This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Galactrod’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
(Note: This review is for the network television version of the film)
It's interesting to watch this back to back with the TV edit, something in itself that sounds like an exercise in futility. Cut down by ten minutes, almost all of the monster scenes are completely excised, making for an interesting experiment in suspense and reliance on the horror of the unseen. Since we don't get to see the monsters ourselves (save for a few choice shots), the main source of terror comes from the reactions of the characters.
However, as interesting as that may be, there's no denying that the monsters themselves (glorious as ever) are the central horror core of this film. Without them, the film feels too truncated and sanitized for its own good.
Among the more interesting edits:
-Mac's throwaway line about confusing the Norwegians with Swedes becomes a running joke (among the bulk of the footage used to pad out the film in lieu of cutting out so much else)
-The Norris-Thing is the most egregious of the monster related edits, being cut out almost entirely, causing the resulting scene to speed by awkwardly
-Conversely the Palmer-Thing scene is the most intact, though for whatever reason they cut out the bit where Mac blows it up with dynamite, so instead it just explodes spontaneously
-Wholly unnecessary narration, which among other things introduces each character with a brief snippet of backstory (apparently Copper has some unspecified "personal tragedy" to himself)
-Awkward redubbing is to be expected ("Yeah, well [blast] you too!"), but apparently we needed Blair to reiterate his "Nobody gets out of here!" line as he assimilates Garry.
-Fun fact: John Carpenter actually hated the alternate, downer ending they went with here.