Close to the end of The Thing (2011), Kate Lloyd burns the snow vehicle (or did she blow it up, one of the two). After that we are left to our own devices on her fate. Was this intended for us to believe that she died out there from exposure, or was this supposed to be an opening left for another movie, or did this serve some other purpose?
I didn't think that Kate blew up the snowbile. I believe she torched her boyfriend and rode off. I assumed that she survived, and was not infected. The way the movie ended though with the helicopter pilot and Lars chasing down the infected dog, was interesting.
I only use infected here to refer to not being real and as being the thing. The movie was fun and worth many a watch.
The writer, Eric Heisserer, has revealed that in the script he wrote, Kate does not survive. He did an interview with the website "Bloody Disgusting":
Question: So does Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s character die at the end? In the film it’s a little unclear, was that ever spelled out in a draft?
Answer: “I was very clear with Kate’s fate in the draft. I understand that what I gave them doesn’t help in terms of growing a franchise. But there’s no way that she could survive. I had it written so that they chase after Sander [on the way to the ship at the end of the film]. They’re in a snowcat but he isn’t. But then you start to see his tracks they they’re following to the ship get longer and longer and more alien. And you realize that he transformed into something that can go very fast on the ice. That’s what the smart creature would do. So they get there and Carter checks the one flame unit they have and finds that it’s almost completely out of fuel. So they decide to take all of the fuel from the Snowcat and put it into the flame unit. Because it’s better to kill this thing [than to be able to get away]. So at the end where she makes a decision that she thinks Carter is The Thing [and she needs to kill him], we realize that she is burning her fuel. She’s burning her way home. And the last scene is her looking at the burning snowcat, with no other way of getting anywhere. And just the emotions of the past two days, she starts to cry and then just heads into the wind and starts walking. She is screwed. So that doesn’t happen [in the final film], but then again, that may be what audiences want“.
While we obviously don't see all the events Heisserer describes in the finished movie, the version of events in the film don't directly contradict Heisserer's account, aside from the bit about using the fuel from the Snowcat to fill the flamethrowers. So, although the movie doesn't show Kate sitting down in the snow and waiting to die, it is entirely plausible that she does so. Any other outcome would be totally contradictory to the overall theme of both of the films (the 2011 prequel and the classic 1982 original movie).
It is almost impossible to imagine that Kate survived her ordeal. The fact that she never reappears, and MacReady and the rest of the American team at Outpost 31 don't seem to know anything about what happened in the Norwegian camp, suggest that Kate really did die in the middle of nowhere, probably by her own choice.
If Kate supposedly survived the Thing's existence and even made it back to civilization or another Artic Camp for help, she would be able to warn others of her experience. If she died, then the chance for a sequel would be slim. Unless...and here is your possible sequel to the prequel of the original story: All that happened during the John Carpenter film took place before she could make her way back to civilization or for "Help", and the sequel can pick up at the end of the Carpenter film with teams arriving and finding Childs and Macready either frozen or waiting in the fire. Sorry for the Rantyness...
She was effectively left alive. Sure in the OG script, as written above, she died of exposure. but they changed that (even in the ending with the pilot it was different) She took a cat there but the thing also took a cat there.
So she burns up the one (not exploding it) and then she has the other one. and the thing qutie literally told her where the closest base is (russian though. which i think actually appeared in the video game sequel to the older movie). With the short range radio in the cats, She could fairly likely make it back alright.
It sort of annoys me they didntm' pick up lars though, when they were prepping for destruction, think the american guy would've suggested it.
as for the various mentions that "if she lived she'd have warned the other base" etc. the movie ended, quite literally, the day of the other movie. Which in of itself only lasted about a day.
Oh.. and just for notes. carpenter, chides' actor and russel confirmed that in the story not shown, Chidds is a thing, and he gets torched right after. That "drink" they share? is in fact oen of the molotov cocktails that russel made earlier (he sure wasn't carrying a bottle of booze to the final battle, just the explosives). Chids drinks it, without realizing he's drinking fuel. Russel has the flamer behind him, and that is why he makes that face after the guy drinks
It's actually very easy to imagine that Kate survived the ordeal. Because, it is only the next morning that the scenes of the end credits (2011)/opening scene of (1982). So even if she survived she wouldn't have been able to warn anyone of the danger before others showed up. To me that leaves the possibility of her running into MacReady after the events of the (1982) movie. If what happened in the movie matched the interview about the draft that puts that would put that possibility to rest, but alas, that didn't happen.