The Mist (2007)
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My most memorable, movie moment of "The Mist" is the scene when 5 survivors trapped in a vehicle make a shocking decision. More on this below.
I have read the novella and thought it a brilliant piece of writing. But the movie version is...far from brilliant. Two things prevented it from being great. First: Thomas Jane is completely wrong for the part of the main character. His superhero looks had no place in this story. The main character was a regular person forced to do extraordinary things under a tremendous amount of pressure and fear. Jane was completely out of his element as he wasn't believable at all when he tried to look afraid. I was expecting him to suddenly walk around with his Punisher shirt on, blasting the creatures with a large, automatic rifle and saving the whole world. Second: the ending. I understand some of the logic that went to the decision that was made in the vehicle; but there was another option. And the aftermath of that decision? Depending on your values and point of view, you will either be horrified and stunned, or start to laugh. And the fact that the ending can produce laughter tells me that it was the wrong ending to put in this movie.
The creatures were great though.
As the film progresses, the tension rises. Some of the people decide to chance their arm and venture out; their fates vary. Others are influenced by a religious fanatic who gradually convinces them that the mist, and whatever it contains, is God's work and turns them against the 'non-believers'; violence ensues and one begins to wonder whether those inside the store are just as monstrous as what lies outside. The discovery of the origin of the mist adds yet another element to the story.
The film limits the use of background music and also of special effects. Some nasty creatures do appear but a good part of the horror is due to not seeing too much, just the results of interaction between people and the hidden monsters and knowing that something very nasty lurks in that all-pervading mist.
This a very good horror film, one of the best I've ever seen, and its ending is probably as shocking as that of any film ever made; as realisation of the truth dawns, it becomes truly heartbreaking. It's a well earned 9 that will keep most viewers pinned to their seats and some hiding behind the sofa.
You will recognize all King's main ideas. First, after a storm during the night, on the following day, all the damage is measured and checked and there is a lot. The main family, the father is an artist, have been severely impacted and they foresee some problem with the next door neighbor because one of his trees has destroyed their wooden pier on the lake. They discover then that from the other side of the lake a mist is rising. They nevertheless go to the town to get some groceries. The father and the son go and they take the next door neighbor who is black and whose car was destroyed by one of his trees. We will learn later on he is a New York Lawyer.
When they are in the store the mist arrives and something inside that mist attacks person and the store.
The film emphasizes a lot some reactions, particularly the reaction of a lady who is claiming she is the vessel of God. At first she is more or less disregarded, neglected even rejected, but after the first attacks or signs of the beast in the mist she will manage to make the majority of the customers in the store believe it is the punishing hand of God and she will manage to orient the anger of these people into a galvanized hatred of some individuals requiring some punishment, purification and then human sacrifice, and more particularly of a child, the only child in the store, the son of the artist. Stephen King has always been vocal against religious fundamentalists, but here Darabont seems to have increased the trait.
The second feature you will recognize is that this mist is caused by some extreme research of some armed forces close at hand in a base doing some research on the forms of life in parallel worlds and their attempt to open a window between our world and theirs. The storm was so violent that it disrupted the security and protection and the window became an open door and the mist brought along a whole set of some kinds of giant predators of insect or alien types. Flying insects, running and crawling insects, giant monstrosities in which many species are crossed from insect to octopus exhibiting the practice of the famous cinematographic Aliens that lay their eggs in living organisms that will die when the eggs hatch. That's more or less added to Stephen King's novella.
The third element is the systematic supremacist approach of many, most people in this crowd against the only black man, the only artist, all those who have witnessed the first attack in the back and pushed it away with one victim, a bag boy, who was dragged away. These supremacists just pretend this is irrational and absurd, a lie and a bad taste prank. It is not white supremacy that is dealt with here but the general state of mind of many people in a fearful and frightening situation: they look for the minority people around them and accuse them of being responsible for the problem. The worst supremacist in this crowd is, of course, the female guru and preacher announcing the apocalypse and reading the Book of Revelation. Anyone who is not on her side is against God and all those who are against God are responsible for the anger of God and have to be sacrificed, purified, etc.
