Thursday, October 28, 2010

Just Watched: The Thing

The Thing...what an appropriate name for this movie.

Actually, I'm not really sure what to say in this post, because the movie has left me a little bit speechless. From the beginning of the movie, about a million questions were running through my fact, I wrote them all down and tried to find answers for them throughout the movie.  Some were answered...others were not --which isn't always a bad thing, considering leaving certain things open for the imagination can make plots more terrifying a times. 

I liked the overall setting of the story -- to me, snow storms are a perfect environment to breed chaos because you have that constant feeling of isolation, entrapment, loneliness, and my personal favorite, cabin fever.  This appeals to me because of the psychological trials and tribulations that come with it -- in other words, I love to watch the human mind break down. That's probably why I liked The Shining so much.  Seeing Jack Torence go back and forth between the forces that were penetrating his mind was fascinating to me, so in this case, watching the breakdown of the group was what roped me into the movie.

I always thought an invisible creature, and/or attack strategy would be the worst because you would never know what was going to happen at any given time, thus making the concept of of protecting yourself rather difficult.  However, this movie showed me that a monster that could imitate humans to perfection is without a doubt worse.  Everyone ends up being accused, no one can be trusted, and the group is in a constant state of panic.  Imagine shooting your friend on sight, because they make, what you think to be, an different twitch than normal. It's mind-blowing to me, and when McGrady shot Carter because he snuck up behind him... my mouth dropped.  This leads me to a major issue that I had with the movie though: the character's emotional detchment.

To me, it seemed like none of the characters showed any emotions throughout the entire movie...including fear at some points.  For instance, in the beginning when they first encounter the creature, they just respond like it's no big deal.  Something that they see everyday. Also, in the very beginning scene where the guy gets shot in the leg...he just shakes it off, and drinks a beer. It's like it was a feather rubbing against him or something. This continued to some level throughout the rest of the movie, and it really irritated me.  I was glad at the end, when McGrady  went nuts and threatened to blow the place up because it finally showed some hint of reality to me.

Now for some of the questions that are still left unanswered to me:
Plus, some of the overall problems with the movie:
  1. Where did Blair get all of these stats and information from?  It just seemed like he figured everything out to easily to me.  Also, in regards to the computers, why do they always have a female voice? Same thing happens in Resident Evil.  Sexist?
  2. Lets talk about how this is the weirdest physical compilation of a monster I have ever seen. What was this thing in its original form?  It looked like a hybrid from every monster even invented. and I hated it. It was cool when it would imitate people and then take on that level of fear, but the entire essence of it before it did so was really strange to me. Also, the creature grew entirely too fast in the scene with the dogs.  It just kept sprouting tendrils, and legs, and then ejected this flower like head from its torso...I don't know, it just seemed like bad monster making to me.
  3. But while we are on the topic of the dogs, let's have a serious conversation.  I firmly believe that it is a serious mistake to kill/torture dogs in the horror genre, because it really upsets and turns a lot of people off from your book/poem/script etc.  No matter what movie I have watched, I have always been really tempted to quit watching it if a dog was brutalized.  Secret Window really rubbed me the wrong way, when the dog was killed via a screwdriver to the head.  I just don't think its a wise move for horror writers because it's going to kill a big chunk of your audience
Overall, I think that I probably won't be watching this movie over again, because it had too many cliches and issues for me.  I feel like the creature was too easily killed...the fire method just didn't work for me here folks.  Then the predictability factor really bothered me..for instance, how one knew as soon as you were left alone with it that it was going to attack you....or that a body would move when the person had their back turned.  Also, a huge snow storm just happened to blow on through at the exact moment things started getting out of control.  Basically, it goes back to what I feel like I have  been saying a lot this semester: If you're going to create a monster, and I'm going to believe that it is actually real...keep convincing me throughout the story that its real.  I don't want to have to put the book down/ turn the movie off because it's predictable, or because the monster has powers and serious growth spurts that it shouldn't have.

I will say this though...while the blood looked horrifically fake, I LOVED the opening scene where they found the guy with his throat slit, and the dripping blood had turned into icicles. Very artistic!


  1. So sorry you didn't enjoy THE THING, Stephanie. It's one of my favorites. I wish I could pluck out my eyes and lend them to you, so you could see it the way I do, but, all things considered, I guess I'll leave the spoon in the drawer... not sure the transplant would take.

    As always, I enjoy your writing and your ideas... even if you are clearly wrong about THE THING. Ha ha. Now I'm interested to hear what you think about SNOW, which was my favorite read of the semester. In case you haven't read it yet, I won't give anything away... but you've said things here that could bode well and others that could bode ill for your enjoyment of the final book. So yeah, I'm genuinely interested and will definitely tune in for that post.

    My word verification thingy for this post is "Ampuil". What a coincidence! That just happens to be the name of the robotic-voiced girl who does all the computer narration in these movies!

  2. I think that beyond shock value, most of this movie fell short. The characters were stereotypes and their responses to situations could easily be figured out. In other words they were all flat characters. This in and of itself isn't bad, but for me it didn't work this time or the time I saw it years ago.


  3. The Thing's treatment of dogs bothered me as well, but at least there was a character who really gave a damn about them, so they had some emotional effect when they were subsumed into the monster. You should check out the earlier version made sometime in the 50's. It's got a whole different look for the monster.