The Mist is a film that is pure Stephen King horror. Frank Darabont, famed director of The Shawshank Redemption, and The Green Mile, made King’s novella, The Mist, into a feature length film. I had not read much about this prior to viewing, and wondered if it would be like the movie The Fog I recently reviewed.
It was not. Much scarier, and I have to say I prefer The Fog to this very, very intense film.
David Drayton (Thomas Jane) lives in a sleepy little community somewhere in Maine, with his wife and young son, Billy (Nathan Gamble). He is an artist, something I will refer to at the end of my review.
An eerie mist hangs over the lake after a storm sent a tree crashing through their bay window, and the neighbor’s downed tree destroyed their boathouse. Their neighbor, Brent Norton (Andre Braugher) has not always been on the best of terms with David, but they warm up to each other after the natural disaster.
David gives Norton a ride into town with him and Billy, leaving his wife behind at the house. The mist envelops them and a great many other townspeople and tourists while they are in the grocery store and the terror begins.
The mist harbors incredible bloodthirsty monsters. King has written a good story here, inhabiting the grocery store with a microcosm of society: common, not overly bright townspeople; smart rational thinkers; a few men from the military; and Mrs. Carmody, a crazed religious lunatic, brilliantly played by Marcia Gay Harden. Amanda (Laurie Holden) serves as an ally and a protector of Billy. We never really find out much about her, but she is an optimist where others are not. How will these diverse people survive, or not, in the close, confined quarters of a local grocery store? A good plot line, and one by one, or several at once, succumb to the monsters, as their numbers dwindle.
David is a leader with other strong members of the community, and they grow increasingly concerned about Mrs. Carmody and the negative influence she is having over some of the more vulnerable people trapped in the store.
The trauma suffered by these people is really quite disturbing. It had me writhing in my chair. The film is rated R for violence, terror and gore, and language. It deserves this rating. I wouldn’t let any child watch this. And in fact, I don’t recommend it for you. Personal preference if you will, I’d much rather you watch Frank Darabont’s other films, The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Majestic for very high quality stories and work.
I mentioned that the main character, David, was an artist. We first see him in his studio in his lakeside home, painting movie posters. This is homage to the famous movie poster artist, Drew Struzan. I watched the special feature that highlighted his artistic talents. It was the best part of the DVD. Watch The Mist at your own risk.