Every cell in my body cries out at the thought of a remake of The Thing. Carpenter’s 1982 film (a sequel of sorts to the 1951 The Thing From Another World) is a near-perfect slice of science fiction film making, so much so that even now, it’s relatively clunky effects are still affecting and impressive. I love everything about the movie, it’s a go-to flick that I watch several times a year, and it’s probably Carpenter’s best film (though my favorite Carpenter film will forever be Big Trouble In Little China). And while Carpenter has been mouldering of late, and delivering unfortunate and disappointing fare like The Ward (a film that he should have simply just stayed away from altogether), one cannot deny his classics, and The Thing is at the top of that list.
When I heard that Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. was remaking the film, I went into a foaming, screaming rage. Don’t bother telling me not to get upset over remakes — it’s not going to change anything, it’s not going to make me any less frustrated, and it’s just going to make me think you’re more of an annoying asshole than I already do. It’s one of my few sacred cows, and even though a decent cast has been assembled — Joel Edgerton, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje are featured players — we’ve had so many shitty, derivative and downright unimpressive remakes in the last several years that it’s hard to feel anything but impotent fury at the idea. It doesn’t need to be remade. It’s an excellent, flawless film (despite what my esteemed colleage Mr. Morton thinks), that has little room for improvement. A remake of it seems an ultimately pointless and uninspired endeavor, but when has that ever stopped Hollywood?
Joel Edgerton looks OK in a generic brooding guy in a horror film sort of way, but it looks like Mary Elizabeth Winstead is in full-on Final Destination mode, all open-mouthed reaction shots. And then there’s the dude from Fired Up!.
My conclusion: Needs more Perlman. It’s a tested and proven philosophy: Everything is improved with Ron Perlman.
Do I think the film will do anything more than suck festering lizard balls? No, I do not. And even if it improves slightly upon festering lizard balls, Screw you, Universal. Just out of principal, I’d like to force-feed you rabid lampreys.