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Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 199 Ratings

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  • Summary: Paleontologist Kate Lloyd has traveled to the desolate region for the expedition of her lifetime. Joining a Norwegian scientific team that has stumbled across an extraterrestrial ship buried in the ice, she discovers an organism that seems to have died in the crash eons ago. But it is about to wake up. When a simple experiment frees the alien from its frozen prison, Kate must join the crew's pilot, Carter, to keep it from killing them off one at a time. And in this vast, intense land, a parasite that can mimic anything it touches will pit human against human as it tries to survive and flourish. (Universal Pictures)

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  • Director: Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.
  • Genre(s): Sci-Fi, Mystery, Thriller, Horror
  • Rating: R
  • Runtime: 103 min
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 31
  2. Negative: 4 out of 31
  1. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Oct 14, 2011
    75
    Yes, it is derivative, but in a year in which films from the 1980s are getting needless remakes seemingly every other week, this one stands out as a rare one that works. That's a good "Thing."
  2. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Oct 13, 2011
    70
    I'm delighted to tell you that the new Thing was made by people who understand what the horror audience wants and don't treat it like a bunch of brain-dead children. Mirabile freakin' dictu.
  3. Reviewed by: Tom Russo
    Oct 13, 2011
    63
    The basic story is identical, and when there are fraught, climactic opportunities for the movie to make a gutsy departure, it passes up the chance.
  4. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Oct 13, 2011
    50
    Heijningen's The Thing is tightly paced, has enough imaginative horror to satisfy even the most jaded gorehound, and never strays too far from its source, so why do you come away from it feeling like it was the runner-up in a daylight nightmare festival?
  5. Reviewed by: Peter Hartlaub
    Oct 13, 2011
    50
    It's an imperfect facsimile, guilty of borrowing too many ideas from the earlier film, and then executing them with differing results.
  6. Reviewed by: Jesse Cataldo
    Oct 13, 2011
    50
    You can tell a lot about the film from its rough handling of the materials supplied by its predecessor, using these commonalities both to identify the bond between the two and signal how much further it's willing to push things.
  7. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Oct 12, 2011
    25
    This Thing is purely for the gorehounds, and they aren't likely to leave impressed.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 63 out of 90
  2. Negative: 13 out of 90
  1. Oct 14, 2011
    10
    How do you replicate the horror of John Carpenterâ
  2. Oct 17, 2011
    9
    Been a horror buff for many years and know what to look for in these sorts of films. In this case The Thing is one of my favorites and the script, setting, creature, etc is just pristine. Seeing this prequel, I went in with skepticism because a lot of the time these films are harsh knock offs copying from the original. Well it does in some places but changes the subjects it gets it right, plays it safe, which is good because the original is a classic. Script is of course weak, weaker then the original but turned out to be excellent, well done special effects and creepy atmosphere. I really liked Mary Elizabeth.. I thought by the end she almost came off as a Ripley like character. Hoping it does well enough to get a sequel to that side of the story. I won't spoil anything but the ending I really enjoyed.. too many happy endings nowadays but this one was good. My brother and I enjoyed it so much might just see it again. My only points would be to improve the script, give Mary more speaking parts and maybe flesh her out a bit more.. only disappointment was the final creature, just was silly having the guys face plastered over it.. but just a nit pick more then anything. Great film and thats saying a lot since a lot of the horror flicks lately have sucked. Expand
  3. Dec 27, 2011
    8
    I can see why some people are giving this film a bum review, there are some scene stealing moments from the original movie which really could have been avoided with some more thought out writing.
    Overall this is a good revival of a good old cult classic, the film is mostly original in its plot, if it wasn't for those blasted scene stealing moments the film would have gotten a 10 from me. ... There are complaints about the monsters being in CGI. If the monsters were to be achieved by highly detailed models they may have looked way too comical to be scary if they were to move. ... To get a decent scary looking monster that doesn't look comical when it moves takes a lot of time, effort and money, possibly a hell of a lot more than a CGI beasty would take to make. ... The CGI doesn't look bad, there's been a lot worse in the past and these certainly don't deserve the bad rep the paid critics are giving them. I would say the CGI beasties deserve a bit more attention into their incorporation into the movie. something about them makes them stand out and only makes them a little obvious at times. ... That's a lot about the CGI, my apologies, I can't really complain about them, they look good enough so that's that. ... If you're a die hard fan of the original, just take this film with a pinch of salt and you should enjoy it. ... If you're new to the franchise and you like a good horror/survival thriller, this might be your cup of poison.
