Remaking a beloved classic is a tricky enterprise. As the recently announced Diablo Cody-scripted remake of The Evil Dead proves, fans are quite protective of their favorite movies. I, for one, am feeling a bit gracious toward the universe in general these days, and so I foreswear the usual knee-jerk fan overreaction to the news that John Carpenter’s The Thing (a movie I love passionately) is being kind-of-sort-of-remade-as-a-prequel, and rather than get angry, go “huh?”
Judging by this trailer which is trying way too hard to look like a scare-a-minute horror picture it looks like what Dutch commercial director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. has done is make the same movie John Carpenter did 29 years ago, only with the knowledge that the way it ends is the way the Kurt Russell parade of awesomeness, that we who like our endings bleak and existentially haunting venerate, begins. We could ask “what’s the point?” or we could simply look past the over-emphatic sound cues in the trailer and see that van Heijningen has basically recreated Carpenter’s picture exactly, except with a girl (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) as Kurt Russell. Is that your thing? I don’t know if it’s mine, it might be if they pull it off right, but there’s evidence of sufficient skill behind this remake/prequel/what have you that I’m willing to give it its day in court rather than dismiss it out of hand. How do the rest of you feel?