1. Every couple of years, a horror creator just flat-out impresses me. The wheel turns, you know, so they always disappoint me eventually, but right now, I am really a fan of Eric Heisserer. He Gets It. He understands the genre, not just in a ‘and then this happens, and then this happens way’, but he seems to understand Why horror tropes are horror tropes. That particular sensibility is displayed a lot more joyfully in Final Destination 5, but it’s also in this movie’s DNA. There is something here with the ‘black guy dies first’ thing that is handled with a bit of a smirk and a wink that I enjoyed quite a bit. Horror is a genre about building a tower of blocks and then knocking it over and Heisserer’s work that I’ve seen so far has featured fun and intricate block towers.
2. The prequel is amazingly faithful to the Carpenter film. So much so that its final shot is Carpenter’s opening shot (stay during the credits to see it). I basically watched the 2011 film back to back with the 1982 film yesterday. It bridges very well and doesn’t cheapen the main film.
3. Annalee Newitz complains about not knowing The Thing’s motivations in this one, and I think that it would be fair to say that ‘survive’ is its main motivation. The film shows us only the first day or two after the alien is revived, after all, and it’s likely disoriented. By the time it gets to Station 31, it’s had more time to strategize.
4. Has anyone considered whether or not the alien in the ice is the actual alien or just another imitated host? I think you could make a case for the former after a close watch of the prequel.
4a. I would definitely watch another prequel to this story set on an alien spaceship that ends up crashing into Antarctica 100,000 years ago.
5. Mary Elizabeth Winstead = The New Jaime Lee Curtis