May 8th, 2008 | → 1 Comments | ∇ Films |

The Mist (2007)

by Ghastly McNasty

The Mist is based on a novella written by horror legend Stephen King back in 1990. Directed by Frank Darabont, director of King’s other works The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, who also co-wrote the screenplay with the big man himself, has made a few minor tweaks to the novel and a significant change to the films chilling conclusion.

The Mist Movie Poster

The townsfolk of Bridgton, Maine (I’m so glad I don’t live in Maine) experience a ferocious thunderstorm causing widespread damage. Artist David Drayton, his son, and estranged neighbour head to town the following morning to stock up on supplies at the local supermarket. When a strange mist suddenly sweeps in to town the locals find themselves trapped inside and fighting for their lives.

Many previous film adaptations of King’s work have fallen well short of the mark, the most notable exceptions being the 2 films directed by The Mist helmer Frank Darabont. I’m a huge Stephen King fan so I’m extremely pleased to report that Darabont has pulled off an amazing hat trick with this instalment. The Mist is a throwback to a twighlight zone type story, a cautionary ‘what happens if’ affair that leaves you on edge for a long time before revealing at least a possible cause for the mysterious events. It’s not breaking any new ground here and could be considered cheesy in places due to some second-rate acting and singular location. However, it reminds me affectionately of a 50’s B (Monster) Movie with modern CGI. A small town fighting off unknown creatures from another dimension. Perfect! The Cthulhu type creatures are a nod to H.P.Lovecraft and we are only allowed glimpses of the larger things in the mist when someone who leaves the building is brutally slain.

Stephen King's The Mist

As with many of King’s novels it’s us humans you really have to be careful of. The film initially creates the fear of something unknown outside in the mist. However, as the religious zealots attempt to take control of the bizarre situation we begin to realise that it’s just as dangerous to stay indoors as it is to head in to the mist. The power plays between the survivors to assume control of what’s left of their world is a key theme within this film. Especially as out hero is placed on the losing side of this battle. We are given the view that if the shit really does hit the fan, any form of safety or authority will be easily be overthrown by the fearful masses.

I’ve not read the book and was fortunate to not hear anything about this film prior to watching it. I’d like to say they don’t make films like this any more but apparently they do. An absolute rollercoaster of a movie experience that uses an unknown apocalypse to leave you feeling very vulnerable indeed. 9/10

by Ghastly McNasty

Theatre of Terror

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  • DonkeySpank, June 20, 2008:

    I loved the sound of this film. THE MIST. What potential – there could be just about anything “out there”, great stuff to chill our bones. Whilst the film does eventually pick up pace there’s an almost interminable amount of time spent on the characters, their paranoia and fears, their hopes and losses – yet we are still left feeling as though they’re all paper thin cliches. The movei is based on a Stephen King story and it shows. King’s character development and penchant for small-town busybodies/hicks in his novels is a giveaway “King-ism” and whilst they work very work on the page they have never translated well to the screen. Once the “baddies” start showing up (and there are waves upon ever-worsening wave of them) the story takes a turn for the better. There’s not much in terms of exposition or even an explanantion as to the origins of these ghoulies, but their inspiration is clear – these are Lovecraftian monstrosities on a leviathan scale!
    One of the strenghts of this movie is that it never really takes itself too seriously and I have to say that the ending… without giving too much away… is somewhat downbeat to say the least! Quite an enjoyable little movie, not much repeat viewing potential but worth a watch nonetheless. (Score 7/10)

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