I'm not a filmmaker, but I would think the main reason that you would go through the trouble of making a prequel to a movie that you love (I assume the filmmakers here love John Carpenter's THE THING) is to expand the story and challenge yourself to try to make an even better movie. That's just my thinking, maybe I'm a fucking idiot. I'm using ALIEN and ALIENS as my scale of reference. So with those thoughts calculating into my expectations of this new THE THING I was really, really dumbfounded as to why this movie feels more like a remake than a prequel. In fact, if I didn't already know this was a prequel the only thing that would have clued me in while watching it was at lame tacked on ending during the closing credits. Other than that it felt like a remake...and a unimaginative one at that.
A Norwegian research team accidentally discovers a huge alien spaceship in Antarctica. They call in a group of American paleontologists so they can stop talking in subtitles. A large alien "survivor" is excavated out still encased in a large block of ice. The dogs start getting all upset then suddenly the alien jumps straight up out of the ice like he's a goddamn acrobat and flies through the roof! Before you can say "I've seen this all before." out come the flamethrowers and everybody's in the wreck room getting tested to see if they're an alien. Yawn.
If James Cameron had gone this route, instead of Marines fighting an army of aliens and their mother on LV-426 he would have just told the Nostromo story over again, but with a CG alien. As far as I'm concerned, such a lack of imagination is inexcusable. I've seen more thought put into a porno parody than this movie.
Despite all that, I didn't hate THE THING remake, I mean, prequel . It was mildly entertaining, the pace was good and it wasn't blasphemous towards the 1982 version, but I'll never watch it again and after awhile I found myself admiring Mary Elizabeth Winstead's beauty more than really caring what happened to the characters. Worth a one time watch, but that's it.
Original - The Thing From Another World
Remake of original - The Thing (1982)