This supremacist ideology is used by some to capture influence and power but it can only develop on the basis of some frustration and fear, mostly as a collective mood. This is marvelously developed and demonstrated in this film. Here again, it goes probably slightly farther than what I remember from the original novella.
But the main change is the end. In Stephen King's novella, everything went back to normal in the morning, more or less, but here certainly not. The presence of military forces to recapture the territory by burning it all and rescuing the few survivors is in line with some Kingian elements but it is pushed farther than even what King does in The Stand. I won't tell more about it: you have to discover it yourself.
The film is very good as for most of the special effects, even if some props seem to be a little bit cheap. The creatures are perfect and have so many designs and structures that they are in many ways effective, or would be with any younger audience. All animals that are despised and rejected by humans out of fear or disgust are used here, small and big. What do I say, big, giant of course is the proper word, out-worldly? Some are marvelously creative.
Entertaining and yet also dense with meaning. This film will entertain a moonless night of yours when a tempest has cut off power and the next door river or lake have submerged the ground floor of your house. Take refuge in the attic on the third level and use your satellite dish to get the film from the cloud and a small generator to get electricity. Be prepared in one word. Just build a four-yard- high translucid wall of some indestructible fiber all around your territory to keep undesired aliens out. And just have some kind of dome on top that can be raised when necessary. If you have one or two cubic meters of liquid oxygen, you will be able to survive more than a week.
In other words, VIVA LA MUERTE! But for people outside your tribe only.
Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU
See, it is a typical-apocalyptic-movie. Had it not been for the ending, I would grump for the waste of time about the rest of the movie which is, Let's say "Hide 'n Seek". You have a bunch of people surrounded in the mall trying to survive, limiting the entire environment of the movie to a certain mall. Then you have under- powered human beings trying to fight a supernatural prowess. The idea of the movie was pretty simple and anybody can come up with that, also with such plot, but there are a few points here and there which were subtle but valid, and the major point was : Don't mess with Mother Nature, I guess ?
At first, I thought it's a Christian-ish propaganda with that woman's shouting out biblical verses, but then, no, the plot changes. It also explained how primitively lunatic people can get when they are facing the apocalypse. I don't really know if this is exactly a horror movie, because I cannot count how many times I had jump-scares, I suppose only 1, more or less.
The bad thing is, I am used to such horror, and I have seen many things coming a few minutes before, only then did I know it was none other than an average plot.
The pros of this movie would be : The ending and the fine screenplay and script
The cons are too many to cite, I wish they had shortened the movie to 1h30mn instead of 2 hours, removing all the fruitless and underwhelming scenes. Also, the movie tried to build sympathy for people who die, but it didn't work out quite well.
You see, even the ending is flawed, I can't buy why the dude killed "them", including his kid... and then "The Mist" seems to be resolved and there, you got yourself trolled. However, this is not the only time the Movie had been illogical, it ticked me off several times because of the lack of logic.
There is nothing I would complain about music or acting, they were pretty average and I wouldn't really consider criticizing.
Pretty much more to say, but too long a review I guess... 6/10.
There are two things which have (in my opinion) made this movie far less interesting to watch, and not exploit this awesome idea to its fullest potential. The first thing being cinematography, which i think is to blame for every line that seems like a cliché, and every shot that feels like composition 101. And I'm not even talking about graphics. which is "a pinch over acceptable", and truly suits a B movie. The second thing is the "science vs religion" thing, which this movie gradually develops into. It's a big distraction from the real problem and draws the focus towards what's inside, as opposed to the actual problem of what's outside. I've re-watched this movie many times, and every time i tried my best to forget about its flaws. This is a good movie with an ingenious idea asking for a better remake.
Being one who finds interest in being disturbed/depressed, I was intrigued to watch this film.
The film displayed its quality through its cinematography and camera-work, which was very note-worthy. However, this aspect diminishes as the first act ends.
The first issue I noticed was the acting and casting choices, I'm fed up with big Hollywood films always choosing the 'hottest' actors to play the most mundane roles. And that proved to be a great offender for this film.
