Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Mist

Up until I recently watched the film The Mist, all I kept hearing about was the ending. "Disturbing" and "shocking" were the words I heard used to describe it. After seeing it, I can affirm that it lives up to those descriptions, with a strong emphasis on it being disturbing. Possibly, the most disturbing ending I've seen. But I'll get back to that later.

Based on the Stephen King story with the same title, The Mist takes place in a small town in Maine (did you expect any other place from King?). An unexpected strange mist makes it's way into the town, and apparently contains something that wipes out anyone in it's path. Luckily for the main character David Drayton and his little boy Billy, they happen to be in a grocery store when the mist comes. A frantic warning by an older man running into the store convinces the people there to lock it up. This man warns them of something dangerous in the mist that took someone he knew. With the eerie mist now surrounding everything in sight, the group holed up in the store is left frightfully wondering what is going on. Suddenly, creatures from the mist hit the store, causing panic to go into overdrive. These are viscious, alien-like creatures that are obviously not from this world. So, where did they come from? Well, that's a mystery that unfolds later on in the film. I would hate to spoil it for anyone by saying how they got there. So let's just say it's worth paying attention to the details for clues. You'll more than likely be shocked when the truth is revealed. The events that unfold show that what's in the mist is not the only thing that's frightening. The other thing is when human nature's dark side rears it's ugly head when confronted with fear. Throw in an over-zealous religious nutcase who is claiming that the mist is God's wrath on earth, you have yourself some paranoid people. The terror is portrayed so well, that it's sure to get your heart rate up a few notches. But what you also see in the film is a great example of a father-son bond between David and Billy, and examples of sacrifice and courage. The fighting spirit of a small bunch who won't give up provides a little hope in this extremely bleak situation. After watching the store get terrorized by these creatures, and seeing the humans turn on each other, we are led up to "the ending". Now, I most definitely will not reveal any spoilers. But I will say that the first word out of my mouth after the final scene was "Fuck!", then repeated about ten more times. I knew it was shocking, but I honestly didn't expect what was coming. I felt like crying, but couldn't from being in shock. After my nerves settled, I realized that this movie was a unique experience that truly captured what it is like to be faced with a horrific situation. Watching the extras on the DVD, you are treated to some info such as how they pulled all this off, and why director Frank Darabont made the film's ending different from the book's. Also, there are some interesting interview clips of what Mr. King thought of the film. There is a lot to be learned from this film, if you look deep enough.

The Mist is now out on DVD.

1 comment:

dorsey said...

I had planned to let this one go by. Too many King stories have wound up as poorly done TV miniseries, and I assumed this would be the same. But after reading your review, I figured I'd give it a look.

I thought it was rather well done. The crazy religious lady was a pretty interesting study in paranoia, groupthink and power acquisition. And, holy crap, the ending was... well, I'm not even sure disturbing is a good enough word. I was a little sick after that.

Thanks for the heads-up, Gordo. Keep 'em comin'.