If people have been asking you “What thing is this The Thing?” (we are in Singapore after all, so let’s forgive the english), then your reply should be:

“It’s Nothing.”

Let’s face it, remakes are hard to do. The trick is to follow the original film as closely as you can and interpret it in a way that suits the director’s style. Now this will be the context of discussion if the movie was say, Scream or X Men.

The problem here is that this remake of the 1982 classic is nothing but CGI, with a few underwhelming scares to compliment it.

Synopsis

Directed by Matthijs van Heijiningen Jr: A confrontation between graduate student Kate Lloyd and scientist Dr. Sander Halvorson sparks upon the discovery of an extraterrestial being in a research site based in Antartica.

Plot & Characters

Remake or not, this film falls short for its slow story development. So a discovery was made in Antartica -a huge spaceship- and then you find an creature. Instead of storing it safely, you leave it in a block of ice while you celebrate your discovery. Celebrations are good, until you discover that your specimen escaped.

Now here’s when it gets frustrating.

Kate Lloyed and Dr. Sander examine the specimen

Kate Lloyed and Dr. Sander examine the specimen

There was minimal mention, or rather no description of what this creature was. We want to know its origin, characteristics or diet, just something. Make up a plot about where it came from and it will still be adequate compared to the amount of information present in the film. It also seemed that the scientists had no interest in the spaceship.

This specimen then began to take on the form of what it digests, from humans to animals. This clone will appear normal until it changes its form to attack.

This single fact was over-emphasized and in the end, we just stopped speculating who the clone was and who wasn’t. It suddenly became the main focus of the film. I mean who cares about trying to get rid of it and finding out how to stop it from spreading, right?

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The finale takes the cake.

Kate fell into the spaceship (which only made an entrance in the beginning and ending of the film) and found the queen alien– if you will. It starts to chase her, she struggles and when you think she’ll be digested, she throws a grenade into its mouth and the movie ends.

This uninspiring plot was made even more frustrating given the slow pace of the film.

Inapprorpiate and overly dramatic music coupled with under-seasoned dialogues made the film draggy. This is a pity given that the creatures were creepy. There was just no effort in building up the suspense to give the viewer a genuine scare.

The only weapon that exists.

The only weapon that exists.

Characters in the film were superficial and overdone -the ‘no nonsense’ scientist (Dr Sander), desperate and under-appreciated student (Kate Lloyd), over-emotional people who scream and shoot others (too many to name) and lastly, the dude that wishes he was the love interest of the protagonist (Adam Goodman).

Therefore, there is no purpose in discussing the casting of the film.

Verdict

This film seemed to have no focus and therefore became messy, which is an unfortunate fact given that if tweaks were made here and there, this underwhelming remake could’ve been spectacular. If you are looking to pay for a good nap, this is it.

Rating: 1.5/5