The acting for the majority of the film is terrible, the only exception being Toby Jones's performance which fit his role. Every actor didn't display much emotion in their face especially when in the most deepest emotions a human could be.
The visuals are very bland, the typical Horror colours are utilised. Although the biggest drawback to this aspect are the CGI effects, which aren't convincing and look abysmal. Some of the CGI effects don't include any lighting to blend the CGI in with the environment, leaving the effects to appear non-existent in the scene.
There are a few practical effects that look convincing, however they're barely in the film, and become very noticeable due to the terrible contrast between the CGI and practical effects.
The biggest offender to me is the script, the characters have barely any character development, so your investment and care in them are nearly non-existent. In addition to this, these characters make the most inhuman decisions they could possibly make in the context the film displays to us.
All of these aspects helped create a dumb Hollywood film that was unintentionally entertaining, the dumb decisions and actions that took place in these scenarios made the film hilarious and annoyingly dumb. The stale, unrealistic, and synthetic acting ensured hilarity in the scenes that attempted relate-ability and emotion.
However, despite the overwhelming amount of problems the film redeems some of its problems with its twist ending, the music and tone is perfect for the situation. The ending was what saved this film from being an unintentionally hilarious Hollywood horror.
CONS: There is only one con that I could find in the movie and it is kind of a nit picky one. I really wished they would've explained where the mist came from. I don't know where they would've added that, but I felt it could've been important. I guess it left me thinking, which is good, but I wanted more clarification.
For one, Thomas Jane feels miscast as the film's protagonist, David Drayton, a freelance artist. In fact, he almost single-handedly ruins the film's ending because he makes it nearly impossible to take him seriously. The misfire of his casting stands out both because of his somewhat wooden performance and for the simple reason that everyone else in the cast fits their role like a glove. Marcia Gay Harden delivers an excellent performance as Mrs. Carmody, a fanatical Christian who believes that the mist signifies the coming of the apocalypse. Playing the film's despicable antagonist, Harden delivers stellar work, demonstrating that sometimes the real monster isn't lurking around in the shadows, but rather standing right next to you. Toby Jones also turns in a solid performance as Ollie Weeks, the assistant manager of the store, gradually transforming from a seemingly meek individual to one of Drayton's essential allies as the rift between Drayton's group and Carmody's followers grows. Even Laurie Holden, who has often been slighted for her role as Andrea in AMC's The Walking Dead manages to deliver. Playing Amanda Dumfries, an elementary school teacher, Holden makes the most of her somewhat limited material. Apart from Drayton, the rest of these characters lack depth, but the performers make for a saving grace.
The film does tackle some thought-provoking ideas and themes, examining the way human beings react to extreme situations. Considering the film's release a decade ago, Darabont prominently focuses on the rift that forms between the aforementioned groups, which serves as an obvious parallel for the Bush-era conflict between Christian, right-wing thinking and more secular, left-wing ideology. While it wouldn't have hurt to portray the groups with a bit more nuance (the division between the two becomes entirely too clear), Darabont deserves credit for his willingness to make a horror film with more than just scares on its mind. But as for the horror, that's where Darabont's film excels. There are genuine moments of dread and terror throughout, as the groups in the supermarket deal with both the creatures of the mist and themselves. And Darabont accomplishes this by establishing a convincingly ominous atmosphere rather than relying on jump scares. The film feels like a monster movie from the '50s, and I really wish I could have been able to watch the B&W version.
However, Darabont's writing falters when compared to his directing. About halfway through the film, a romance scene occurred between two minor characters that felt incredibly jarring considering that the majority of the film had focused on Drayton up to that point. Furthermore, the next time we see these characters, one of them immediately dies at the hands of the creatures, as Darabont seems to believe that a shoehorned romance scene mere moments prior will be enough to raise the emotional stakes of their death. It just doesn't work though and feels more like lazy storytelling than anything else. Now I can't comment on how much development King's original novella offers for these two characters, but considering Darabont's willingness to tweak the ending, he could have fleshed out the relationships between these characters more. And as for that ending, I can't say that I necessarily agree with it. Darabont's conclusion delves into far darker territory than that of the novella's, creating a genuinely shocking moment. I do appreciate that he didn't deliver a forced happy ending. But his ending, one so ruthlessly bleak and nihilistic, probably should have been scrapped in favor of the ambiguity that the original ending provides.
