I didn’t really say in the first post; the idea with these horror film polls is that we’ve got two going now, two more next week, then the last week of October, we’ll take all the winners and put them up against the Universal classics to have our CHAMPION OF HORRORS! October is a pretty big horror film month around the Lair, and some of our favourites are going to be showing up in these polls, and I wonder how much of that will be shared.

So if you’re into these films, go clickie, and let’s see what comes out on top.

Apparently the Thing prequel isn’t getting much love in reviews – the Rotten Tomatoes score is a fairly sad 30%, even if the audience reaction is much better. I’m a little surprised by that, honestly; I’m particularly perplexed by one reviewer’s comment that it was dull. While it has its flaws, it wastes no time getting things moving and keeps up a pretty solid pace throughout.

I did want to talk about the film a little more, though, mostly about two topics.

First, there’s a fanon for the whole series – everything except the novella, really – that the Thing itself isn’t actually the alien that built the spaceship, but is what brought the spaceship down.

That ties in for me particularly strongly with this prequel, and I’m wondering whether that’s intentional. It’s always bothered me that the Thing is really kind of stupid – and it’s significantly worse in this version. I have an extension of the fanon that the Thing is not entirely intelligent; that it can use the intelligence of the beings it operates, but doesn’t really integrate that intelligence well into its own being. It’s sort of a puppeteer, rather than an integrator.

That works very well in this film, and well in Carpenter’s, and to a lesser degree, works in the novella. It fits less well with the 1951 vaguely carrot-monster-ish version, but, well, it’s a modern fanon.

not this carrot monster

For another take on that intelligence question entirely, however, you will certainly enjoy Peter Watts’ short story, The Things, which takes rather the opposite approach and is just a lovely piece of creepy, creepy work.

Secondly, and on the plus side, I’m really happy that we finally have an entry in this mythos that passes the Bechdel Test. Kate Lloyd is functionally the Ellen Ripley of this film, albeit one coming from a different emotional starting point. My take on this was that this is entirely intentional; and for me, it’s the most overdue update to the entire concept.

all out of bubblegum

Much of the rest, I touched upon already; reasonable characters, an interesting reshading and invocation of the original; I liked that a lot of the dialogue was in Norwegian, and wish it’d been a bit more than it was, but with three American characters and an American audience, that’s kind of unavoidable.

Keep an eye on the shows page, I have some show announcements coming up soon! A couple of dates are already pencilled in; one’s even in ink, but I’m waiting for a couple more pieces of mail before I get completely specific.

I’ve never done a house concert before! It’s new! and exciting! I’m still looking for opportunities to the north (Lower Mainland in particular), and Portland, which should tell you something about where my pencil marks are at this point. XD

Have a good weekend, everybody!