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The Mist Will Creep Up on You

I admit that I wasn’t expecting much from the film adaptation of Stephen King’s novella, The Mist. I thought it might be a fun-scary movie — the kind that jolts you out of your seat with fright but isn't all that memorable. Yet just as the otherwordly mist in the film creeps into a small town in Maine and traps unsuspecting shoppers in a grocery store, The Mist crept up on me, making me realize I was in for a terrifying hour and a half. If you’re looking for quickie scares that will evaporate by the time the movie’s over, look elsewhere. The Mist is a disturbing film that taps into primal fears and real world terrors, and its doomsday mood will stay with you long after you exit the theater.

David Drayton (Thomas Jane) is a movie poster artist whose house is damaged one night after an electrical storm. Together with his son Billy (Nathan Gamble) and neighbor Brent (Andre Braugher) — with whom he's had tense relations in the past — he rides into town to buy groceries. There at the grocery store, the ordinary becomes extraordinary: a dense, white mist surrounds the building, an earthquake rattles its foundations, and a man materializes from the eerie whiteness, blood dripping from his nose, shouting "There's something in the mist! It took John Lee!" Scared yet? Well,

What is this "something in the mist"? We get some visual clues: a giant octopus-like tentacle attacks a grocery clerk, spidery creatures menace a group as they venture out to get medicine for an ailing man, and a flock of prehistoric-looking insects invade the store. Where did this dangerous mist with its monsters come from? Is it a pollution cloud? Did the nearby military police unleash aliens from another world? Or, as the town religious fanatic Mrs. Carmody (a creepy Marcia Gay Harden) suggests, have they come to exact God's bloodthirsty revenge as a sign of the End of Days?

Like the great disaster films of the 1970s (The Towering Inferno, The Poseidon Adventure), The Mist's narrative tension (and horror) comes as much from the characters' interactions as from the monsters the mist occasionally spits out. In the midst of a social breakdown, what groups form and who leads them? What ties dissolve? How do race, politics and religion factor in?

With a terrific cast and special effects that do not upstage the human characters, The Mist keeps one foot in the imaginary with CGI monsters and supernatural hints, and one foot firmly planted in our real fears: unchecked military or scientific activity, the breakdown of society, the end of the world. It also has one of the most shocking endings I've ever seen. Like a blank screen onto which we can project our fears, The Mist suggests but it doesn't resolve.

Photos courtesy of The Weinstein Company

Join The Conversation
eveday eveday 8 years
I thought the ending was great. Sad, tragic and horrifying, but that kind of "What would YOU do?" ending. I love Frank Darabont's adaptations of Stephen King's works, he never disappoints me.
Leilanic1 Leilanic1 9 years
the ending was disturbing as were a couple other key scenes in the movie. there were times where i was just so upset! my husband kept leaning over and saying its just a movie!
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 9 years
Now I HAVE to see it! Seems interesting.
n_i_k n_i_k 9 years
I gotta see this movie!
terrywagner123 terrywagner123 9 years
I read the book, I guess I'll have to see the movie to see what the ending is all about and why everyone is so disturbed great way to get people interested.
PinkNC PinkNC 9 years
Stephen King is usually pretty good. I think I might see this one too.
karisaamy karisaamy 9 years
I was going to wait to rent this one - now I may go see it
colormesticky colormesticky 9 years
Hubby read the book and decided to see the movie since it's by the same guy who did The Green Mile and Shawshank Redemption. He too was seriously pissed and disturbed by the ending. I'm glad I didn't see it.
terryt18 terryt18 9 years
Well, y'all certainly make a good case for seeing it in theater.
ReverendZelda ReverendZelda 9 years
My heart was racing for almost the entire movie. My husband and our friend even jumped during it, and I haven't seen either of them jump at a movie in years... It was excellent! Disturbing, funny (I want that old lady as my grandmother), scary as hell and it makes you think.
kersalli kersalli 9 years
This was a great film! Absolutely shattering, but great performances all-around. I highly recommend watching it in the theatres for best effect. Plus, Thomas Jane is pretty cute :)
cassandry cassandry 9 years
Both my 14 year old brother and I read the book. And we were both highly disappointed by the film. He was more critical of it than I was. I was able to push aside the details of the book and just enjoy the movie. But the ending...god, the ending. It was terrible. The book didn't provide an ending. You were left to draw your own conclusions, which I liked, but I knew the movie would give an ending. But who knew it would end in such a way? I was horrified. Truly. It was ridiculous and heartbreaking. I only wonder what Mr. King had to say about the screenwriter's version...
Merlin713 Merlin713 9 years
I'm probably going to have to see this now. I was disappointed with 1408, but I'll give this a try.
dannysf dannysf 9 years
I think I'll be seeing this one!
Janners Janners 9 years
The ending really bothered me. Like, emotionally bothered. Holy, my heart jumped into my throat. I'd like to go see it with a friend who's a King fanatic, see how she felt about the changes to the movie. And as an excuse to see it again. It was nice to see a scary movie that wasn't all about breasts and gore... ya know?
terryt18 terryt18 9 years
Really?! I just knew this movie would be so lame, but perhaps it will be worth viewing ie worth paying to see in a theater. Actually, I would watch it anyway, at home on DVD, b/c I LOVE all scary movies, especially the really campy, so bad it's good kind.
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