The Mist Reviews
Its not scary but it does get you thinking and you wanna know more. Where do the creatures actually come from? why the fog? how do the humans get rid of them? what are they? etc...it begs for more info. The cast is cheesy as is the screaming snacks that are the residents and its all very predictable and cliched. Still its a fun film that begs for a sequel really. Oh and the ending is pretty much a downer haha you'll either love it or hate it but its different :)
The film is loaded with B-sci-fi supernatural horror elements, but it doesn't have the complete feel of that sort of thing. It's really a pretty good study of human nature in the face of crisis and disaster that just happens to feature all manner of weird and creepy creatures, usually of the prehistoric, insect, and arachnid-esque varieties.
The production values are terrific. The film is overflowing with an eerie atmosphere, creepy mood, and dark tone, and there's an abundance of tension, suspense, and some genuine shocks and scares. The gore effects, when presents look great, and the spooky stuff is really effective. The creatures, when shown briefly, from a distance, and not clearly, look great. When seen closer up, with more clarity, and for more than a few glimpses, they don't look as good, and it makes me wish the CGI could have been a little less fake looking. Practical effects would have been better.
As far as acting goes, well, Thomas Jane is the main protagonist- a typical square jawed everyman just trying to be as practical as he can, even if his choices don't always work out. He does a decent job, but it kinda feels a little thankless, and he almost seemed too rugged and not ordinary enough. Marcia Gay Harden is a scene stealer as the typical unhinged religious zealot, and she does decently enough given the material, but at times things get a little too nutty and over the top. Andre Braigher is a good actor, but his character seemed a little wasted and got on my nerves. For me though, a couple of the best crowd pleasing moments are provided by Toby Jones and Frances Sternhagen as the meek assistant manager of the supermarket and an elderly schoolteacher, respectively.
As far as plot speculation about the origins of the events go, they're okay, but didn't grab me as much as they probably should have. I think I would have been happier with a lot more ambiguity. Not necessarily on the level of The Birds, but that wouldn't have been a bad place to try for. The ending is significantly different from the one that closes out the Stephen King novella this is based on, but, even thought I haven't read that, the change makes for one hell of a shocker.
All in all, this is pretty solid. Darabont has made (to date) 4 feature films, three of them being adaptations of Stephen King stories, with this one being the only one that delivers typical King stuff as opposed to his less frequent, but still good "straight" work. The film has subtext and tries to be more than just schlock, and that's fine. It's not great, but it is pretty entertaining and very watchable, despite it's shortcomings. I give it a strong B.
The Mist is probably my favorite Stephen King adaptation. When military experimentation opens a door to another dimension, a small town in the northeast U.S. is swiftly and completely blanketed by a thick fog. A fog inhabited by terrifying creatures that may mean the end of everything. A group of people trapped inside a supermarket must then try to survive dangers both external and internal.
Since this is based on a King story, you know that there's going to be more to it than just monsters killing humans. Conflict between the people in the store is just as much of a threat as the horrors of the mist, and outsiders versus the town natives and misguided fanaticism brought about by fear are two of the major themes of the plot. It's nice when a horror movie is interesting beyond the usual shocks and gore, and that's one of the strong points of The Mist.
I thought the creature designs were good, if not amazing. They looked suitably frightening for the most part, and the actors did a good job of reacting to the beasts, which is always important with CG creatures. Another strong (and very King-esquire) point was the ending, which was absolutely fantastic. I think this would be worth seeing for the ending, alone.
The Mist gets a full recommendation from me. It's horrifying (if you have a aversion to spiders like me, you will be permanently scarred), and has that trademark Steven King vibe that elevates it beyond typical horror. It's been a few years since the first time I've seen it, but it still was just as entertaining the second time around. That's about the best compliment that a horror movie can get.
Review, TBC...for realz.
Driving through the mist, David returns home to find his home destroyed and his wife dead. She has fallen victim to the spider-like creatures.
Heartbroken, he drives the group south, witnessing the destruction left in the wake of the mist and encountering a tentacled beast towering hundreds of feet high. Eventually, they run out of gas without finding any other survivors. While Billy is sleeping, the four adults accept their fate, deciding that there is no point in going any further. With four bullets left in the gun and five people in the car, David shoots Amanda, Dan, Irene, and his son, Billy, to spare them a more violent death by the creatures.
Sobbing, he attempts to shoot himself with the now-empty gun before exiting the vehicle to let the creatures in the mist take him.
He hears what sounds like a creature moving toward him, but it is soon revealed as a self-propelled artillery vehicle, followed by a large contingent of soldiers equipped with NBC suits and flamethrowers.
As the mist parts, several trucks filled with survivors pass David; among them the mother whom nobody from the store would escort and her two children. Realizing that the killings were needless, David falls to his knees screaming while two soldiers watch him in confusion.