|How is this picture so boring? IT HAS A FLAMETHROWER IN IT.|
I tried to ignore the nagging suspicion that this new iteration would go overboard on the CGI, robbing us of the sweaty, fleshly, and goopy charms of the "original." (Seriously, Rob Bottin's work in 1982, done completely without the aid of computers, is an absolute marvel. Even better than his work on The Howling, if you ask me.)
But as soon as the PR team started throwing the word "prequel" around, I surrendered to my misgivings. Anyone who saw and loved Carpenter's film would know exactly how redundant a prequel would be here. All we needed was the tragic and creepy hints of that story - an axe lodged in a door, two Norwegians' frantic determination to kill a dog - to understand how we got here. Choosing to stuff a prequel in where there was no need could only prove that these people had no interest in or respect for the story being told.
Well, you better believe that I have a borderline-rabid interest in and respect for The Thing, and since this 2011 remake/prequel - premake? - was such a bomb, it's safe to assume that my ideas are better. (My logic, it is sound.) To be honest, it's only one main idea, but still a good one: I would love to see The Thing with an all-female cast. At the core of the 1982 version is an examination of what happens when a very isolated group of men who are already going stir-crazy is put in an extremely dangerous and stressful situation. Wouldn't you want to see what happens when it's a very isolated group of women? To see how deep loneliness, distrust, and fear affect women who know and like or dislike each other to varying degrees? The jumping off point, before the group realizes they've been infiltrated by an alien, probably wouldn't feel too far off from a women's college during winter finals.*
Plus, for the most part, horror movies with a primarily female cast tend to just sexualize and trivialize the so-called characters so that they're all just interchangeable bimbos. I think remaking The Thing with women would be a step towards reversing that trend, not unlike Hausu or The Descent.
|Not pictured: characters.|
In that spirit, I put together my dream cast list. If you haven't seen the '82 version (which you SHOULD! It's on Netflix Instant!) this list will mean little to you, which is fine. This is more for me than for you anyway.
*It is pretty bleak.
The Dream Cast
Mac, the helicopter pilot and de facto leader - Sanaa Lathan
Childs, the hot-headed chief mechanic - Michelle Rodriguez
Windows, the whiny and weak-willed radio operator - Judy Greer
Fuchs, the mild-mannered biologist - Rashida Jones
Cooper, the highly competent physician - Gillian Anderson
Blair, the fatalistic chief biologist - Sigourney Weaver
Clark, the morose dog handler - Aubrey Plaza
Norris, geologist with a weak heart - Melissa McCarthy
Gary, veteran and outpost commander - Sandra Oh
Bennings, prissy pain in the ass whose function I cannot divine - Angela Bassett
Nauls, the cheerful and laidback cook - Jewel Staite
Palmer, assistant mechanic, resident pothead and space cadet - Gillian Jacobs