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The Mist (2007)

  Tags: Alexa Davalos, Amin Joseph, Andre Braugher, Brian Libby, Frances Sternhagen, Frank Darabont, Jeff DeMunn, Laurie Holden, Marcia Gay Harden, Sam Witwer, Stephen King, The Mist, Thomas Jane, Toby Jones

Your rating: None Average: 6.8 (12 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
7

themist.jpg
Rating #: 
7/10
Director: 
Frank Darabont
Runtime: 
127 minutes
Cast: 
Thomas Jane, Andre Braugher, Laurie Holden, Amin Joseph, Frances Sternhagen, Alexa Davalos, Sam Witwer, Jeff DeMunn, Brian Libby, Marcia Gay Harden, Toby Jones


For once I’ve read the story before actually seeing the movie, but as fate would have it, I really don’t remember much of anything from the story, considering I read it so many years ago. Originally released as part of the Stephen King horror anthology entitled Dark Forces in 1980, it was then re-released as part of the Skeleton Crew collection of short stories in 1984, which is where I discovered it back in high school (though not in the 80’s of course). The longest entry in the Skeleton Crew collection, it was also the story that stood out most, and I knew after reading it that it would make a great movie. Frank Darabont has reportedly expressed interest in turning King’s novella into a feature film since he first read it in the 80’s, but for one reason or another it never came to fruition until recently. However, before he reached this point, he went on to direct two other award-winning Stephen King adaptations: The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile.

The project has been discussed for years, and in 2005 it was supposedly finally given the go-ahead from the studio, but for some reason filming didn’t actually begin until early ’07. Since I don’t remember much from the original story, I can’t compare the two, but while watching the movie it was pretty clear that some things were changed, especially the ending, which became bleaker and dark compared to the original story. I personally didn’t care much for the new ending, but it was better than the Hollywood-style climax that we’re usually given. This film, much like in the story, takes place almost entirely in the supermarket, as we follow our hero and commercial artist David Drayton (Thomas Jane) and various other people, who are forced to survive from the creatures on the outside and the fanatics on the inside.

We’re given the usual group of people -- those who are more rational and refuse to accept the fact that there are creatures within the mist (and naturally die early on) and those that do believe the beasts, but refuse to accept that it’s the work of some sort of religious apocalypse. This is where our main antagonist comes into play – Mrs. Carmody – a religious fanatic who claims what’s happening is the work of a higher power and that they’re living in the “end of days.” After a couple of her rantings comes true, she gains the trust of a few followers within the market, and sure enough, the few turn into many and before they know it, the rest of the survivors are forced to fend off the fanatics after they claim that with the sacrifice of the young boy (and son of our hero) that the creatures will leave them all alone.

The film was surprisingly gory, but we’re also given some cheesy CGI effects when it came to a few of the insects and beasties. However, I did like how we never really got a good look at some of the larger creatures, as they were kept well hidden within the fog, leaving much to the imagination. I had problems with some of the earlier scenes that had an unnecessary zoom-in on certain individuals for essentially no reason. I learned later on that Frank hired the camera crew behind FX’s The Shield (fans of zooming in and shaking the camera) to handle some of the extra camera work, supposedly to give the film a grittier look and save time on the shooting schedule. Luckily the annoying zooming is only shown a few times during the movie. Other than that, the film was pretty solid.

For the most part (and from what I can remember) the movie stayed pretty true to the original story and is one of the better recent Stephen King horror adaptations (better than 1408 in my opinion). My eyes were glued to the screen from the start, and although I wasn’t a big fan of the ending, I liked how it shows that some modern films still have the balls to deliver and not-so-standard Hollywood climax.

Posted on March 22, 2010 - 7:10pm | FrighT MasteR

 

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