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  4. Oct 17, 2011
    7
    To start off, the new thing is a good movie. It isn't as good as John Carpenter's but it's still good. Before I mention the good parts of it though, I gotta mention the bad. One bad thing about the movie was the lack of suspense it offered. It's not a gorefest like some critics are saying, but it is more violent than the 1982 version and because the violence increased the suspense decreased. Simple movie facts. Also, as the movie trailer shows, the creature pops out of the ice in plain sight. If the movie was more about suspense and less about violence, like John Carpenter's film was, it would've definitely received more praise from critics. Another problem the film had was the lack of character development for a lot of the characters. You really felt like you knew the majority of the characters in the 1982 Thing, but the characters started dying so fast in this film, you were really only well acquainted with a few select characters. Finally, the last thing wrong with the movie was the lack of tension. John Carpenter's characters acted very appropriate for a situation like that. "Stay away from me or I'll kill you." This is totally understandable and probable for people to act any these circumstances. The characters just didn't seem afraid of each other even after they grasped that ANY of them could be the thing, even when they'd separate off into groups. The good parts of the movie were good CGI, staying true to the story of the 1982 movie and tying both movies together well, and overall a very good cast with good acting. Overall the movie was much better than the average critic is rating it, but because it isn't an original idea, and it's not a phenomenal movie, the critic will want to slam it. Point being, it's a good movie, as you can see from the 7.8 user score from 33 users 30 of them being positive. Go see it. If you haven't seen either of the thing's before it, you will really enjoy, and if you have, you will still enjoy a modern view of a classic. Expand
  5. Jan 27, 2013
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Esperaba mucho más. Interesante la parte en que descubrimos que sus celulas replican las humanas, pero me cuesta de creer que en ningún momento piensen en explorar la nave extraterrestre. Expand
  6. Feb 26, 2012
    5
    Let me just start off this review by laying something down: It is impossible to talk about this film without mentioning John Carpenter's version. This movie is a prequel and it must be compared to what was on the table in 1982. The Thing is something I was excited to see a prequel to. I saw John Carpenter's version of The Thing for the first time last August and instantly fell in love with it. Since then, I have seen the original and this prequel four times each. I have also written a short story based off of John Carpenter's version. Least to say, I'm a huge fan of the concept of "The Thing." I went into the theater expecting nothing besides amazingly horrific monsters and that is almost what I got. It was good to see The Thing have a modern prequel, but I think that the director should have stuck with what John Carpenter had done in his time. I wanted this prequel to revolutionize modern horror like John Carpenter's did back in 1982. I didn't want to see the predictable jump scares when everything gets real quiet, I didn't want to have a large cast of characters so that they could all die off. I wanted a small cast so as to understand who the characters are and to feel their fear. I wanted slow horror where the sight and sound of the Thing is so terrifying that I almost close my eyes. However, to my disappointment, I received none of these. And I don't like having to say "The Thing 2011" whenever I talk about this film. I wanted the director to come up with a new name or at least a name that included "The Thing" in it. When I wrote my short story based off of Carpenter's version, I came up with a satisfactory name in under five minutes: "The Thing Under the Ice." The director, whose name I cannot pronounce, blamed the title on "not being able to come up with one that fit." That's just ridiculous. But, I digress. Another thing I didn't like about the movie was that the Thing itself relied on stupidity. In the original, it was intelligent and knew when the best time was to transform into a horrific clawed monster. In this it did so whenever it got the chance so there could be a quick, dis-satisfactory chase scene. In fact, I didn't like the design of most of the monsters. In Carpenter's version, many of the monsters were wild looking an alien, such as the one that came out of Norris' chest in the defibrillator scene. It looked like a mini version of him and it had many spider like legs and such. No Thing in The Thing 2011 looks remotely similar to the terrifying creatures that Carpenter had. Instead it focused on the meat, claws, and teeth. The one legitimately scary Thing in this prequel is the Split Face monster. The reason this one was so scary? Its design is actually from the John Carpenter film! Its corpse is seen in the original! This speaks for itself and shows that the original had much scarier designs for its monsters, like the dog thing that still unsettles me to this day. Anyhow, there were things I enjoyed about the movie. The transformations were detailed and unnerving, and I think the use of CGI in such scenes was a good decision. No animatronics could do the kind of realistic tearing and moving around of flesh that CGI can do. I also liked how they