I wish that I hadn't been left slightly disappointed by The Mist. While there's plenty to enjoy, from the taut scares to the retro '50s vibe and the generally solid performances, storytelling problems and the soul-crushing ending hold it back from entering the upper echelon of King adaptations.
Rating: 7/10 (Good)
Which brings me to "The Mist": I absolutely hated this movie. I didn't mind the plot at all -- in fact it seemed quite promising, and I enjoyed the movie for the first 45 minutes or so. But eventually the mind-numbing stupidity of the characters dragged this movie down to the point of farce, with each successive turn to gore seeming like a more and more desperate attempt just to keep the audience interested.
Everyone is well aware of the cliché behaviorisms of horror movie characters, but that's nothing compared to the ridiculous decisions and reactions showcased throughout this movie. By the end, I was flat- out heckling the main characters:
"Hey guys! This sure is a horrifyingly dangerous situation. We should probably wait around for another minute or two before trying to escape it!"
"Say, I foresee that this small annoyance might actually turn into an existential threat in a day or two." "I agree. Let's try to ignore it for as long as possible."
Fittingly, the movie's iconic glass storefront provides the perfect example of this inexplicable behavior. After recognizing it as their one major point of vulnerability, the characters proceed to essentially build a sandbag wall along the bottom half of the glass, and... that's it. The top half is left completely untouched, without so much as a couple strips of duct tape to keep it from shattering - - as if all those terrifying monsters would be unable to negotiate a three-foot stack of dog food.
It's hard to convey the full essence of this inexplicable behavior without providing significant spoilers, but after watching the movie for yourself you should be able to pick up these threads over the entire movie. I don't recommend doing so of course -- I'm angry enough that I can't get this two hours of my life back.
Having watched this movie I find myself questioning where the $18,000,000 budget was spent. In fairness, it has some very good acting in it, particularly from Marcia Gay Harden as the bible spouting fear mongering woman who creates hysteria amongst the folk trapped inside the store in order to survive. She is the only character in the movie who gives it any kind of real tension for my money. The special effects in the early part of the film were hilarious - up until that moment I had hoped the film would deliver as per the reviews and ratings here. Alas, the first special effect spelt the end of any credibility this film might have had. The film might have succeeded if it had been directed in such a way that no creatures were necessary, the kind of suspense Hitchcock could drum up just using style and tension to leave the dark larking in the mist as a figment of our imagination. Instead, some moments in the film were laugh out loud ridiculous. Avoid it!
A so-so horror movie, directed and written by Frank Darabont and based on a novel by Stephen King. Darabont's first two movies were brilliant and among the best films of the 1990s. I am, of course, referring to The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. In 2001 he directed The Majestic, also superb, yet criminally underrated.
Unlike his first two movies, The Majestic was not based on a Steven King novel and was not written by Darabont. For The Mist, his fourth (and, to date, last), he goes back to his original formula -
adapt and direct a Stephen King book/short story.
The result is not close to being in the same league as his first three movies. Largely a common-or-garden creature-horror film, this has nothing of the depth of those three movies. There are a few interesting themes - mob mentality and religious zealousness to the fore - but these are at best tertiary to the horror-thriller element.
The plot is not helped by some incredibly irritating characters and a general feeling of disengagement.
Due to the themes, ends up slightly better than your average horror movie, but that doesn't say much. It's easily the weakest genre.
Really bad ending. Destroys the whole film
There will be spoilers in this review.
The movie is a lousy f*****g waste of time with laughable CGI and plenty of it! In fact so much that the movie is painful to watch and not in anyway scary, the only scary thing about this film is that they don't gag the f*****g preacher lady or kick her square in the p***y.
I was just robbed 2 hours of my life and you can do so too! Don't watch it. It sucks. And it is f*****g boring as well.
The creature designs are nice though, at least some of them.
Just don't watch.