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.