The Thing – Blu-ray Review

The Thing

As we’ve learned from the Lord of the Rings and Star Wars prequels, they’re not the best in the world. Unfortunately, 2011’s The Thing is in the same group. The film is forgettable and a forgotten film from years ago.

Primarily it’s because the film doesn’t expand upon the mythos of Carpenter’s classic film. There’s no world-building at all. Yes, we do get to see the ship but we don’t know much about why they’re here. It’s a plot device and not a tool to expand the world.

Also, much of the same tension and suspense of who is an alien and who’s human is there. But the film seems so much like a copy of an original instead of a prequel. It doesn’t feel like a fresh take on the material either.

The Thing also doesn’t have characters that you care about either. Carpenter’s film included naturally charming actors. As a result, you attach yourself to them easily. This time around, you won’t care about any of the characters.

At the same time, the characters themselves are people you don’t get to know either. They’re one-dimensional characters that are used as storytelling tools. Either as cannon fodder or as tools to help move the story along. That’s one of the few reasons why the movie isn’t as effective as the original.

The scares are also lackluster too. Granted, they’re hideous and disgusting as they should be, but there’s no scare factor to them. You can see the jump scares coming from a mile away. Thus, the film has to rely more on the disgusting factor—like the Saw films.

Overall, The Thing is one of the many forgotten prequels of the past two decades. Telling another story in The Thing universe is, needless to say, the least. Ultimately, the result is just lacking.

Movie Rating: 2.5/5 atoms

Video

The Thing - Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Ulrich Thomsen

The Thing hits Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG-AVC with a 1.35:1 aspect ratio. As a whole, the picture has a medium contrast. As a result, the overall picture looks great. There’s a high brightness with zero bloom in these areas. On the other hand, the black levels are a deep black with a lot of crush in the shadow areas—which is crazy since the film mostly takes place at night. Also, the colors look bold onscreen. In other words, it’s not too vivid and it’s not washed either. The picture is also crisp and clean as well. Overall, the video looks good despite the crushed blacks.

Video Rating: 4/5 atoms

Audio

The Thing - Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Joel Edgerton

The Thing hits Blu-ray with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. Right from the get-go, you can hear how immersive this mix is. The howling winds during the opening surround you from all over. It’s not just found in the opening either. It’s consistent throughout the entire film. At the same time, the music also envelops you. However, when it’s mixed with the action then the action effects take more priority.

Regardless, the dialogue is clean and takes priority over everything else (as it should be). Be that as it may, there aren’t a lot of instances where the sound effects pan across the soundstage. However, when it happens, it’s distinct and adds to the frights. Overall, this is a great mix.

Audio Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Special Features

The Thing - Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Joel Edgerton

The Thing has the following special features on the Blu-ray disc:

  • Audio Commentary
  • The Thing Evolves
  • Fire and Ice
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Trailer

The audio commentary has director Matthijs van Heijningen and producer Marc Abraham providing a lot of information about the making of the film. It’s intriguing hearing all of the production stories. “The Thing Evolves” is a lengthy interesting look at the making of the film. Stuff like the painstaking details that the filmmakers took to recreate the details that connect it to John Carpenter’s original film.

“Fire and Ice” covers a lot of topics about the famous flamethrower from the series. Topics like the stunt work to the actual safety mechanisms of the flamethrower. Lastly and unfortunately, none of the deleted scenes are interesting to watch.

Special Features Rating: 3.5/5 atoms


Overall, The Thing is a needless prequel that doesn’t add anything to the overall story of The Thing franchise. It also seems to be lacking the “it factor” that made Carpenter’s film a classic. The video is good despite some glaring issues and the audio mix is fantastic. The special features are good even with a limited amount of special features.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5 atoms

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Mill Creek Home Entertainment.

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