The Mist has seen a wide variety of reviews come its way since release, with some calling it ‘cliched’ or boring and others calling it frightening and masterful, and a select few also calling it disgusting. Well, my friends, I have journeyed into The Mist and have survived to tell you the tale.
The Mist follows a semi-successful artist named David Drayton who finds himself thrust into an extraordinary and terrifying situation. After a particularly nasty storm, a heavy mist settles down upon the town and brings with it the chill of death and a bevy of magnificent beasts. David, along with his son, gets trapped in a grocery store with a number of his fellow townspeople. They hole up after a screaming man tells them there is something in the mist that is killing people. Many of the people are unconvinced, but after a bag boy is taken and killed by an only partly scene creature of great magnitude, people start to come around.
David finds himself in the unexpected position of leadership among the group, fighting to keep everyone in the store. His neighbor and rival Brent Norton, however, wants to lead people out of the store and he attracts a few followers to make the trek with him. Within the store, ultra-conservative old-school fire and brimstone Christian Mrs. Carmody also attracts a following, preaching the gospel about the end of days.
Soon the shit hits the fan as the store is confronted directly by the monsters. Large, disgusting flying scorpion like bugs pummel the windows as hairless lizard-like pelican fiends prey on the scorpion bugs and in the process crash through a window. Fighting back these assaults, the brave citizens also confront horrifying spiders that do unpleasant things.
The film looks great and the mist has a strong presence. For being stuck in one spot nearly the whole time, master director Frank Darabont keeps the tension raised high. The acting across the board is all fine, with Tom Jane and Marcia Gay Harden leading the pack. The script follows closely to Stephen King’s original novella, the major change comes in the ending, which King approves of and has been a decisive issue among viewers. Personally I didn’t mind it, I didn’t love it, but it definitely gives you pause to think and I can understand other folks’ reaction to it.
The monsters, while almost exclusively CGI look pretty good technically, but from a design standpoint, they’re freaking awesome. I really enjoyed seeing all the different varieties of unholy beasts swarming the town.
This is a great piece of film, in my opinion. Not even movie. Film. It’s well directed, scripted, and acted. It also has a point. It shows how fast fear can turn you against one another. The film takes place within a period of only 2 or 3 days and almost immediately tensions rise. The next day the lines are drawn. Before you know it, it’s a dangerous place to be. As one character remarks “Put two people in a room and they’ll take sides and start trying to figure a way to kill the other side.” It really shows humanity at its core; animal self that isn’t a pretty sight.
I recommend this movie to horror fans, King fans, Darabont fans, and anyone who can stomach a tense horror film. It really is a good ride.
||Release Date: November 21, 2007
Rated: R for violence, terror and gore, and language.
Running Time: 127 min.
Cast: Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden
Director: Frank Darabont
Screenplay: Frank Darabont, Stephen King (novella)
Studio: Dimension Films
Official Website: Click Here