used a combination of animatronics and CGI in certain scenes. The severed hand things are actually puppets, the Split Face thing is a combination of animatronics (the body and head) and CGI. By the way, the Split Face Thing is the creature with two faces if you didn't understand what I meant when I called it that. The scene with the Thing in the helicopter is also mostly animatronics. The special effects crew just went over everything with a fine (yet slightly unrealistic) layer of CGI. To all who complain about the CGI: We're living in a modern era and the way things are done change. Don't get me wrong, I think the puppets and animatronics in the Carpenter version are amazing and better than CGI, but even compared to today, those robots are very advanced and very expensive. Anyhow, I also liked the main female role. I think that it was a nice spin compared to the all male cast in the original. I think the actors all did their jobs very well. I especially like Joel Edgerton's acting in the scene in which he is hiding in a kitchen with a knife. He seems legitimately frightened half to death and acts it out with such finesse that I felt his fear. Overall the movie was entertaining and it's fun to watch with friends when you don't really care for too much intense involvement with the film. It lacks the extreme paranoia of the original and this film is only frightening in certain scenes. Like I said, it's fun to watch, but don't expect much. Expand
  7. Jun 11, 2012
    0
    Now my friends I am going to be very frank with you. I am a HUGE; I MEAN HUGE fan of the "The Thing" both the 1950's "The Thing Form Another World" and MY ALL TIME FAVORITE "John Carpenters The Thing". Both of which put you in a situation where you can do nothing but sit and wait for death or do everything in your power to stop it. The 1950's the thing was much different then John carpenters and in all fairness was the best of the three. The black and white set for a creepy yet realistic feel making you visualize most of the gruesome and scientific aspects on your own; where as the John Carpenters The thing was a survival horror in which you can put yourself in the shows of the amazing R. J. Mcready (aka Kurt "Motherfucking" Russle. It gave you beautiful visuals, plausible science banter, and the fear of the unknown. This movie failed in every area its predecessors amazed. "The Thing" in this movie felt more like a necromorph from the fantastic survival horror Dead Space and is not as appealing. The story seems to push its self through rather then flow as John Carpenters did and did not allow for great character development like the 1950's original did. The characters seem like actors and not like people at all in the sense that you can tell this is a movie. The plot is filled with holes and seems like he had great ideas that didn't really link so he just put bits and pieces together to try and make it flow but it was truly just all over the place and unequivocally bland. For those of us who have seen the two predecessor's in there glory know that what made us so enthralled with the cinematic extravaganza wast he fact that the alien was unpredictable; and in John Carpenters case the unknowing of who or what the creature was or its origin was just amazing and full of spontaneity. This was not achieved in the new version and kills the movie right from the start. From the start you know the alien has a form. This in its self left me with a retched feeling that the rest of the movie the alien will not think analytically, showing its superior knowledge, but that it is thinking more forceful and bold leaving no startling shocking feeling but instead you get a mundane adrenaline like nausea that you would rather skip then continue on with. The movie is no Alfred **** or Guillermo Del Toro master piece and is not even worth paying twenty dollars for the blu-ray with a digital copy. this movie is the type you rent because you watched everything else on netflix or one of those movies you can pick up for five dollars at from a college student with a stand trying to sell dvds for money in Manhattan. I am both appalled they would butcher my favorite movie, but i am even more furious that they would dare, I MEAN DARE, try to link this to the John Carpenters version by trying to tie in Kurt Russel in a sequel or trilogy. This is movie for people with a low IQ and who care very little for the science fiction genre and just watch to see an "Alien". Skip this if you watched the predecessors they are WAY WAY BETTER and deserve more effort to watch then this garbage. Skip this if you just want a new movie and want to experience a good sci-fi because this if far from good and i can suggest way better movies for cheaper like IRobot, Gattaca, or The Fifth Element. Stay way from this if you are even given it for free because it is a glimpse of what will come in the future. That no matter how much the budgets have grown by, and how advanced the technology may be that is utilized, that in the end movies such as this atrocity are going to be made because consumers are dumber, easier to please, and easily manipulated. All those foolish neanderthals who thought this was good have no credibility with me and obviously have no taste. Its true some people are just harsh and most people are looking for simplicity, but my friends use your minds and see this in nothing short of crap. In the words of my lord James Rolfe (aka the Angry Video Game Nerd) "WHAT WERE THEY THINKING" Expand

See all 90 User Reviews

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