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The Mist

A horror movie.

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Disturbing things in the Mist

  • May 30, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+5
Pros: Just about everything.

Cons: Depends on whether or not you handle scary movies.

The Bottom Line: Don't be an idiot and watch this at night in the dark like I did (though at least I had another person with me).

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.

Every year, for some reason, even though I don’t like scary movies, one happens to come out that catches my interest. Most of the time, they actually don’t scare me all that much, but there have been a handful that will keep me up and night and thinking back on them…well I’ll be danged. I just realized they’ve all been Stephen King movies. This year I wanted to see The Mist, not because it looked scary (that’s a given), but because it looked like a good movie.

Ohboy.

The Story
After a nasty, nasty storm, David Drayton checks out the damage to his house with his wife and son. It’s a bummer, but nothing that can’t be fixed. Then they notice something strange. A thick fog is rolling down from the mountains, coming their way. But hey, it’s just fog right? Leaving the wife home, David heads to town with his young son and neighbor in order to get some food and supplies needed to fix up the house. But while inside, the mist rolls in, engulfing the store and everything around it. That might not be too weird – except a bizarre earthquake-like vibration strikes the store and a man from the town runs in, blood on his shirt and yelling about something in the mist.

It’s soon clear that there is something, or more than one thing, in the mist. The people inside the store try to compose themselves and figure out what to do, without any help from Ms. Carmondy, a woman declaring that this is the final judgement and God demands blood and sacrifice for everyone’s sins. David only wants to keep his son safe and make sure his wife is okay, but between the monsters in the mist and the monsters people are turning into as they begin to freak out on one another in the store, it doesn’t look good.

Holy Freaking Crap
I actually watched this movie at least a month ago but the next few days I couldn’t bring myself to review it. Why? Because this movie bothered me. I mean, it seriously bothered me. And not in just a “that was a freaky movie” way like watching Aliens when I was 10 did, but because of the other aspects of the movie and mulling over them too much. I probably shouldn’t have, but I did, and it really got to me. One thing was all the God stuff from Ms. Carmody—not that Judgment Day is around the corner or anything, but more like what if something like that ever actually happened—what of God then? Just how royally screwed would we be? Another thing is the possibility of that happening. While that is likely to be beyond rare, the fiction I write deals with, well, where and how this mist came from and frankly, the idea is scary as hell.

The last thing has to do with the crazy good acting and just what happened to all those people, all the way up to the end. Ugh, it was just FREAKISH, the whole thing. And it’s not like the monsters were purposely malicious (that we know of), but more like doing their natural thing, like some idiot guy walking too close to a lion and getting eaten. When one poor guy gets dragged out by some tentacled creature (and that in itself seems to take forever, the poor sonofa…) man, he does remarkable because his fear just pours out of the movie and into your room. Or what a small group finds in another store—just, damn. Ugh. And then there’s the end. Disturbing, to say the least.

Actors, Effects, Story
Like I said above, the acting here is really impressive. These people are reacting to nothing since all the creatures are CGI but boy do they do a good job of it. Thomas Jane (The Punisher) is David Drayton and while the way he was written made David look like he was making really bad decisions sometimes (he just didn’t seem as sharp as he was in the original story), Jane does a fantastic acting job, especially when the end rolls around. Nathan Gamble plays Billy Drayton, David’s son. That kid can act too—some child actors aren’t convincing when they cry or say their lines, but this kid hit home runs every time. And as normal as Marcia Gay Harden is in everything else, as Ms. Carmody here, she’s truly a horrible, likely crazy person. She pulls it off so well, you’ll probably want to shoot her yourself.

Everyone else does a fine job of getting you to care about them, exactly what’s needed to punch up the impact when people are suddenly and often violently killed. Most of the time death comes via a CGI creature, and overall I was pleased with what I saw. Most of the time I’m annoyed with CGI, but I think coupled with the acting, even the few times when it seemed like the images weren’t quite at their best, it wasn’t too big of a deal because I was too caught up in the action to whine about the style not being perfect.

The story is pretty much the same as the book, with changes made here and there, mostly for more shock factor. If you haven’t read the book, that’s fine. Seeing the action definitely has more impact than reading it and I’m also glad that the sex in the book was cut out of the movie, otherwise it would have seemed utterly ridiculous. I do with that this had left out more of Ms. Carmody because she got irritating and no one ever asked her the right questions, which drove me nuts.

As for music, there wasn’t a whole lot, but when it was around, it was pretty effective, doing just enough work to help enhance a particular scene.

The Ending (not a spoiler)
There are a lot of people out there knocking the ending. I’m not going to tell you what it is (duh), but I have to tell you that 50% of it satisfies and 50% of it is that really sinking feeling of “Ooh that SUCKS” in a way that I think only Stephen King can give you. For me, I think people who don’t like it should consider what they would have done in that situation. Would you seriously sit around and wait for some nightmarish creature eat you or God forbid, do something worse? While I would have never, ever ventured into the mist, if placed in the same final spot as the characters on the screen, it’s very likely I would have ended up the same way, so I can appreciate the ending.

While it isn’t the same ending as the novella's, I tend to like the movie ending better, as the novella’s was rather ambiguous as to whether the characters would make it and if the creatures in the mist would be defeated.

Overall
This movie freaked me right out. Don’t let your kids see this—it’s really not kid-friendly at all. Violent, disturbing, and more than what I expected, actually. Did it’s job though, that’s for flippin’ sure. I refused to watch it again—but in this case that means it was good.

NT

Random Trivia: Check out what David is working on in the beginning. Anyone familiar with Stephen King’s work will know exactly what it is, hehe.

Recommended:
Yes

Viewing Format: VHS
Suitability For Children: Not suitable for Children of any age

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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.
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 …
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Nicole ()
Ranked #72
Age: 27 Currently: Freelancing my butt off and querying my other novel, Blood for Wolves. Who likes seriously factured fairy tales? =D      Like books? Then take it from a real, live … more
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About this movie

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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