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The Mist

A horror movie.

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Quality horror - what a concept!

  • May 21, 2008
  • by
Of the 108 Stephen King adaptations for film or TV, I am only familiar with a handful of them - 16 to be exact (counting also the film under review). Frank Darabont joins a list of remarkable past alumni (Brian De Palma, Stanley Kubrick, David Cronenberg, John Carpenter) with this well-crafted monster movie with pretensions. Actually, Darabont is no newcomer to Stephen King territory - having already based three of his four feature-length movies on his work! - but this is the first movie I've seen from the director and, perhaps significantly, the only one of the three which is horror-related.

Frankly, I wasn't even aware of the film at all before reviews of its DVD release started cropping up through my Amazon friends. As far as I can recall, theatrical release wasn't spread so widely, perhaps the name Stephen King (because of rampant overexposure over the years) nowadays no longer enjoys the same crowd-pulling effect as it did during his heyday. Still, judging by that modest crowd of actors assembled for the film and its clearly intentional "realism" (read a flat, made-for-TV look and relatively restrained gore), the film-makers hardly endeavored to boost its box-office chances any. Besides, we have lately been literally invaded by monster/alien movies so that it isn't hard for one (even as solid as this one is) to get lost in the shuffle.

This story takes place in a small seaside American town that wakes up one morning to find itself enveloped in a mysterious cloud of thick mist. Soon enough, it becomes abundantly evident that this houses a barrage of slimy, unnaturally-enlarged and very deadly creatures of the bugs variety. To this tried-and-tested formula, Darabont and King add other much-used elements (religious fanaticism, military incompetence, scientific experimentation, impending apolcalypse, etc.) but take them beyond their bleakest and most ironic possibilities. The last half-hour, in fact, is where the film gets all choked up in message-mongering - complete with an overwhelmingly melancholic score. Indeed, learning that Darabont has even "presented" his own original black-and-white vision (as opposed to version) of this film on DVD only adds smoke to the fiery theory that this was intended from the start to be much more than a mere monster movie. Despite good work all around and the best intentions, THE BIRDS (1963), it certainly ain't...

Anyhow, the festering tensions between the diverse factions trapped (for most of the film) inside a supermarket and the inherent suspense present in the group's generally unsuccessful excursions on the "outside" are skillfully handled and, despite the anonymity of the actors involved, some of the townspeople are blessed with full-blooded characterizations, most prominently Marcia Gay Harden (as the unbalanced, ultra-religious spinster). Most viewers won't fine the characters in this film intriguing but you can't deny Marcia Gay. I was pretty tired the night I watched it but it never let me take even a yawn! The story was superb with great thrills and suspense, but the thing that intrigued me most was the story had some realistic touch. Altogether I have to say this movie is not worth a miss.

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More The Mist reviews
review by . October 25, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****     "The Mist" is a deceptive horror film; based on a Stephen King novella, and directed by Frank Darabont, who has in the past helmed a few of the most famous and widely-known adaptations of King's work. He is a talented, understanding filmmaker; and I admire both his style and intentions, all of which were good for this very film. He wanted to entertain, but at the same time, he wanted to make an adaptation that forced the audience to think a little, and with …
review by . January 15, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
There's a Stephen King novel called "Misery" in which an author, Paul Sheldon is held hostage by his "number one fan."  In reality where life is often not so much like a Stephen King novel, King himself may have a number one fan when it comes to adaptations.  His friend Frank Darabont.  Darabont wrote and directed The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile.  When it came to King, these were both prison dramas.  The Mist is the first time Darabont …
Quick Tip by . July 06, 2010
To me this book is better than the movie. I couldn't put it down. It was scary, but yet not too gory.
review by . March 03, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
dvd cover
THE MIST is directed by Frank Darabont; after his somewhat misfire "The Majestic", he is poised to redeem himself with an adaptation of one of Stephen King's novellas. Darabont wrote the screenplay and directed this horror film that left a smile on my face after watching it in theaters. This film is a welcome return to contemporary horror filmmaking after an overload of tiresome torture flicks and Asian long-haired ghosts.       After an electrical storm hits a small …
Quick Tip by . July 15, 2010
I was in awe, what an end! Remember, there is hope even when we cannot see. I like this novel.
Quick Tip by . July 13, 2010
Here is another Stephen King novel that, if you're a fan, you won't want to miss.
Quick Tip by . July 13, 2010
This was my least favorite of his books. Not bad just not for me.
Quick Tip by . July 02, 2010
Was surprised at the different feel from the film, very entertaining.
review by . December 06, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Sartre, perhaps, said it best: "hell is other people," i.e. we do a good enough job making life difficult for each other here on Earth, so who needs demons?    Following a violent storm that wrecks his studio, illustrator David Drayton takes his son Billy into town for supplies. Once there, however, an unnatural mist traps them in the supermarket. The situation goes from inconvenient to horrific when they discover there are monsters in the mist; but mistrust and paranoia lead …
review by . May 12, 2009
The Mist (2007) is a very entertaining film from Frank Darabont. I was surprised by how well this film was. Because Frank Darabont directed it, I thought it would be another weepy flick like The Green Mile or The Shawshank Redemption. Boy was I wrong. I would rank this at the top of Stephen King's movie adaptations. It not only stayed very true to the original source material, but it improved on several things (Mrs. Carmody was hot instead of a being an old crone being one). The story is one of …
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Jen-Jay AKA:JJI ()
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Married into the military for over a decade and it does has itpros andcons. The lifestyle is great and Ido enjoy it. I'm able to do things and see things that I thought I wouldn't dream of. My kids loves … more
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Writer-director Frank Darabont, who showcased the softer side of Stephen King in his film adaptations ofThe Shawshank RedemptionandThe Green Mile, turns to darker material forThe Mist, his latest King adaptation about a group of ordinary townspeople trapped in a supermarket by a mysterious fogbank. Thomas Jane is top-billed as a Maine illustrator who attempts to calm the frightened shoppers, but his job is cut out for him from the get-go, first by the discovery of malevolent creatures lurking in the mist, and then by the mad mutterings of Mrs. Carmody (Marcia Gay Harden), a local eccentric who calls for Old Testament-style sacrifices to appease the supernatural forces. Darabont delivers monster movie thrills and understated social commentary with equal skill, and he's well supported by his cast (which includes Andre Braugher, Toby Jones, William Sadler and Jeffrey DeMunn) and the vivid special effects by KNB EFX, which effectively mix CGI with models and stop-motion animation (the terrific monsters were designed by legendary comic book artist Bernie Wrightson). And for those curious about how the novella's downbeat ending has translated to film, suffice it to say that Darabont's conclusion is at once different and more unsettling than King's.--Paul Gaita
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Director: Frank Darabont
Genre: Horror
Release Date: 21 November 2007
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Stephen King
DVD Release Date: March 25, 2008
Runtime: 126 minutes
Studio: Genius Products (TVN)
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