The Thing, Blumhouse, Bambi: Weekly Round Up

The Thing

Okay, so let’s talk about The Thing. I love The Thing. And by The Thing I do, of course, mean John Carpenter’s 1982 classic starring Kurt Russell. It’s possibly my favorite movie of all time. Possibly. It’s brilliant, practically perfect in every way. It manages to successfully blend surreal, horrifying practical effects with genuine, edge of your seat tension, some creepy and suspenseful paranoia and a thoughtful plot with a beautifully downbeat ending.

Carpenter was inspired by the 1951 Howard Hawks produced classic The Thing from Another World, and based his movie on both the Hawks film and the original novella on which it was based, Who Goes There? By John W Campbell, Jr. So, 1982’s The Thing is technically a remake, although the two movies share very little in common when compared side by side.

In 2011 a so-called “prequel” movie was released, also, confusing, titled The Thing. While it claims to be a prequel, the truth is that the prequel conceit works more as a framework for which the filmmakers can basically replay the best bits from Carpenter’s 1982 movie, making it more or less a remake in all but name (although in name it’s also The Thing, so…). It also has some of the most disappointing effects on record, throwing out the incredible practical designs in favor of cheap looking, run of the mill CG.

Anyway, you’d be forgiven for thinking we were done with The Thing, but it would seem Blumhouse are planning to return to the source material, itself recently subject to a do-over in the form of an additional 45 pages inserted into the novella, expanding it to novel length and re-released under the title Frozen Hell: The Book that inspired The Thing.

While Blumhouse claim that their new take is going to be an adaptation of Frozen Hell, rather than a remake of either the Hawks or the Carpenter films, when it comes to modern cinema I find it difficult to believe there won’t, at the very least, be some clear influences.

Furthermore, Blumhouse are busy reaping the rewards of that other reboot/sequel to a John Carpenter movie, Halloween. And since the studio managed to convince Carpenter, who quite famously has packed in movie making altogether these days, to lend his name and return to score Halloween 2018, it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine they might be hoping for some similar sort of deal for The Thing, right?

Personally, I’m expecting this new movie to play almost entirely as a reboot, up to a point, and then reveal itself as a sort of stealth sequel as well. I suspect Blumhouse are busy trying to figure out how to fit Kurt Russell into the movie somehow, and there have, no doubt, already been discussions about whether or not practical effects should be the order of the day (they should).

Whatever winds up happening with this, I’m seriously hoping it’s worth it. As a fan of Carpenter’s movie, I find myself oddly protective of it. And if there’s one thing we don’t need, it’s another pointless retread that misses the magic of the original.

Speaking of which, Disney are planning to give Bambi the same treatment they gave to The Lion King.

That’s right, your favorite anthropomorphized animals are about to get de-anthropomorphized once again. I’m especially looking forward to the pain and horror on photo-realistic Bambi’s face when his mother gets shot… or not. 

Screenwriter’s Geneva Robertson-Dworet (co-writer of Captain Marvel and Tomb Raider), alongside Lindsey Beer (co-writer of the upcoming Chaos Walking) are penning the script to this one, but really I have to ask… what’s the point? So long as Disney keep chasing this photo-realistic CG gimmick I’m just not sure I understand the new to remake the movies that, y’know, only f**king work because they’re not realistic.

While we’re on the remake train, perhaps the most peculiar announcement this week comes in the form of Anaconda, that 90s flick starring John Voight, Ice Cube, Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson. Remember that? It’s where they’re on a boat and are attacked by a giant Anaconda.

Evan Daugherty, who was the guy behind the pretty piss-poor 2014 reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the equally as piss-poor retelling of Snow White, Snow White and the Huntsman, is taking the reins on this one, so I’ll be honest, I’m not expecting great things. Truthfully, though, this could turn out to be the batshit crazy, fun thrill-ride it should be, and I’d like to see them apply the same approach to this property that Alexandre Aja brought to Piranha.

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Alex Secker is a writer/director/editor. His debut feature film, the micro-budget thriller Follow the Crows, won Best Independent Film at the Global Film Festival Awards, while his stage-play, The Door, won the People’s Choice Award at the 2017 Swinge Festival.