While I enjoyed the movie, the end result is too much of a remake even though it's also a very faithful prequel. In the original, you are in the dark about what exactly happened at the Norwegian base like the characters are. That is, until things start happening and then you can pretty much figure it out.
If the 2011 version came out first and the 1982 version was The Thing II, I suspect everyone would complain because they just payed $x to see the same movie again with no new ideas. This movie's main achievement is being a faithful prequel that really syncs up with the original with most of the details. But it leaves me wondering why they'd even bother to make it. If they'd just done a remake, they'd be more free to do new things with the basic idea at the core.
And even within the confines of making it sync up well, they could have, you know, not made scenes just like the original (the conversation around the fire, for example). It probably didn't help that I watched the original again Friday night then went to see a Saturday matinee.
I do have one question. They estimated (in the original version at least) that the spaceship must have crashed something like 100,000 years ago based on the depth and the ice surrounding it. And surely the alien didn't make it very far from the ship before it froze. But the alien is in pretty shallow ice compared to the ship. On some level that's logical since a ship crashing might make a crater. But they seemed to make the age estimate when they found the ship. The alien was what, no more than a foot below the ice, right? I mean based on both movies and the drill they used to take a sample. So the ship either crashed a lot more recently or the alien wandered for a looong time and then returned before it froze (which doesn't make any sense). Am I misunderstanding anything? I know it isn't incredibly important.