THE THING (R for everything reminiscent of earlier horror-action-sci fi flicks with nothing else to sell: bloody & violent scenes, partial nudity, unnecessary profanity, frightening moments, etc.): Oh, brother! Twice made before, this updated version is egregiously terrible in all ways that are the worst of Tinsel Town's offerings - holding so much closer to John Carpenter's bloody, slimy, shrieking version than that of Howard Hawks' dominated 1951 original that one wonders why it has been remade at all.
It seems that this Eric Heisserer script, directed by Dutch commercial filmmaker Matthijs van Heijningen is supposed to update (and consequently improve upon) the other two versions. How wrong can anyone be? Special effects teams have run away with the inconsistently modulating "thing," with modern layers of grossness; an overuse of obviously, badly, improvised dialog, salt & peppered with totally unhelpful sh-words and f-words (that only sound unconvincingly intrusive); and a script that neglects the most effectively terrifying moments from the original, substituting instead a series of banal, confusing scenes that make little sense - all culminating in unintentionally ludicrous moments - makes one wonder what the creators of this version had intended. To demonstrate that the remarkable updates in film technology is the only criterion for a better movie? Uh, uh. Didn't work.
Where the original black/white version pulsed with accurately calibrated paranoia and uniquely drawn characters, this one is as stiff and artificially contrived as the frozen territory where it was made. And where the original provided in about an hour and a half enough edge-of-seat thrills, this one fails in every respect, concerning what has been described as "a toothy, tentacled vagina" that offers no more genuine suspense for its hour and thirteen minutes than a video game cast with mostly sweaty Norwegian scientists sporting beards & woolen sweaters - and with two - count 'em two - obligatory femmes hanging around for whatever purposes.
To be fair, at least the exterior shots of an Antarctic winter, all hilly & white, is nice to see. The rest is not. (Grade: D-)