By Dark Soul
The Thing 2011

5 Gravestones

   Thirty years ago...(God has it been that long?) a movie by Halloween director
John Carpenter hit theaters.  The 1982 film told the story of a shape changing
creature from space who could and would  impersonate anyone it wanted to as it hid
in plain sight among a group of men living in the frozen world of Antarctica.  That
movie staring Kurt Russell, began with a dog being chased by a man shooting from
the open door of a helicopter as they neared the U.S. research station.  As the dog
enters the base, the man firing upon the beast is shot and killed as the copter is
blown up and the dog aka The Thing enters and becomes part of the team of sled
dogs.  Soon the creatures true nature is revealed and it all goes to hell from there.  
The man so desperate to stop the creature from reaching Kurt Russell's camp is
discovered to have come from a Norwegian research team who first discovered the
monster and dig it out of its icy grave.  This movie is their story and takes place
before the Kurt Russell, John Carpenter classic and how the creature was first
discovered by their team and how The Thing wiped them out first.

   This movie was a damn good idea.  As a prequel to the 1982 classic, it tells the
untold story of the Norwegian team who first encountered the monster and what
happened to them.  In the first movie we learn that they were the people who found
the beast in the ice along with its spacecraft.  But we never did see how the
creature over took them and killed off their whole team.  Now we get to see this
story in all its bloody fulness.  As with the Carpenter film things start off well but
soon the creature starts turning into member of the team making everyone fear
each other since anyone and everybody can be The Thing.  Its truly a scary thing
when you can't trust anyone and like in the first movie everyone becomes suspect.

   As for The Thing itself, unlike the ‘82 film where puppets and animatronics
brought the creature to life, in 2011, CGI now replaced puppets as most of the
beast was more animation than older school animatronics.  Still it works and the
monster looked really cool and scary as it wreaks havoc among its human cast
members.  In fact I would have liked to have seen more of the beast than was
shown.  Both this and its 1982 counter part owe their storylines to the 1951 movie
The Thing From Another World where this story of a iced out monster first took
flight.  Based on the novella Who Goes There by author John W. Campbell Jr the
story tells of a creature found in ice and once it wakes up from its long rest it goes
on a rampage.

   Maybe the best part for me was in the end when just as you think the movie is
done and the credits start to roll the movie jumps to us watching a dog aka The
Thing as he bursts out a window and is followed by a man with a gun and the
chopper bring us right into the film that would follow this had this story been told first.

   OK so if the first movie was 1951 and it took 30 years to make Carpenter's 1982
movie and 30 years later for this film.  You can look forward to 2042 for the next
Thing movie to come along.  Do we really have to wait that long?

Fright Night 2011

4 Gravestones

   In 1985, a little vampire move was released that to this day sill is thought of as
one of the best of that decade.  Only The Lost Boys comes to mind as the other
vampire move that defined the 1980's when it came to vampire movies.  This or what ever you want to call it was the other. As far as a remake
goes though this one is not bad and had some good points though it doesn’t have
the soul of the beloved ‘85 classic.

   Like in the first movie, teen Charley Brewster discovers that the man living next
door is in-fact a member of the undead.  Most of the story remains the same as
young Charley looks for help from Peter Vincent now a Vegas magician and not the
late night horror host once played by the late actor Roddy McDowall best known for
the Planet of The Apes films.  The new Peter Vincent is now played by British actor
David Tennant best know as The Doctor on the British TV series Doctor Who.  
Charley gets Vincent to help him track down the vampire played by Colin Farrell
who is pretty creepy even if he wasn't playing a vampire.  In one scene Jerry
Dandrige aka vampire is trying to enter the home of Charley and stands in the
doorway of the back door.  As he stands there, he is trying to get the boy to invite
him in but the teen knows better and the scene really does play out very creepy.

   Was this remake any better then the 1985 film?  No its not better but its not a bad
remake and done pretty good and for a new generation of young kids growing up in
the 90s this is their Fright Night.
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