in Shocktober

Shocktober: Day 31

The Mist (2007)

Dir: Frank Darabont
Cast: Thomas Jane, Laurie Holden, Nathan Gamble, Toby Jones, Marcia Gay Harden, Jeffrey DeMunn, Andre Braugher

Well here it is, October 31st, All Hallows Eve! A time of the mischief and the macabre, oh yeah and candy. I decided to end this year with Frank Darabont’s The Mist for several reasons. 1. Tonight marks the premiere of AMC’s The Walking Dead which Darabont developed for television 2. Despite positive reviews and a modest run at the box office, I think The Mist is an overlooked and underrated horror film and 3. It’s one of Stephen King’s favorite adaptations, that’s good enough for me.

So it’s the classic “A bunch of scared people trapped in a small place” premise (In this case a group trapped in a small grocery store) that I’ve always been a fan of. I find for these kind of stories to excel they often need some strong characters and an intriguing, ever building conflict to keep it interesting. The Mist checks out in both of those categories and then some. The cast is fairly large but every role here serves it’s purpose no matter how small, like the quote often attributed to Stanislavsky, “There are no small parts, just small actors.” I don’t know who to acknowledge first. You have Marcia Gay Harden as the crazed Bible nut, Toby Jones as the resourceful store clerk, Andre Braugher as the doubting neighbor, not to mention some of Frank Darabont’s skilled regulars William Sadler and Jeffery DeMunn, there’s a little something for everybody.

Really it’s more about the struggle inside than outside, though it is a blast to watch hordes of creepy crawlies come out of the mist and have their ways with the townsfolk. The death’s are grisly as it could get and it’s safe to say that this film earned it’s R-rating. Really the only downfall in mind (Though I’ll address an issue other viewers have had soon enough.) is the effects feel cheap. The CGI is some of the weakest CGI I can recall seeing in a mainstream movie in awhile, though it somehow finds it’s way around it. LIke I said it’s not really about the monsters, more about the townsfolk acting like monsters, you see what I’m getting at?

So what did i mean when I claimed there was a certain “problem” many have had with this film? Well it’s the ending and even I agree it’s a make it or break it ending. I thought it made perfect sense but many find it far too depressing of a finale. The way I see it is that if Stephen King is all about it, I’m all about. I’ve read the short story as well and really that didn’t even have an ending, so really what were they supposed to do? Well I’m not sure how much more I can write after doing these reviews 31 days straight, so happy haunting everyone, I’ll see you next year!