The Thing (2011)

Where I Watched it: Netflix

English Audio Description?: Yes

Narrated By: Miles Neff

Miles is such a great narrator. I love how he seemingly is always fully engaged in whatever he’s narrating, giving it that fanboy charm that helps to keep you engaged. It works great for the Star Wars films he’s narrated, but when it comes to this remake of The Thing, which features some of the weirdest, goriest, most creative body horror I’ve experienced in audio description, I kinda feel like Santa Claus got caught watching porn or something. I associate Miles with happiness. This is not happy.

in fact, gore is very much not my thing, and since being blind I’ve managed to sit and listen to a lot of gory shit. There are films I know I absolutely would have turned off, or walked out of. Certainly, films I chose not to see originally. It’s so much easier to hear gore described than to see it. But even this film pushes that boundary.

Having not had the pleasure, or potential displeasure, of enjoying john Carpenter’s version, which isn’t even the first version, it’s just the most well known, I have no comparison. That being said, this isn’t a perfect film. but I know some horror buffs just want the gore, and i have to say miles does a great job conveying the weirdest shit. people just suddenly split open to reveal an alien inside them, and not in a chest bursted kind of way like in Alien. No, these people rip apart suddenly. In one very horrific sounding scene, two people start merging together into… something.

It’s gory and violent as hell. It also doesn’t start that way, and does a solid job of introducing to you all these lovely people who are all about to die horribly. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is the standout here, but i would be remiss in ignoring Joel Edgerton. However, the audio description does have a problem of running into pointing out things at just the right or wrong time.

The film establishes that the alien can’t replicate non organic material (like tooth fillings), so they get left behind. However, in one scene, someone has an earring in the audio description, and you can pretty much tell exactly why the narrator felt it important for you to know why that was important. Or, that it would be important later on. Rarely does an audio description ask me to check out an earring, so when it does, it’s foreshadowing to the max.

I didn’t hate this film, nor do I think it is perfection. It doesn’t always make sense, and the alien does stuff all the time that never makes sense. Sometimes, the alien explodes out when it’s been discovered, other times… it just seems bored. But, even though I haven’t seen the original, I can’t imagine this being a travesty, except to recognize this is likely CGI and the original is notoriously creature practical effects.

It’s been 12 years, and if your interest hasn’t pushed you in this direction yet, I don’t know that it ever will. All I can say is that Miles and his childlike wonder almost make this a must. RIP Miles.

Final Grade: B-

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