November 1, 2007 Leave a comment
David Slade’s adaptation of Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith’s cult series of horror comics is a curiosity, a film that is certainly uneven, but also a film that swings from cliché-riddled fare to moderately enjoyable shtick. The opening shots, which convey the epic setting of Alaska in the most alluring fashion, instantly remind one of John Carpenter’s fantastic remake of The Thing, and provide the hope that Slade can make the most of the snow-kissed environment, just as Carpenter did twenty-five years ago.
It’s simply unfortunate that the film is so fickle by its own nature – the protagonist, Eben Oleson (Harnett), is the morally unambiguous Sherriff of the Alaskan town in question, a man far too certain of his own prissy ideals to invite any interest whatsoever. It’s not as though one is asking for an anti-hero character either, as that would be just as unsatisfying, but Harnett’s character (as well as most of the other characters) lacks depth, and we never really get to know (and therefore empathise with) him. If the “goody-two-shoes” ploy wasn’t repugnant enough, Harnett’s rather alienating, uninspired acting only reflects how wooden his character is.