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The Mist (2007)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Frank Darabont

Starring:
Thomas Jane/David
Marcia Gay Harden/Mrs. Carmody
Laurie Holden/Amanda
William Sadler/Jim
8 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
A small and quiet Maine town gets bitch-slapped hard Ike Turner style when a thick mist rolls on in and unleashes a slew of vicious beasties upon it… that have snacking on human flesh on the fritz at that! Will the town folks holded up in a supermarket survive the ordeal?
THE LOWDOWN

If I ever want a friend like you, I'll just squat and shit one out. - Mrs. Carmody

THE MIST which is based on Stephen King’s novella of the same name has finally engulfed the big screen and you couldn’t find a more contented schmuck on wheels than me. The short story has been one of my favs since I embraced decadence in College and who else but Frank Darabont could bring its multi layered M.O. to the screen with such pizzazz! Or so I though…was I right?

YES I WAS DADDY-O! THE MIST punched me in the gut on many levels throughout and then stomped my ribs into “smoke me up” ashes with its last frames. The flick had it all! Characters that I could root for or/and loathe with a passion, an effortless pace (was the film really 2 hours and 7 minutes long? I didn’t feel it), mature and engrossing visuals that gave justice to the substance and authentic scares delivered via toe biting build-ups and back-handing pay-offs. The movie also got to have its whore and eat her too in the sense that it succeeded as a scary ride, a creature feature but also as a social commentary. Much like in King’s novella, the people-monsters within the supermarket were actually much more terrifying than the one’s flapping their wings outside.

Although far from an in-depth exploration of human nature (the chain of events unraveled too fast and the characters were not explored enough for that to happen), I did value the theme of “when one’s back is against the wall” some will latch on to anybody or anything that promises some kind of answer. I call it the sheep mentality; in fact it’s one of my main peeves with the pathetic society we live in. Think for yourselves for f*cks sakes, get the facts, avoid crutches of any kind and grab the obstacle by the balls and overcome it dammit! Wow… I’m side tracking here… all that to say the “human” factor of the film didn’t explore anything I didn’t already know but it re-integrated it with gusto, hence making for quite the gripping watch. It’s been a while since I literally yelled out loud at a movie screen, cussing at a character and telling her/him to shut the f*ck up already. Well that went down with THE MIST (much to the dismay of my date sitting next to me… you can’t handle it… step off!). I can’t remember the last time a character infuriated me this much. DAMN! Mission accomplished Mr. Darabont!

Append to all that quality sweetness a Grade A cast that elevated the fairly “type” characterization to a “I give a shit” standpoint, some left field gore gags that rammed in with impact, able circumstantial humor that rubbed me the right way, awesome dialogue (we get some priceless lines here) and an ending that destroyed me (yes its different than in the book but good different - more of an expansion- I loved it - I'm still trying to discern if there's a social message in there or not) and you get one heck of a gratifying horror movie. Any negatives? Some. Although the creature designs were bang-on (think prehistoric vibe meets the insect world), the CGI wasn’t always up to snuff. The tentacles for example… ouch… I thought I was watching test footage from THE ABYSS! There was no reason for them to look this phony. Lastly, I did feel that some of the characters switched sides way too swiftly and I didn’t fully buy the transition (William Sandler anyone?). With that spat out and toyed with, it didn’t take long for me to let that shite go and hop back into the ride 100%. So it wasn’t THAT much of an issue.

