Monday, December 10, 2007

Movie Review: "The Mist"

If you are a Stephen King fan, you have probably been waiting a long time for his short story “The Mist,” which first appeared in the collection of short stories “Dark Forces,” first published in 1980.  I know when I read the story I was enthralled by the unnamable creatures in the mist.  Well now, you can see these creatures on the big screen.  I will warn you; this movie is not going to win a “feel-good” movie of the year award.  In fact, I will warn you and possibly spoil it for you by saying that, this movie has a very depressing end.

That being said, the movie does an excellent job of portraying the imagination and creepiness Stephen King created in the story.  The special effects are unique in that creatures had to be created that reflected various forms of life from insects, flying reptiles and extremely huge scorpions.  In addition, some creatures go beyond description.  It has been about 27 years since I read the story but I remember in the story that some of the creatures were left up to the imagination, and thankfully, the special effects on this do leave some to the imagination by hinting at a form in the mist.

The story goes that an artist, his wife and 8-year-old son go to the basement of their home when a severe electrical storm hits their area.  The next morning they wake up to damage from fallen trees and no electricity or phones.

As do most the locals, the artist and his son head to a supermarket to stock up on food and supplies to fix damages.  When they arrive at the store, the store has no electricity but generators are keeping the refrigerators cooling. 

The mist comes rolling into town and a local man comes screaming into the store saying something is in the mist.  He has a bloody nose and claims something knocked him down and took his friend.  The air raid sirens in the town go off and soon the mist envelopes the town and nothing can be seen through the windows.

The patrons then close all the doors and set to wait out the mist.  A generator’s exhaust becomes backed up and a kid volunteers to clear it.  Something with spiked tentacles grabs him and takes him from the hands of the artist.  The others who witness this say they must tell the others.  They decide to do so must have a respected person to side with them.  An attorney, who has a history with the artist, and not a good history, thinks they are joking with him and proceeds to ridicule them.
He then decides to take a few folks with him and walk out in the mist to find help.

This is where the action begins; a rope is tied to one man so he can find his way back.  The rope becomes taught and then takes off, as if attached to a kite, into the air.  Then goes slack and when pulled back has only half of the man that left.

Soon they begin blocking all windows and doors.  At this time, a local religious fanatic, Mrs. Carmody, begins street preaching, and the subject matter is that the mist is all a result of end of days, and God bringing down his wrath.

The movie then becomes creepy in how humanity begins to grasp at the unknown when faced with the unknown.  The religious fanatic begins talking of sacrifices to god to overcome the evil in the mist. 

Many creepy creatures and creepy looks at human behavior in this film, and once again an ending that is not, by any means, uplifting or hopeful.  However, a great Stephen King story turned to film is what you will get.  I was upset that Stephen King did not make his obligatory cameo as he has done with most of his films in the past. 

 Cast (in credits order)

  •     Thomas Jane    ...     David Drayton

  •     Marcia Gay Harden    ...     Mrs. Carmody

  •     Laurie Holden    ...     Amanda Dunfrey

  •     Andre Braugher    ...     Brent Norton

  •     Toby Jones    ...     Ollie Weeks

  •     William Sadler    ...     Jim Grondin

  •     Jeffrey DeMunn    ...     Dan Miller

  •     Frances Sternhagen    ...     Irene

  •     Alexa Davalos    ...     Sally

  •     Nathan Gamble    ...     Billy Drayton

  •     Chris Owen    ...     Norm

  •     Sam Witwer    ...     Wayne Jessup

  •     Robert C. Treveiler    ...     Bud Brown

  •     David Jensen    ...     Myron

  •     Jack Hurst    ...     Joe Eagleton (as Jackson Hurst)

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posted by Gil T. @ 3:18 PM Comments: 1