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The Mist (2007)

Written by: Frank Darabont
Directed by: Frank Darabont
Starring: Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, and Laurie Holden
Reviewed by: Matt Kenary

I read Stephen King’s novella “The Mist” back when I was teenager and I consider it one of my favorite short stories, but adapting King’s horror to the big screen has not always been to successful,  other than “Carrie” and “The Shining”, it’s been pretty much hit or miss, ironically his non-horror adaptations have fared so much better.  Before I begin this review,  I must comment on the controversial ending;  most Stephen King fans hated it, cried blasphemy and thought it ruined the whole film, I, on the other hand, loved it and I’ll leave it at that.

After an unusually strong lightning storm that creates an unusual mist on the lake,  David Drayton (Thomas Jane) takes his son and neighbor into town to pick up supplies to help with the cleanup of the post-storm mess.  While at the local Food Mart, a bloodied man runs in screaming “There’s something in the mist” at this point, the mist has surrounded the store entrapping all who were inside.  No one exactly knows what’s in the mist and no one wants to go outside to find out, but we soon do and what’s waiting in the mist are freaky looking prehistoric creatures from god knows where.  Even though a good part of the story has to do with dealing with these creatures and the mist from the outside and keeping them out,  the real horror come from inside the store where paranoia, irrational behaviors, betrayal, and religion overshadow the need for one’s own  survival.  David Drayton finally has to make a decision whether he and his son should stay in the store or take their chances outside with the mist.
Director Frank Darabont ( Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile)  strikes a home run with “The Mist”.  He seemed to set out to have a little fun with this and it pays off in a big way.  He assembles a stellar cast, most of who you may recognize if you watch Darabont’s  A&E series “the Walking Dead”.  Highlighted performances by Marcia Gay Harden, as the over the top religious zealot Mrs. Carmody and by Toby Jones as the mild manner bagger who seemed to grow a pair once the “you know what” hits the fan.  Thomas Jane is great as our protagonist and shows off some mad emotional  skills during the finale. Durabont was wise to keep most of the action with the creatures hidden in the mist or just out of sight so that when they do appear it leaves a bigger impact to the suspense and makes it all worth the wait.  The CGI wasn’t bad and at times quite good and effective, making for some real outlandish looking monsters that would make even the most harden horror fan avoid anything that may resemble a mist or fog in the future.  “The Mist”  was well acted and extremely fun to watch and well worth your time.  I just hope you like the ending.  I give a 3 guy out of 3.
3guys copy

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • scottydynamite August 28, 2013, 7:37 am

    High Praise for this one Matt, I remember seeing it but not being that impressed, I will have to take another look at it.

  • Adam August 28, 2013, 8:35 am

    Nice write up Matt, I have not seen this one in some time. I do recall enjoying it but not as much as the short story/novella? While the ending is different, I don’t know if I would call it better or worse just not the same. Now I want to give this one a re-watch.

    • Adam August 28, 2013, 9:54 am

      Damn it this is not streaming for free anywhere ;-(

    • Matt Kenary August 28, 2013, 10:44 am

      I liked the Stephen King ending alot, I just think I liked this one because I didn’t expect it, probably because the rest of the movie followed the novella pretty closely and I duped myself thinking that the end would follw suit.

  • Griff August 28, 2013, 9:59 am

    Nice write up Matt. I never read the book so I don’t really have an opinion on the ending versus the book but I did think it was pretty intense. I don’t know if I 3 guys enjoyed this one but I did like it more than I thought I would. It is definitely the dynamics going on inside the store that make this movie and not the creature from another dimension.

    • scottydynamite August 28, 2013, 10:09 am

      I enjoyed the film from what I remember but a rewatch is in order, high ranking horror movie over the last 10 years have been few and far between.

    • Matt Kenary August 28, 2013, 10:42 am

      I saw it at the Theater and I remember leaving thinking that i hadn’t had that much fun watching a movie in an age. Daramont does Stephen King well!

  • mummbles August 28, 2013, 10:05 am

    I am glad you enjoyed this one! I know a lot of people dont like the ending but I thought it was one of the most shocking endings and was somethig I havent seen before, to me this makes it amazing. When I see something new it in cinema I appreciate it. Thought this was a well done movie, I own it

    • Matt Kenary August 28, 2013, 10:46 am

      I don’t think it got the props it deserved when it was released.

  • Dan O. August 28, 2013, 1:24 pm

    Good review Matt. That twist does catch you off-guard, but it doesn’t feel cheap at all. It’s just what would probably happen, and adds more irony on to the whole product.

  • Joseph Sikes August 28, 2013, 6:27 pm

    Hey Scotty,
    I agree wholeheartedly with you on this one. When I first watched this
    I couldn’t help but wonder why it didn’t get the props it deserved, as Mr.kenary stated in his post. To me, the mist is one of the best screen adaptations of a King novel. Great review and it’s nice to see The Mist get its due respect.

  • Joseph Sikes August 28, 2013, 6:32 pm

    My bad! GREAT REVIEW MATT!!! Apparently my attention is drawn to that cute pic of Scotty:) at the intro of your review, Matt.

  • Sir Phobos August 28, 2013, 7:21 pm

    Good stuff. The only thing I’d add is that the black and white version is FAR superior IMO. It looks amazing.

    • Matt Kenary August 29, 2013, 11:28 am

      No Doubt, I got the black and white version and I prefer it to the other.

    • Monkeyboy August 30, 2013, 12:09 pm

      I’ve heard of the black and white version, but never seen it. Is it on the DVD/blu-ray?

  • Thomas August 28, 2013, 8:40 pm

    Well put, I agree with your assessment that it’s on the upper end of Stephen Kind adaptations. Darabont seems to be the guy who never messes up, but also hardly ever finds a very new way of telling the King story. Still pretty good, especially as some form of nostalgic reference to classic genre pieces such as The Birds or The Fog.
    My notes from back when: http://thomas4cinema.com/2008/03/17/the-mist-darabont-2008/

  • Tim The Film Guy August 30, 2013, 10:02 am

    Loved this film, Also loved the ending. I read the book and do like something different when things get adaptations :D

  • Table9Mutant August 31, 2013, 5:26 pm

    Great review! I actually REALLY liked this film. I’m a huge fan of Stephen King but so many of the big screen adaptations are pretty poor (yet I always make sure to watch every single one). I also liked the ending but the friend I recommended this to did NOT. She’s still mad at me for it. ;-)

    • Matt Kenary September 10, 2013, 5:19 am

      Thanks, it’s funny how movie can affect people. Most people I know hated the ending.

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