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The Mist

A horror movie.

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What Lurks in The Mist

  • Jan 15, 2010
Rating:
+4
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 has tackled something outside of the dramatic when concerning King.  The Mist is totally horror. 

There's a violent thunderstorm in Maine.  A very terrible one that pretty much leaves the town without power and leaves a lot of things broken.  Feeling he needs to do something, David Drayton (Thomas Jane) and his son Billy (Nathan Gamble) go to the store with their neighbor Brent Norton (Andre Braugher).  The two have a shaky history together.  They've recently settled a lawsuit, but now is not the time to hold personal grudges.  So they head off to the market together.  While they're there a man comes running up, bleeding while he's at it.  Behind him a mist is seeping into town and it engulfs everything.  Those caught within it don't return.  For the moment it seems as though they're trapped in the store.  Although they don't exactly know what lurks in the mist.  When David goes to the back to check the generator, they soon discover that there are dangerous monsters out there when the bag boy gets dragged away by a tentacle.  No one believes David or the others with him that this is what happened.  But when they see the proof for themselves the start trying to hold off in the market.

As David and the other townsfolk are stranded in the market, a religious fanatic, Mrs. Carmody (Marcia Gay Harden) believes that this is the work of God.  At first people do think she's crazy, until some of her crazy (broad) predictions happen and people start listening to her.  Because when people are scared, they'll look to someone for guidance.  And for some of the denizens in the store that's Mrs. Carmody.  For others it's David Drayton.  It doesn't really preach a whole lot.  Actually it feels more like The Lord of the Flies than anything else.  People becoming stranded and start go turn savage like.  Just that instead of being on an island they're force into a grocery store.  The test for survivial for David and his allies soon becomes a question of what would be better?  Taking their chances out in the mist... or staying in with people who are slowly losing their minds--and sacrificing people.  They're damned if they go out... but they could possibly be more damned if they stay in.

There's not a whole lot to The Mist.  It's a pretty typical, situational story but it's really enjoyable.  You won't be scared by much of anything in The Mist.  I'd be surprised if anything caused you to jump within the movie itself.  But there's actually a great deal of suspense and some moments that will have you fearing for the characters (the moment where they go to the Pharmacy next door comes to mind).  The performances are, for the most part, fairly good but there's nothing here that really sticks out.  Looking at the glass half full there's nothing totally awful here, either.  Yet what you might like is just how disturbing the movie can get.  Especially as Mrs. Carmody really starts to get through to people.  Pretty soon the people trapped in the market go from being rational about their situatioin to completely tossing logic (and humanity) out the window.  If there was anything scary about The Mist... that would probably be it. 

For those who are nit-picky about whether or not it sticks close to the original novella written by Stephen King (you can find it in an anthology called Skeleton Crew)... I shouldn't have to tell you that it sticks pretty close to the source material.  This is, after all, Frank Darabont.  When adapting other things from King, Frank Darabont has been fairly meticulous about staying close to the source material.  The Mist is no different, though once again Frank Darabont just can't get to the point... and yet it's the shortest film that Frank Darabont has ever made based off a Stephen King novel.  At two hours it's actually far shorter than The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption, but that doesn't mean it gets to the point much faster.  At least you hardly feel it because like the other two... it's just so good.  

On the other hand, one HUGE change that Darabont did make was to the ending.  In the original Novella Stephen King left readers with a sense of hope, although the ending was a little vague.  Darabont does something much different and darker.  The ending to The Mist isn't controversial, but it will illicit a strong reaction from movie goers.  For some they loved the movie UNTIL the end.  I wasn't particularly fond of the ending, but the ride to get there was totally worth it.  The ending is, for the most part, a little depressing when compared to the ending of the novella that actually left you with hope in spite of how vague it is (but then again, King was never really that good with endings).  I'm not fond of the ending but it's actually pulled off fairly well.  I'm guessing most won't exactly enjoy it, however.  Although once the shock settles within it, it doesn't take a genius to figure out what happens next.  You'll have to see the movie for yourself to understand what I'm talking about, I'd feel bad for spoiling the ending, but it's definitely what makes or breaks the movie for some.

The Mist didn't do too well at The Box Office and was received with mixed results from critics and mixed results from fans (because of that ending) but for the most part it's actually a fairly good movie.  It isn't so over-the-top.  It may not be all that creepy but there's some good suspense and it shows us a pretty disturbing side of humanity.  It's worth watching, one of the better films out there.  It doesn't quite hold a candle up to much of anything Frank Darabont as ever done, but it's still a pretty enjoyable movie.

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January 17, 2010
nice review. I actually liked the ending in the film and I thought this was one of the best horror movies in recent years. Nice work. My review for this is under a different data point.
 
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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 …
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.
Quick Tip by . July 02, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
The ending was quite unexpectedly awesome.
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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Sean A. Rhodes ()
Ranked #7
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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Wiki

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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Details

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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