Rated “R” for Gore, Violence, Terror, and Language
2 Hours and 7 Minutes
Sure, as long as the machines are working and you can dial 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, you scare the shit out of them – no more rules. -David Drayton
A small town on the east coast is bombarded by a massive electrical storm that leaves the town without electricity and contact with the rest of the world. As the town flocks to the local grocery market for supplies an unnatural mist seems to be floating across the lake heading ominously in their direction. When the strange mist reaches the store a bloodied man runs in warning everyone that something is in the mist and not to open the doors. In fear everyone responds carefully and closes the doors, watching it’s thickness engulf the entire store. Soon small arguments about what to do begin to break out, and when a man, David Drayton, discovers the Mist does in fact have “something” in it he urges the group to stay inside. Suddenly sides are being chosen and fingers being pointed. There are three main components of contention in the store and they are logic vs. religious zealot vs. fear and all battle one another. When the night comes, only one side is right, but only terror reigns.
As a species, we’re fundamentally insane. Put two of us in a room, we pick sides, and start dreaming up reasons to kill one another. -Ollie Weeks
The Mist center’s it’s structure around the idea’s of how people react in a situation where fear instead of common sense controls decision making. The idea of the fragility of man’s morality being questioned is blatantly exposed, and the suspicion that our goodness as human beings is entirely circumstantial is mind blowing. Sure, being a Stephen King adaptation that means the idea is propelled by supernatural events occurring and two dimensions mixing together, but nonetheless it works as a perfect nucleus to make not only a frightening film, but an excellent psychological thriller that has some real relativity as well.
Frank Darabont is a genius of film pacing and character development. The whole feel of the movie felt like some of Stephen Kings best former adaptations, like “It” or “The Shining”. Darabont did what he does best once again, he let a brilliant story play out on it’s own without trying to add tricky camera shots and fancy special effects. They let the tale be the focus, not the monsters, and that’s what kept the feel of mystery and horror throughout. The scary “monster” moments are broken up enough to give more time for the character’s to reflect, evolve, and for even more suspense to build until the next moment of conflict, which makes this film far from a nail biter. It’s more of a slowl building knot in your stomach that eventually turns into a white knuckled shocker.
The grim darkness and hopelessness of the film pushes onto a scene which essentially I’m not at liberty to elaborate on because it gives too much away. But this I can say, the final scene was not a complete shocker to me, but being shocked or surprised didn’t take away from the complete horror of the situation. The only unfortunate part I found in the final scene was that it did leave a few other options open that weren’t fully eliminated. Even with that being said, it was dumbfounding and while drastic was essential to make the point of the film clear.
Thomas Jane as David Drayton
Marcia Gay Harden as Mrs. Carmody
Laurie Holden as Amanda Dunfrey
Andre Braugher as Brent Norton
Toby Jones as Ollie Weeks
Nathan Gamble as Billy Drayton
Sam Witwer as Private Jessup
Frances Sterhagen as Irene Reppler
Jeffrey DeMunn as Dan Miller
The cast seemed to have been chosen concisely. With a large ensemble, the majority of the main character’s had enough moments to not only recognize them but connect with them as well, and suddenly their well being is very important. While the entire cast played their parts well, Marcia Gay Harden was phenomenal. Her performance could have easily gone over the top and taken away from the legitimacy of her character, but instead she gave Mrs. Carmody a real and tangible belief about her that made the viewer recognize how easy it would be to fall behind her words. It was just an amazing performance.
Ratings and Suggestions
This demented movie is full of violence, offensive language, gore, and a subject matter that is absolutely terrifying. This psychological story is about how fear can change our morals and who we are as humans. This is a movie for people who like to be scared, but being clear, this is not a jump out and scare you movie. It is based around the terror of the human mind. It’s filled with rich and intelligent dialogue and an excellent cast. This film will be viewed again and again in my home for it’s entertainment value but also to reflect on it’s poignant goal that led to the final moment where suddenly perception is everything. The Mist is an excellent piece of cinema. I rate The Mist Three and a Half out of Four stars.