Honestly I’ve never seen either version of this film. Once again I am only going by fan opinion. The original version of The Thing (1982) is a movie from 1951 titled The Thing From Another World (again notice the 30 year gap). In the original movie the “alien” looked more like a human with hydrocephalus and jaundice. Not to mention it has the level of acting one might see on Mystery Science Theater 3000. One wonders how anyone could be scared from this movie, but I digress. What makes The Thing (1982) far superior is once again the better effects and performances. Not to mention it’s from one of the gods of modern horror himself, John Carpenter. I may be biased because he lives in my state but in my opinion anything John Carpenter touches turns to gold.
A true master of horror took a rather cheesy movie and made it his own. From what I have seen of screen shots, and heard from fans it is a much more terrifying and gruesome experience. To those who don’t know the movie is about a team of scientists in the arctic who uncover an alien space ship. They take the alien back to their camp and he thaws out. Soon they learn the alien is capable of taking over people’s bodies. It stars Kurt Russell, and Thomas Waites (Fox from my favorite non horror movie of all time The Warriors.) So you already know the acting will be much better than the original.