I like the original (The Thing from Another World
), but I still feel that the remake is an improvement on several grounds. For one, the thing actually looks alien, as opposed to the man in a suit featured in the original. For another, it drops the romantic subplot, which is gratuitous. Finally, it drops the evil, misguided scientist angle. These are all improvements.
Being produced in a different era, the ending of the remake is more cynical (in the original, most of the characters survive; in the remake, only two survive, and it is likely that they will soon die), though both films end with the thing more or less defeated.
The original does have a few notable scenes, however, which make it necessary viewing. The burning title card, replicated in the remake, is a very cool effect. The team fanning out and realizing that there is a saucer under the ice is an iconic moment (also replicated, in part, by the John Carpenter version). The scene where the thing bursts into the camp and is set on fire (the flames providing the set's only illumination) is brilliantly executed. Finally, and probably most famously, is the final bit of dialogue ("Keep watching the skies!").