John Carpenter's 1982 classic The Thing was a suspenseful psychological horror with an impressive star turn from the legendary Kurt Russell.
This reinvention has been positioned as a sequel and is far more of a gore-laden horror than its predecessor. Whereas Carpenter tried to understand the psychological effect of fighting a monster that we cannot see, van Heijningen goes in for popcorn violence and the cheap thrills of watching a CGI alien run amok and attack a group of unsuspecting scientists in Antarctica.
Given the tough job of stepping into Russell's large snow boots is Winstead, best known for her scream queen roles in Final Destination 3 and Black Christmas. She actually does a great job as the palaeontologist Kate Lloyd recruited by a Norwegian explorer (Ulrich Thomsen) to help retrieve an ice-encased alien.
Yet this new version never overcomes a fundamental conceptual flaw: there is zero suspense because anyone who has seen the original knows what happens. Fans of gore will enjoy some fantastic death scenes, but the narrative often feels like a dirge, hindered by uneven special effects and too many minor characters.