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The North Wind

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Chloe Everson
Chloe Everson
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Hi! My name is Chloe and I am a fourth-year senior here at NMU. I am a Public Relations major and have always enjoyed sports. I love being outdoors, shopping, and drinking coffee at all hours of the...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Online Exclusive: ‘The Thing’ gets better and better and better.

Initially, I thought this movie was a more modern spin on the 1982 John Carpenter classic. I actually made through most of the film before I figured out that this was not a mere retelling, but a prequel to the original movie.

“The Thing” opted to go with a female lead, as opposed to the original. Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a well educated paleontologist at a renowned university, joins a crew headed to Antarctica to uncover what they believe may be the first true discovery of alien life.

When they reach their destination, they take a short trip to the sight of the UFO. The entire crew is amazed when they see a massive alien ship buried under the ice. Not far away, there is an alien life form trapped in a massive chunk of ice. The scientists quickly begin to extract the creature from the ice, completely unaware of the danger that would come with doing so.

As a whole, this movie felt a lot like the 1982 film. This can either be seen as bad or good. It could be bad, because if the film feels too much like the original, then one might ask themselves if it even needed to be made. However, I found it to be a good quality. Most of the horror films of the 1980’s had a completely unique and different feel to them than those of other eras. The ability to somehow re-create that feeling while still making use of all the special effects technology of today is a beautiful sight.

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After pulling the alien being from the rest of the glacier, the crew brings it back to their camp. Against Lloyd’s best wishes, Dr. Sander Halvorson (Ulrich Thomsen) insists on drilling into the ice to take a tissue sample from the beast. Then, they all gather to get drunk and reel in the gravity of their discovery.

One of the crew members decides to go sneak a peek at the alien again, when all of a sudden it unleashes itself from its frozen encasement. This is where the proverbial hell breaks loose. The crew isn’t very big to begin with, and now they are forced to spread out and try and find the “thing.”

When two of the men find it, they are met with violence. One of them is practically eaten by the alien, and they are forced to pay homage to the 1982 film by busting out the blowtorches and burning the “thing.” When they perform an autopsy, they realize that the cells of the creature were mimicking the man’s, and also that his cells weren’t actually dead yet.

This leads them to the discovery that the “thing” can assimilate other living things, and that the people around them may not be who they say they are. Possibly the most effective element in Carpenter’s telling was the element of sheer paranoia that would come from being trapped in a situation like this.

Both of these films, as well as many others that Hollywood have produced over the years, borrow their material from the short story, “Who Goes There?” by John W. Campbell Jr. They feed off of the raw emotion that comes with not knowing who to trust, or if you can even trust anybody. Any of these men could be an alien, just waiting to strike at the most opportune moment.

As far as that goes, this new offering does a good job of creating that element that made the first film a classic. The special effects and gore are another factor that made the 1982 movie a cult hit, and the prequel spares no expense in its effort to match up to its predecessor. Overall, I felt even more disturbed by the creatures in this film than the first one. Given, the filmmakers have much more to work with now. But Carpenter was able to create something that was a little different from the rest of the stuff audiences had seen before, and this new film doesn’t try to fix what isn’t broken. Yet, it looks unique enough on its own to warrant being made in the first place.

As a huge fan of the original, I wasn’t sure what I would think about this movie. But I definitely enjoyed it; possibly even more than the original. The ending leads directly into the beginning of Carpenter’s film, but still somehow carries that same empty, ambiguous feeling that the 1982 film left viewers with.

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