“Remakes, sequels and prequels suck!” That’s the general consensus. Swiftly followed by accusations of laziness and lack of creativity. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Aliens, The Fly, and Dawn of the Dead (2004) proved that. And how? By building on the originality of the first film and adding to the respective canons.
Which brings me onto The Thing (2011) – a prequel in name only to John Carpenter’s 1982 classic. This is a remake with a few plants and a tacked on ending to try and avoid the negativity of “yet another remake“. But there’s so much more that leads to the film’s failure beyond obvious regurgitation so let’s explore!
1. We’ve Seen This Movie Already!
And it’s the film that this one is trying to prequel! In 1982’s The Thing, the Americans learn the Norwegians discovered something in the ice, the camp burned to the ground, and everyone died. But not what, why or how. We then we see the exact same events play out with the Americans and all the blanks are filled in.
So nothing can be done in the prequel that we haven’t already seen and we know how it ends because Kurt Russell and co saw the Norwegian camp and saved the dog. At least a sequel would mean we don’t know how it ends until we’ve actually seen it. More importantly, a sequel can take off in a new direction, like Aliens did.
Unfortunately, this prequel was dead in the water because we know what happened at the Norwegian camp and we know that a solitary dog-Thing escapes.
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