Genres: Drama, Horror,
Runtime: 127 minutes
Review done by: Serial McKiller
Online since: February 20th, 2006
Starring: Thomas Jane, Andre Braugher, Laurie Holden, Amin Joseph, Marcia
Gay Harden, Toby Jones
Director: Frank Darabont
Synopsis: Based on the Stephen King novel, a freak storm unleashes a
species of blood-thirsty creatures on a small town, where a small band of
citizens hole-up in a supermarket and fight for their lives.
Stephen King's "The Mist" is one of his oldest novella's and is classic in the
sense of old black and white horror films with movie monster both external
and internal. We begin with poster animator David Drayton played by Thomas
Jane: He and his family were hit pretty hard after a storm hits and David, his
son Timmy and his out of town neighbor Brent (played awesomely by Andre
Braugher) head to the local grocery store...when the mist arrives in town.
Before the initial coming their are warning signs of danger up the ying-yang.
The army has moved away from their mountain side base, the air raid horn
sounds, cops and fire and rescue jet past, but theres no word of people
harmed from the storm. Then it rolls in and we get a front row seat to some
real tension that's laced with ideas, power struggles and the unknown...which
can be one of the most frightening things of all. First off what the mist is and
where it comes from is never truly explained and for damn good reason. Is it
a government experiment gone wrong? Is it God bringing fourth the end of
We don't know and frankly it's not particularly important. Obviously it's not
trying to pull a "Silent Hill" on us. Also remember we've got monsters. The
CGI is done by Cafe F/X, the same house that did last years acclaimed and
amazing film "Pan's Labyrinth" and they do a good job here as they did there.
It's clearly a low-budget flick and that adds some geek love for me. We don't
see perfect and truly realistic looking creatures, but nightmarish and strange
ones that you wouldn't want to see. At the same time inside this store
you've got the Brent's notion of there's nothing to worry about and that we
can escape. David's plan of self defense from within the store and lastly the
religious zelist Mrs. Carmody played by Marcia Gay Harden. Carmody believes
that the mist is God attempting to end it all for us and that all we have left to
do is bow down and accept that. As you can imagine that's just not an
option for some. "The Mist" is really a prime example of good storytelling of a
Writer/director Frank Darabont, whom worked to adapt King's "The
Shawshank Redemption" and "The Green Mile" brings a different look and feel
to a true, blue horror story. The way he zooms in on reactions to horror and
then jets back and over and wiggles and lingers for that last image of terror
is a great effect. He's having some real fun with the monsters and giant
spiders, but it's the internal evil...it's Carmody and her followers that bring
about some real powerhouse moments. They bring some tension and raise
the question, what if they're right? Which even I had be wondering for a while.
You can do some guess work and try to see where it goes, but remember
King's short stories tend to really pull at you and generally shy away from
the...well....from endings like "IT". No, you're going to get something daring
and dark and tragic. And it'll be interesting to see how people take to it.
Thomas Jane also gives probably my favorite performance I've seen from him.
I've always liked the guy, he's got a cool look and seems like the more down
to Earth kind of hero, but here he's not so much a hero as much as he is
just another average Joe trying to get out with his son and the few people
that think he might be able to help them. But someone who needs real
special notice is Toby Jones as the assistant manager Ollie. When you first
see this guy you're think he's the biggest nerd this side of a 'Star Trek'
convention. But when things start mounting up, Ollie uses his head and
turns out to be one of the most surprising heroes I've seen in a while.
Hardcore Stephen King fans who remember the novella should love this. It's
very close to the source material. For movie fans that's looking for pure
jumps and gore there's not a ton of that, but when there is it's highly
impressive and brutal. The crimson red blood shimmered on the glass after
an attack is a great and horrific effect. But this is really for story nuts. This
has the entertainment value, daring and smarts to deliver you a great ride.