Metascore
49

Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 31
  2. Negative: 4 out of 31
  1. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Oct 12, 2011
    63
    This version of The Thing, directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr., provides such graphic and detailed views of the creature that we are essentially reduced to looking at special effects, and being aware that we are. Think how little you ever really saw in the first "Alien" movie, and how frightening it was.
  2. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Oct 13, 2011
    75
    It's a solid, entertaining monster movie that, at its best, recalls not only its three decades-old namesake but Alien as well.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Oct 13, 2011
    50
    One gut-busting death after another, terror giving way to tedium. Your call.
  4. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Oct 13, 2011
    58
    The other thing The Thing has got going for it is a welcome hint of dour Scandinavian sensibility sneaked in by director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. whenever there's a pause in the unexceptional antics of aliens consuming humans.
  5. 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?
  6. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Oct 16, 2011
    38
    There is absolutely nothing in this prequel/remake that improves on the first film or negates it in any way. If you've never seen The Thing - and you really should - stick with the genuine 1982 article and skip this elaborate act of mimicry.
  7. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Oct 13, 2011
    75
    While I wish van Heijningen's Thing weren't quite so in lust with the '82 model, it works because it respects that basic premise. And it exhibits a little patience, doling out its ickiest, nastiest moments in ways that make them stick.
  8. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Oct 13, 2011
    50
    Heijningen doesn't display the instinct of the best Hollywood action directors to give the audience what it craves at the big moments, except for a few gory in-your-face shots.
  9. 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.
  10. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Oct 13, 2011
    63
    It's no great thing, just a better Thing than expected.
  11. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Oct 14, 2011
    50
    Misshapen, malodorous and firing its grubby tentacles across the room in a feeding frenzy, The Thing reminded me of a roomful of journalists immediately after someone announces Open Bar. The movie's victims disappear like cocktail peanuts and without a whole lot more significance.
  12. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Oct 14, 2011
    60
    In terms of scares, this old-fashioned Thing is better than most new things.
  13. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Oct 13, 2011
    40
    This debut feature from Matthijs van Heijningen is as stiff as the Antarctic tundra. Where the earlier film pulsed with precisely calibrated paranoia and distinctly drawn characters, this inarticulate replay unfolds as mechanistically as a video game.
  14. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Oct 14, 2011
    63
    A solid sci-fi/horror hybrid, but this iceman doesn't deliver enough to chew on.
  15. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Oct 12, 2011
    50
    While this version, listed as a "prequel," has a few gross-out moments, it lacks any sense of warmth. Which might be an odd criticism of a horror movie set in Antarctica, but there you have it.
  16. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Oct 14, 2011
    60
    These filmmakers got halfway there, but Carpenter's genius was about more than just a look.
  17. 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."
  18. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Oct 12, 2011
    25
    This Thing is purely for the gorehounds, and they aren't likely to leave impressed.
  19. Reviewed by: Tasha Robinson
    Oct 12, 2011
    42
    For a film that takes place in such a cold locale, it all feels awfully warmed-over.
  20. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Oct 12, 2011
    38
    It's an infuriatingly static picture - actors walking around when they should be running, ruminating when they should be panicking, generally failing to convey fear and pick up the pace.
  21. 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.
  22. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Oct 13, 2011
    45
    There are some body-horror gross-outs if you're into that sort of thing, but mostly what you get are a bunch of too-obvious leftovers from the "Alien" stockroom, including a selection of moist innards, slimy tendons, dripping fangs and the like.
  23. Reviewed by: Scott Bowles
    Oct 13, 2011
    50
    Part horror film, part space thriller and all gore-fest, the movie ends up being a lot like its protagonist: a mess of a monster that stretches itself too thin to scare much.
  24. 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.
  25. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    Oct 13, 2011
    50
    Far less chilling than versions from 1951 and 1982, Universal's latest take on The Thing at least has a strong lead thesp in Mary Elizabeth Winstead, recruited for the studio's bid to turn a tale of ice-cold macho paranoia into a beauty-vs.-beast shocker a la "Alien."
  26. 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.
  27. Reviewed by: Brian Miller
    Oct 16, 2011
    60
    As written by Eric Heisserer (Final Destination 5), the new Thing lacks much wit or self-awareness. It's more of a "final girl" formula film, but on ice. Still, why did it take 29 years to create this solid double-feature? And will they unfreeze Russell for a trilogy?
  28. Reviewed by: Ben Sachs
    Oct 16, 2011
    50
    Fails to replicate Carpenter's blue-collar humor or carefully modulated suspense.
  29. Reviewed by: Sean OConnell
    Oct 13, 2011
    38
    Here's the thing about the new The Thing. It isn't as satisfying as the old "The Thing." And it's nowhere near as enthralling as the vintage "Thing," which inspired every other "Thing" to follow.
  30. Reviewed by: Tirdad Derakhshani
    Oct 13, 2011
    50
    The best thing about The Thing, the third - and the least interesting - big-screen adaptation of the John W. Campbell Jr. short story "Who Goes There?", is its closing credits.
User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 190 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 86
  2. Negative: 11 out of 86
  1. Oct 14, 2011
    4
    I am a huge fan of Carpenter's 29 yr old remake of The Thing. After reading about Heijningen archeological approach to making this prequel I was exited to see his film. Unfortunately this movie suffers from hasty pacing, poor character development and insulting plot holes. Unlike Carpenter's Thing, this creature attacks without provocation, often at times that are not in it's best interest for survival. Early on in the film The Thing causes a fully operational helicopter to crash while it is on board and it's host isn't even suspected. Good job Heijningen. I won't go into the other numerous & obvious plot holes out of respect for those who want to see this movie. Another disappointing feature of this prequel is that for all the effort that is put into making it congruent with Carpenter's movie, they change some very obvious events for no good or interesting reason. Remember watching the Norwegians using thermite charges to blow away the ice from the wrecked spaceship in Carpenter's movie? Thats not what happens in this prequel. I'm giving this movie a 4 because it does have some redeeming qualities. There is an amusing part where you get to hear The Thing observe the main protagonists cleverness. Also, whoever worked on The Thing's design put a lot of love into making it look great. Ultimately though this is just not the thinking persons Thing, for that stick with Carpenter. Full Review »
  2. Oct 14, 2011
    10
    How do you replicate the horror of John Carpenterâ
  3. Oct 21, 2011
    3
    Skip-it - Even though John Carpenter hasn't made a good film since the 90s, his early-80s version of this film about "things" buried in the ice is 10x better than this remake. Full Review »