Having just bought and watched [[ASIN:B01GSW5VD4 The Thing [Collector's Edition] [Blu-ray]]] (an extraordinary release), I decided to revisit the prequel and found I had not reviewed it. I enjoyed this film by Matthijs van Heijningen. There is a mix of puppetry and CGI, and you can tell but still, kudos for the effort. I genuinely enjoy the portrayal of the Norwegian camp which was such a gory scene in Carpenter's film. I enjoy watching these two back-to-back. Heijningen did a good job of capturing Carpenter's original claustrophobic feel as the team mistrusts each other.
Generally, I only buy films I intend to watch 2+ times, which is how I judge a film, more or less: the repeat value. There are some films I enjoyed but never want to see again (such as Arrival), which might be well done but I have no desire to buy the BD. That ultimately affects my opinion of a film, and that is why I have such mixed feelings about films by M. Night Shyamalan and tend not to buy them. He's a brilliant writer/director who knows how to create a tense scene. But, when the tension is released, it can't be recreated a 2nd time. That's just my personal opinion and how I rate movies. I might give a film like Arrival 5 stars, but never want to see it again nor own a copy.
This prequel to Carpenter's The Thing was well done. I understand the opinions of others and disagree. The CGI was not "atrocious" as one reviewer poorly observed. It was actually very well done, and done in conjunction with some real physical effects. You can tell a couple of times but those are the exceptions. And, one might argue that today, it would not be possible to recreate Carpenter's film with such effects because those techniques are a lost art. Well, it's highly subjective at any rate. Being a fan, I may be more forgiving, but in my opinion, being a hardcore fan of the JC film, I found that this one similarly scared me, and repeat viewings continue to scare me. That's a successful horror film in my opinion.
I give this 5 stars because I loved it. I'm a fan of THIS material and a horror fan AND a sci-fi fan as well. I'm subjective. This may not be a 5-star movie compared to, say, The Fellowship of the Ring. Just as a comparison. But films should not be compared directly to each other, nor across genres. How does this compared to the JC film? It's like a kid brother or a son. Son of The Thing. Watch them back-to-back, starting here, and enjoy all of the recreated scenes, and ask yourself, does this film contribute positively? The answer is absolutely yes, it does. Together, it's 3.5 hours of fright and I won't take off stars for CGI or little-known actors or poor character development. I'll just sit back and enjoy it and pick up the popcorn every time I spill it.