With the modern IT coming out soon followed by The Dark Tower, it seemed to be a good time to look at the King adaptations. Like this revisit of Frank Darabont’s The Mist. I had reviewed this back in 2011 and decided to give it one more day in court. I am glad to go back and view The Mist. This time I had taken the advice of Rocket Film School and saw the movie in black and white. It was so much better.
This picture is the closest thing we have to a Lovecraftian feature film. In the horror society it is well known that Sir Stephen King holds H.P. Lovecraft in high regard. He has been loving up to that man for his entire career. I had always felt Cthulhu would have been genius on the big screen. In my wildest dreams I can picture Kubrick showing us a great Lovecraft story. Now I understand Ron Howard is working on something. Let's hope it is better than this...
The Mist is a movie about a small town that gets terrorized by alternate dimension monsters that hide in a thick mist. The movie doesn't focus on the monsters it focuses on the emotions of the people that had become trapped in this situation. The movie takes this small town that has grown up around each other and turns them on one and other. Even though the movie focuses on the group part of the film more than the horror part. It still has some decent gore with horrible CGI. You see this giant ??? outside, holding everyone inside of a supermarket. All we know is that this monster has tentacles that rip people to shit.
The initial paranoia that the movie begins with is great. The creeping fear that doesn't stop and can't be explained is perfect. Then they add terrible CGI monsters ruining the whole damn thing. The Mist was a huge disappointment but the noir style version I had watched made it more palatable. The acting wasn’t as horrible as I had remembered but it was far from perfect. What else would you expect from a Thomas Jane led film? Did anyone not learn anything at all from Punisher!? This movie is hot wind and nothing more. The scariest thing in the movie is not even the Monsters, it's the bible thumping psycho bitch that kills a military guy in a human sacrifice. What the hell... nuts.
The good is that the characters are pretty well flushed out. They just aren’t believable. The cast has a number of actors from The Walking Dead and a few that appeared in other King works like William Sadler, Frances Sternhagen, Jeffrey DeMunn and Andre Brauer. Not to mention Thomas Jane himself who had also been in Dreamcatcher. A movie that I expect has ties to this one. Both dealing with similar looking creatures being hunted by a covert arm of the military. Both movies taking place in the King multiverse is just more evidence.
Also, I cannot stress enough that this black and white thing is far superior. The black and white makes me appreciate the shots. It’s lovely aside from the CGI. Which is better but still horrible. The movie has a very minimal soundtrack, and that adds to the impending dread and despair but the music it uses is pretentious and exceedingly melodramatic. The worst part about the movie has to be the ending though. The ending... The damn ending. A horrible display of wrapping this nasty excuse up by copping out and wasting everyone. There are no incentives for any of the evil acts that take place.The survivors kill themselves leaving Thomas Jane the only survivor. Just as a tank strolls past and the mist clears up, revealing troops killing the monsters. I am expected to believe that the survivors drove on however much gasoline. Across highways and strange roads. Only to commit suicide and be passed by truckloads of survivors from THEIR TOWN! Did the armed forces follow them? They roamed across highways, freeways and fire roads but nevertheless the military found them! I can’t even.
Director: Frank Darabont
Producer: Frank Darabont, Martin Shafer and Liz Glotzer
Writer: Frank Darabont
Starring: Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden, Andre Braugher and William Sadler.
Studio: Dimension Films, Darkwoods Productions and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date: November 21, 2007
Country: United States
Did Ya Know: Frank Darabont agreed to make the film with Dimension only under the condition that no matter what, they wouldn't change the scripted ending. They agreed.(WHAT!?) This is the same director as The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile (WHAT!?) The movie actually got pretty good marks from different websites.