The Mist is one of the scariest horror movies I have ever seen. The atmosphere is incredibly intense and menacing making you feel extremely uncomfortable. The entire movie feels like one big living nightmare. Mostly because of the mysterious nature of the threat and the familiarity of the situation. How many times have you been in such bad weather that you thought something else is going on here? Well, after this movie, that number will quickly start to rise. We will be following events in a small Maine town where a strange mist appeared after a heavy thunderstorm. And the mist seems to seems to be hiding something dangerous.
As you can already guess, since the story is taking place in a small town in Maine, the movie The Mist is based on a Stephen King novel. The man is a true master of horror, something he has proved time and time again. He’s not a good director though, something we could see with Maximum Overdrive. Frank Darabont, on the other hand, is one hell of a director. And he specializes in King adaptations, making such masterpieces as The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. He was interested in this particular novel since the early eighties, finally getting the chance to direct some 25 years later.
Starring Thomas Jane, a walking and talking neo-noir guy, and a decent supporting cast, The Mist is one of those movies that I just loved at first viewing. I mean, what was there not to love: closed environment, imminent threat, real-time flow and these are just the main elements. There’s also this Lovecraftian element present on which I won’t elaborate further. I want to keep things in the mist for you, not to spoil anything. Let’s just say there will be tentacles. Back to the cast, I’m sure you’re going to recognize most of these faces as this is one of those “ensemble cast” movies. Finally, do not confuse this movie, The Mist, with John Carpenter’s 1980 hit The Fog.
A heavy thunderstorm has hit a small town in Maine, bringing lots of rain and this strange, very thick mist. David Drayton does not like how this looks and decides to go to the supermarket along with his son and neighbor. However, when they get there, they will realize that this storm is much, much more dangerous than they thought…
Most of all, The Mist is a story about us, ordinary people. Ordinary people who find themselves in this extraordinary situation. This is usually a place where most of us show our true colors. So, basically, this is a story about humanity and how it came to be where it came to be. On the face of it, it’s so fucking unoriginal and generic that you might ask yourself why you should watch something like that. Well, the devil is in the details, as is so often the case. King and Darabont created a veritable monster here. A monster that’s going to chew you up and spit you out with ease. Much better than Dreamcatcher, featuring a similar kind of vibe with flashier visuals.
As is always the case with King movies, the dialogue was excellent. I especially loved the exploration of religion and herd mentality, two topics that go hand in hand. We should not forget that while all of these events are unfolding inside the supermarket, there’s a very real threat lurking outside. In that sense, you can see how in the hands of a less talented and skilled director, The Mist would turn out to be just a pedestrian creature feature. Although I do love movies where people have to board up and defend against creatures outside.
One can think of the Feast trilogy or even Tremors, as good examples. Not to mention all of the Romero’s Of The Dead movies. I do want to add that I take special pleasure in knowing that there are loads of people who expected The Mist to be exactly that. A mildly scary horror movie without the need for any kind of cerebral activity. And then they got to see this monstrosity featuring possibly one of the most impactful endings in movie history.
Director: Frank Darabont
Writers: Frank Darabont, Stephen King
Cast: Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden, Andre Braugher
Fun Facts: Frank Darabont agreed to make the film with Dimension only under the condition that no matter what, they wouldn’t change the scripted ending. They agreed.
IMDb Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0884328/