The Mist (2007)

the mist poster 2007 movie
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 9/10

Some great horror

Overacting, bad ending, a bit long

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Mist

Studio:  Dimension Films/Darkwoods Productions/The Weinstein Company

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):   May 9, 2007 (South Africa)/November 21, 2007 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R

the mist chris owen norm bagboy killed

Damn it! Why do I have to go out like an idiot?

After a huge storm, a strange mist comes into the town of Bridgton, Maine from the direction of the military base…and horror lies within the fog!  David Drayton (Thomas Jane) and his son (Nathan Gamble) travel to town with their neighbor Brent Norton (Andre Braugher) find themselves trapped with others in the local grocery store when the mist hits town, but the danger of darkness lurking outside might not even match the danger from within…venture into the mist outside or battle the demons within!

Directed by Frank Darabont, The Mist is a horror thriller.  The film is an adapts the short story by Stephen King from his collection Skeleton Crew (the story first appeared in the anthology Dark Forces in 1980).  The movie was met with very mixed reviews but has become a cult classic since its release.

I remember reading “The Mist” and liking the story in Skeleton Crew (it kicked off the book).  It was a longer story and pretty ominous with an ending that has everyone questioning if getting out alive is possible…this darkness does reach this film, but I am on the side of not loving the ending.  Due to aspects of the story, a ******spoiler alert****** exists for the rest of the review.

the ist mrs carmody bug marcia gay harden

The bug has chosen me!!!

The Mist is mostly meant to be a character study and show what happens when people are dealing with stressful situations.  The monsters are used to bring out the best (and worst) of human emotion and personalities.  It is a bit overdone, and it is also tied into how quickly people devolve into he-said she-said, mob/cult mentality (which has become obvious in recent years in the United States…so it isn’t necessarily wrong).  Marcia Gay Harden as Mrs. Carmody is so over-the-top as the leader of the doomsday cult that it is hard to take (but once again recent history proves it is possible).  I also don’t believe (no matter what happened in the past) that the Brent Norton would completely dismiss the other characters when they say there are monsters (and someone was killed)…it is pretty much the worst of the worst people in this small grocery store.

the mist thomas jane laurie holden nathan gamble

Hey…did anyone remember to bring the keys? Oops…

The horror of The Mist is actually quite good. The creatures’ special effects are sometimes really inspiring and other times they are really fake. The situation is presented nicely with a lot of tense moments, the adventure into the drugstore and the invasion of the insects are all great and really amp up the horror.  The creatures remind me of some of the art of Salvador Dali combined with H.P. Lovecraft. It is too bad that some of them look so much like CGI…Darabont originally wanted the film in black-and-white (it can be seen this way with some DVDs), so maybe the effects would have worked better in that format.

You can’t talk about The Mist without talking about the controversial ending. When Stephen King wrote Cujo, he admitted that killing the Tad character in the end was a mistake. In the movie version, that was repaired by having Tad survive in a last second savior.  This kind of goes against the ending of The Mist which has most the unnecessary death of all the characters except David.  The ending of the original story just has the characters riding off into the mist without knowing their fate (though suicide is a thought of the main character).  I like this better than the tortured ending…yeah, it’s ironic, but it also seems like a twist that should have been considered then shelved…just making it dark for darkness’s sake doesn’t seem creative to me and this is what Darabont fought for.  It also throws into question everything that the Carmody character was saying…if the characters had stayed put, they might have survived.  Was God protecting them in the grocery and was Carmody right?  She didn’t suffer in her death, but the anguish of the characters that ignored her was pretty intense.

the mist ending murder suicide thomas jane

When your bad day is about to get even worst

Despite the ending, The Mist isn’t bad, but the story choices do taint my desire to watch it very often.   There is a lot of overacting and overdone writing that also surfaces in multiple viewings (though the cast is pretty good and involves a lot of Darabont’s normal players that end up show up in The Walking Dead).  I think the horror is pretty good and the basic idea is creative with some smart set-ups.  Opposed to many adaptations of novellas, The Mist is a decently paced and well worth it for fans of horror though it is a bit long for this type of movie.  It almost feels like a big screen B-Movie of the ’50s…with a lot more horror and gore.  A TV version of the story was released in 2017 and aired for one season.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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