Movie Review- The Mist

Hi Folks,

So here we go again today, with what should have been yesterday but whatever we’re catching up and quick. For your second venture into my sick little world today we’re continuing the Shocktober festivities today with a wonderful little film called:

 

The Mist

 

Fast Facts

 

The Mist was made in 2007 and is based on the Stephen King short story of the same name. It’s directed by Frank Darabont who is pretty much the only guy who should make Stephen King movies, The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption to his credit.

 

There are two versions of the movie, the original theatrical version and then the black and white Director’s Choice cut. If you can get your hands on the black and white I recommend it, it enhances the mood. But if you can’t the color is still fantastic.

 

The Mist is a disaster/creature/psychological thriller, it centers around a group of people caught in a supermarket after a strange mist descends on a small New England town.

 

The Maine tourism board really has to have a talk with Mr. King

 

As the group tries to survive the catastrophe (and the monsters lurking within it) they are faced with even more frightening threats from within.

 

 

Cast

 

This is  truly and ensemble piece so I’m only going to give you the stand outs the entire thing is extremely well acted so these are the best of the best.

 

 

Parenthood is a bitch

Thomas Jane- Plays David Drayton our hero, and does a fantastic job as the concerned and deeply rational father trying to save his son from an unimaginable fate.

Pointing is rude

 

Marcia Gay Harden- If they ever gave Oscars to horror movies, ever Ms. Harden should have won one for this movie. She plays Mrs. Carmody the unstable town Jesus nut who believes what is happening is the wrath of a vengeful god and is hellbent on everyone suffering for it.

 

You'd think she would have learned after Silent Hill

Laurie Holden- Plays Amanda, a schoolteacher and fellow sane person to Thomas Jane.

 

He's the token...asshole actually

Andre Braugher- Plays Brent Norton, David’s New York lawyer neighbor who is rafting down de-nial at about 20 knots.

 

Let's go underdog

Toby Jones-Plays my favorite character. Ollie the oddly analytical grocery clerk, he is seriously about the most competent and badass character in the movie. Constantly pointing out helpful things like the fact that giant monsters wouldn’t likely have too much trouble breaking through the plate glass front of the store.

 

Oh yeah he's gonna stay rational

William Sadler- Plays Jim the local yokel who’s primary function is to go from hick asshole, to helpful follower to fanatical asshole. So yeah the commentary on disaster and group mentality.

 

Yeah my grandma can beat up your grandma...and her army of spiny acid shooting spider things

Frances Sternhagen- Plays Mrs. Reppler, who is one fucking awesome old lady. That is all.

 

 

Observations

 

As you may have gathered The Mist is somewhat hard to define, it is both a psychological thriller and a monster movie and a disaster flick and the good news is that it takes the best of those three genres and combines them into something much better than the sum of it’s parts.

First off the disaster angle, bunch of people trapped somewhere who can’t get out because of some overarching natural circumstance. These are always fun because you’re dealing with a situation which the main characters are powerless to resolve. There isn’t an option to just kill the aggressor and be done with it.

 

I wouldn't count on that rope doing much

The creature feature part is pretty self explanatory; there are giant people eating things in the mist. The creatures are a mix of CGI and puppets, the CGI having been done very well. These include some kind of giant tentacle monster, flying scorpions and spiny acid shooting spiders.

 

uh yeah...no thank you

The psychological thriller portion of this film is what happens when when you put a whole lot of scared people in the same space for too long. Throw in the psychopathic Mrs. Carmody and you have a full-blown cultish circus going on in the supermarket. As things get freakier more and more people buy her end of days bullshit. This leads to our main characters being forced to make a decision. Face the monsters or face the people. All in all I don’t think anyone can blame them for taking their chances in the mist.

 

Ah the strength of the human spirit

Now there are several very powerful scenes in this film, note I said powerful instead of frightening. There are scares in The Mist but it is more intensity than fear that drives it.

 

Mrs. Carmody whipping people into a frenzy to the point that they sacrifice someone to the beasts, Mrs. Carmody calling for the blood of David’s young son and of course there’s the ending.

 

Now normally I would save this for last but I would rather end on a less depressing note; with the scares rather than the reason Bright Dyke WILL NOT watch this movie ever again.

 

Let’s be clear I have a Love/Hate relationship with the ending of this movie, as an artistic choice and from a storytelling point of view it is absolutely flawless. From a filmmaking perspective it is done flawlessly and powerfully. The desperation of the moment is intense and affecting, when I saw this in the theater what had been a pretty raucous crowd went entirely silent for the last five minutes of the film.

 

This would shut you up too

But speaking as just an audience member as a person watching the story unfold; it is absolutely heart-wrenching. It’s tragic in it’s irony and so unbelievably UNFAIR. Given the point Darabont is trying to make (he changed the ending from the one originally provided by King) is that life is sometimes unfair, and that sometimes acting rationally, and that being a good person, the only voice of reason in a room full of chaos; is just not enough to guarantee you a happy or just ending. The universe doesn’t work that way.

 

 

What the hell is the deal with me and depth lately? Let’s talk about monsters.

 

 

Ok so there are some really good deaths in this movie.

 

First Sally in the supermarket, creepy flying scorpion thing stings her on the neck. Her throat bulging like there’s a bowling ball in there.

 

It's probably just glandular

The MP in the pharmacy, this one is like my worst nightmare come true. The spiny acid shooting spider things laid eggs in his skin…they hatch…I weep softly in a corner, rocking back and forth in the fetal position.

 

Oh dear sweet merciful crap

Also acid shooting spider things using the acid web shooting skills to totally take off some poor dude’s leg, which sort of falls apart like pot roast. I’m suddenly hungry.

 

Norm getting torn to pieces in little chunks by the tentacle thing underneath the loading dock door.

 

Insert tentacle joke...if you must

There is one death that has nothing to do with creature effects, but it’s my favorite death in the movie, the audience clapped.

 

Ollie shoots Mrs. Carmody in the MOTHERFUCKING FACE and that is why we love the shit out of him.

 

Fuck with him...no you should NOT

Finally there is one other thing about this movie that I love. There is a dark humor pervasive throughout the film. There are one liners and insults and awesome old lady pwnage that really lightens the mood just enough to make you comfortable before throwing you back into the terror.

 

Because she's got lots of peas!

 

Final Thoughts

 

I saw The Mist in theaters because Beowulf was sold out. THANK GOD. It is one of the best horror films of the last ten years hands down no argument. Frank Darabont scares you in a three pronged relentless attack, you’re scared of what’s in the mist, you’re afraid of the mist itself and finally you’re afraid of what happens when you make people afraid. There is a sophistication to the movie that will make you think, and then CGI living nightmares to take your mind off it.

 

Why does it have human teeth? like for real it's some kind of sick novelty store item

 

 

Also seriously…Marcia Gay Harden makes this movie work. Fuck TIlda Swinton Michael Clayton was a terrible movie. When are the Oscars going to learn that movies that scare you are still movies and that anything with George Clooney in it is automatically shit.

 

Now go find Tilda and Cate and knock them the motherfuck out!

9.5 out of 10

 

Your indignant Screamstress,

 

 

~Fright Dyke

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