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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 197 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)

  • 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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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 88
  2. Negative: 12 out of 88
  1. Oct 14, 2011
    How do you replicate the horror of John Carpenterâ
  2. Oct 17, 2011
    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
    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.
  4. Oct 18, 2011
    Absolutely worth watching for the creature effects, an amazing mix of puppets and cg making for a truly worthy updated imagining of John Carpenter's Thing creature.

    As for the story, I found it enjoyable but lean and think it really struggled at the end. Not at all bad but somewhat familiar territory.

    So in the end mostly a SFX driven film but if you're new to the Thing then you'll likely get the most out of this.
  5. Jul 27, 2013
    Although The Thing does not live up to the 1982 movie of the same name which this film was a prequel to it definitely had its moments. The thing as a monster is still creepy and it was interesting to see the story of the previous team that had discovered it and of course how that tied in to the beginning of the 1982 film. There are many things about this film that make it seem like it is a remake and that is it's downfall as a film but independent of that it was very entertaining and the there was nothing to complain about as far as acting goes. Expand
  6. Feb 26, 2012
    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. Feb 1, 2012
    Awful, just finished watching it.

    Honestly it rushes through itself.. we barely have the time to get to know a characters name before ****
    has broken loose and everyone is dying horribly.

    Half the shots are just Mary Elizabeth Winstead looking worried, and the others are a few snippets of irrelevant dialogue.

    Nobody seems to care that their friends are getting ripped to **** shreds. The one moment of tension where theyâ

See all 88 User Reviews


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