seeing this in the theater. When the thing first bursts out of the ice I stood up, yelled DONE and walked out.

  24. Dude you totally missed the opportunity to talk about how the majority of the film was made with practical effects by the awesome ADI. But then they were screwed by the studio, who didn’t like the limited angles in which you can film in camera effects and totally removed ADI’s effects and replaced all the effect shots with CGI. these practical effects were the best i have ever seen, check out the links below to see what the studio did to the amazing artistry that was ruined by the studio system!

    and another video by Comic Girl 19, where she talks to the people at ADI and discuss the dying art of practical effects work.

  25. Okay I cannot finish this episode because the player you’re using suuuuuuuuuucks just that badly. It’s buffering every other minute, the image quality is terrible and the sound quality average, if you’re just not able to use YouTube for whatever reason then we’ll all have to live with that or move on… but you really should keep looking into other options, because this right here is just not working out.

  26. Hmm… I had formerly heard that this movie was pretty good. Maybe it was from someone who had never seen any of the originals. Also, OMG! I am going to use that Doctor Who? joke one day. 😀 No other comment besides that since I’ve never seen any of the The Thing movies.

  27. What was the music ERod used over the titles?

    Was it something he made himself or if not anyone know the title and who it’s by?

  28. Oh my gosh. John Carpenter’s the thing isnt the original movie, unless you’re just choosing to not mention it since the new thing movie is a prequel to the remake?

  29. Several of your issues are simple to address. Why change into a dog? Well why would it change into the obviously more intelligent things right away? How does she figure out it can’t do inorganic matter? Well she already knew it was assimilating, really, it’s pretty obvious that this obviously alien creature can shapeshift, especially after the dog bit. Why did it not go to the ship earlier? Well notice how it waited until night, when it can see the stars? It didn’t know where it was. Yes, the position of said stars would have changed after all this time, but that’s not the point. I’m not saying there are no issues, but man, unless you spoofed information, viewers seem to figure nothing out on their own.

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