Spoony and Brad were unnecessarily harsh on it and seemed going in either expecting too much or with too high of an opinion of the "original." I mean I love the original and its a classic movie in its own right but it's hardly flawless. This movie is hardly perfect and, yeah, probably doesn't compare to the "original" but, for me, it was good entertainment and I really liked how it ties in to the original with all of the hints, beats, and cues.
I'd say it's well worth catching in the theater.
I do agree with Spoony that this movie fails to really deliver the sense of isolation and bitter, terrible, cold of Antarctica. But the first movie was hardly consistent there either, there's a couple of scenes where the characters are outside, at night, with -40 temperatures and they're either just pulling on their coats as they get outside or wearing them opened up. There's a scene where one of the guys goes outside to investigate a noise and discovers McReady's jumpsuit and his coat isn't zipped closed and his wearing no eye/face/head protection. This is during the time the storm was supposedly hitting them hard according to McReady's log he did just moments earlier.
I think Spoony also points out the movie did little to establish it as being in the 1980s but I think I sort of like
that. Most movies that want to over-establish themselves in the past will go overboard with to many wink-winks at the audience and the time. I mean, did we need to see someone in the hall of Katie's lab talking on a Zach Morris style phone going, "Dude! I'm talking on a CELL PHONE!" Should Katie have had the one-sided pony tail while chewing on bubble gum?
How much "establishment" do you need to set the time period? The clothing looked to not be much different than what the guys in the original wear and no piece of equipment stuck out to me as being out of place or time. Sure the movie didn't go out of its way to say "Hey! This is 1982!" but it didn't do anything that said "Hey, this is sort-of 2011-y!" either. It stood out, to me, as being "null time." The original stands out as being 1982 mostly from the use of the equipment (the computers, TV, VCR) but only because back then that was common equipment. Today I think it'd just stand out as the movie makers going, "Hey! It's 1982! Michael Jackson is still black!"
I also think the "suspense" of things was muted mostly on purpose. Fans of the original are going to know what's going to happen, what the thing does, etc. So there's nothing to build suspense about.
We already know and are even shown
that things aren't right here and out of place. We're shown
them drilling into the ice block and we know as movie viewers that's not a good idea. In the original there's more suspense because the audience isn't clued in to anything being a miss simply beyond them determining the Norwegian pilot/gunman had possibly going mad.
Nope, I really liked this movie.