I'll toss my hat in the ring with The Thing (2011).
Background - The Thing (1981):
John Carpenter's 1981 masterpiece, The Thing, begins with a Norwegian helicopter pursuing a husky across the frozen landscape of Antarctica. After cornering the dog outside an American research station, the helicopter's frantic and inexplicably aggressive crew are killed and the Americans head to the Norwegian base in an attempt to uncover what led the Norwegians to behave so strangely.
The Americans find the Norwegian base a smoldering ruin, with evidence of a fierce battle and the gruesome discovery of a frozen corpse, clutching a straight-razor, with its wrists and throat slit. A hollowed out block of ice adds to the mystery, and the Americans eventually learn that the base had been set up to excavate an alien spacecraft from the ice.
As it turns out, the "dog" the Norwegians were trying to kill is actually a hostile alien creature that kills other lifeforms, transforms into an exact duplicate of the victim, and attempts to assimilate everyone it encounters. The Americans realize that they must destroy the monster, but paranoia sets in as they try to work out who is a real human and who is an alien impostor...
The Nomination: The Thing (2011):
A prequel to the 1981 film, this movie explores the events that led up to the beginning of Carpenter's iconic classic. The fractured bits of evidence found by the American team were never really explained in the original movie, but they are now. The Norwegian base's grim fate is finally laid out for the audience, and the movie ends exactly where the 1981 film begins.
It would be impossible for any prequel or sequel of Carpenter's film to match the greatness of the original, so we can forgive The Thing (2011) for being good rather than amazing. But despite its flaws, the movie is extremely watchable; it is essential viewing for any fan of the original, and it couldn't have happened without some brilliant work from hardcore Thing-fans.1
With strong performances from the entire cast2, and especially impressive showings from Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Kate Lloyd), Joel Edgerton (Carter), Jørgen Langhelle (Lars), and Stig Henrik Hoff (Peder), this may not rival its predecessor in quality or significance, but it is a thoroughly enjoyable film with a talented cast, and the story is centered on a resilient, intelligent, dynamic female lead.
Extra Point Score:
- Bechdel Test - Passed. (Kate and Juliette speak about stars, their reaction to discovering a flying saucer and the titular 'Thing' itself).
- F-Rating - Passed. The protagonist is a dynamic woman who goes from paleontologist to alien-killer with relative ease; she was apparently modeled on one of the greatest female leads in Sci-Fi history, Ripley from the Alien franchise.
- Nominated by a Female - Failed.
1 The original film's Norwegian base set was destroyed when production wrapped up, and no blueprints were kept. The director of the 2011 prequel was at a loss as to how to recreate the base accurately, until the members of the fan site Outpost #31 spent hundreds of hours pouring over every frame of the 1981 film in faithful, painstaking detail, performing all sorts of calculations, and producing precise plans for the base as it appeared in the Carpenter film. The production team for the prequel used these fan-made schematics to construct the set we see in this film.
2 The casting department deserves credit for filling the roles of Norwegian characters with actual Norwegian actors - it might seem like the most obvious option, but Hollywood insists on jamming American/British actors into every major role, regardless of the character's in-universe nationality; this is how we end up with Scarlett Johansen starring in Ghost in the Shell despite the fact that her character is Japanese. If the production team had followed this trend, The Thing (2011) would have been deprived of one of its most likable moments - the Norwegian researchers celebrating their discovery by spontaneously singing Sámiid Ædnan, Norway's contribution to the 1980 Eurovision song contest; the cast members came up with the idea, and chose Sámiid Ædnan because it would have been familiar to a Norwegian in 1981, when the movie takes place.