As a devout loyalist to John Carpenter's 1982 version of "The Thing," I approached this prequel/remake with an admittedly great deal of skepticism, but I feel confident in saying, even with my biased outlook, that Matthijs van Heijningen's update just isn't very good.
Showing us what happened at the Norweigan camp which found and accidentally let loose the imitative title creature, the film is almost dead-on-arrival, going through the motions of Carpenter's vision with very creative touches of its own outside of perhaps a creepy dental identifier and a female lead.
Instead of Rob Bottin's spectacular practical effects, we get CG mock-ups, instead of Ennio Morricone's eerie, persistent score, we get tired sound design and jump scares and instead of Kurt Russell and his sombrero, we get generic movie scientist Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
When attempting to judge the relevancy and stand-alone effectiveness of a remake, prequel, sequel or otherwise, I always ask myself, "does the film do enough to establish its own identity or is it purely imitation?" Ironically enough, the answer is firmly the latter. [C-]