Postmortem: The Thing (2011)

With John Carpenter’s The Thing–based on Christian Nyby’s 1951 movie The Thing From Another World and the original John Campbell short novel, Who Goes There?–we got to see a director at the peak of his powers.  Carpenter was able to combine Rob Bottin’s extraordinary creature effects with a taut story of an otherworldly threat that had the ability to mimic whomever it killed.

So you can imagine that when Universal Pictures decided to do a sequel in 2011–without Carpenter’s input–that fans would probably not be too keen on it.

And that’s a bit of an understatement, with many–myself included–hating the movie on general principal.

Having recently re-watched Matthijs van Heijningen’s prequel, it’s actually pretty good.  And while I wished that it had more in the way of practical effects–though as far as I can tell the CGI is based on designs from Alec Gillis and Bob Woodruff (who are credited) and while it’s not as innovative as the practical special effects of Rob Bottin, They’re okay.

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The Omen (2006)

The Omen (2006)

“The most recent version of “The Omen” (2006) isn’t terrible, but by being so faithful to the original makes one wonder why you wouldn’t go to the source. “

I recently visited my local Giant, looking for something work-related, when I stumbled upon a bin filled with previously-viewed movies, virtually all of them costing $3.99.

The majority of them were drek, though a few interested me. One of those that did was John Moore’s 2006 remake of Richard Donner’s 1976 film, “The Omen.”

I enjoyed the original immensely, and was curious how the remake compared.

I shouldn’t have bothered, because while not a shot-for-shot remake, it differed only enough to make me miss how much better the original film was in comparison.

Moore’s film not only brings nothing new, but is really hard to justify why anyone would have bothered in the first place.

By way of comparison, John Boorman’s sequel to William Friedkin’s “The Exorcist,” Exorcist 2: The Heretic”–while not a remake–could have took the same material, and played it safe.  Instead, the movie went ape shite crazy.

Was the second ‘Exorcist’ film successful?  Depends upon who you ask, though I thought it was a bizarre and fascinating take on the subject matter.

But Moore almost literally (except for a few mildly effective dream sequences) makes the same film as Richard Donner did, except less well cast, which is a good place as any to start.

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