So when I ran out of the theatre (somebody let a stink bomb go in there), “money well spent” rang in my noggin. Why? Because it’s not everyday you see a Studio horror film with this much talent oozing out of it while sporting a big set of elephant balls between its legs, fearless as to going against the grain. I was moved, shocked and knocked out! THE MIST was everything I wanted it to be! THANK YOU!
GORE
We get a handful of “BAM” graphic bits here! Flesh ripped off, body chomped in half, an inflating cheek, decomposing bodies, bugs spewing out of corpses, gun shot wounds and more! My thirst for “the ugly” was quenched.
ACTING
Thomas Jane (David) had a like 2 “off” moments but the fact that he owned like nobody’s mistress the rest of the time, made those “oops” quite trivial. Jane rocks! Marcia Gay Harden (Mrs. Carmody) really dived into the part and gave birth to a despicable, frightening and obviously insane character. I f*cking bought it! So much that I wanted to back-hand her the whole way. Laurie Holden (Amanda) was credible in what she had to do; pretty basic role. It’s always a joy to see the GREAT William Sadler (Jim) do his thing and it’s an even bigger trip when he’s in a genre film. YEAH BICTH! Toby Jones (Ollie) often stole the show with his low key yet mucho likeable display. Loved him!
T & A
Unless clothe-less CG beasties, long tentacles and Thomas Jane's biceps count...NATHING!
DIRECTING
Darabont knew when to hold back to serve the drama and the characters and when to double down on atmosphere while capitalizing on dread as to the mist/horror sequences. Scares wise, the man need how to milk the build-up and momentum to then come down hard. It was so groovy to witness somebody of Darabont’s talent (the man was a Three-time Oscar nominee after all) tackle this type of horror film. He brought something to it that a lesser director couldn’t have. CLASS!
SOUNDTRACK
We’re treated to a downplayed yet daunting score that did the trick and a brilliant use of "The Host of Seraphim" by Dead Can Dance for the finale. WOW!
BOTTOM LINE
Being a fan of the novella, my expectations were set high for this one and essentially THE MIST met them. Appealing characters, thought provoking themes, some truly bloodcurdling moments and a visceral finale that sent me to the mat to count my broken teeth, I couldn’t ask for more! Sure the CG was weak in places and the rapidity in which some of the peeps segued from average hick to “human sacrificing” religious zealot wasn’t entirely convincing, but them flaws never bankrupted my experience. In my book (Swank Magazine that is), for what it was, THE MIST played its game in a superior fashion and hit the mark 90% of the time. It will make my Top 10 of 2007 for sure!
BULL'S EYE
King’s THE MIST was first published in the horror anthology Dark Forces, and then re-published in King’s short story collection Skeleton Crew.

In the opening, look out for a drawing of Stephen King's Dark Tower (gunslinger Roland) and a take on John Carpenter's The Thing poster.

The film was shot in Shreveport, Louisiana, USA

VISIT THE OFFICIAL THE MIST SITE HERE

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6:30AM on 06/08/2010

Fantastic!!!

Such a brilliant film, love it. Could watch it over and again.
Such a brilliant film, love it. Could watch it over and again.
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10:19PM on 10/28/2009
The destroyed the movie with that depressing ending.
The destroyed the movie with that depressing ending.
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11:05AM on 01/22/2009
I loved the story, and this didn't disappoint! The acting could have been better but the high tension created a solid horror movie. although I do wish that they would have stuck with King's ending in the story and left it more ambiguous.
I loved the story, and this didn't disappoint! The acting could have been better but the high tension created a solid horror movie. although I do wish that they would have stuck with King's ending in the story and left it more ambiguous.
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+0
5:37AM on 11/06/2008

Solid film.

I seriously had to dial down my expectations for this movie. King's novella is one of my all-time favorites, but I thought Darabont did a mostly excellent job of bringing it to the screen. There's a lot of good suspense and a number of very effective setpieces (when the bugs first arrive on the glass windows, it has an effectively otherworldly feel to it).

The only real downsides were the spotty f/x work and some rather mundane creature designs (though the Impossibly Tall Creature and
I seriously had to dial down my expectations for this movie. King's novella is one of my all-time favorites, but I thought Darabont did a mostly excellent job of bringing it to the screen. There's a lot of good suspense and a number of very effective setpieces (when the bugs first arrive on the glass windows, it has an effectively otherworldly feel to it).

The only real downsides were the spotty f/x work and some rather mundane creature designs (though the Impossibly Tall Creature and the lobstrosity kicked ass!). I also can't say I cared for the ending, I would have much rather preferred Darabont stuck to what King wrote.
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11:23AM on 05/05/2008

Biggest ass-whooping since The Descent!

Not much to say that hasn't already been said, really. I've read the short story numerous times and I felt the movie really nailed the atmosphere of paranoia and simple, utter fear of the story. I will say the ending really was painful to watch. Harsh to the very extreme.

As a former Maine resident, I found the highway scenes towards the end extremely eerie because I KNOW THOSE PLACES. I've passed through them thousands of times and seeing them destroyed and enshrouded with mist gave me
Not much to say that hasn't already been said, really. I've read the short story numerous times and I felt the movie really nailed the atmosphere of paranoia and simple, utter fear of the story. I will say the ending really was painful to watch. Harsh to the very extreme.

As a former Maine resident, I found the highway scenes towards the end extremely eerie because I KNOW THOSE PLACES. I've passed through them thousands of times and seeing them destroyed and enshrouded with mist gave me chills.

Oh, and I must say this: OLLIE RULED!!!
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10:43PM on 04/25/2008

All I can say after just finishing this about 5 minutes ago is.....the ending FUCKED me up! DAMN! That was messed up.

Great film though

All I can say after just finishing this about 5 minutes ago is.....the ending FUCKED me up! DAMN! That was messed up.

Great film though
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+0
11:15PM on 03/08/2008
If nothing else, it's one of the better Steven King movies. As an occasional King fan, I've been seriously disappointed in some of the films based on his stories... some have been, well... just cheesy. Not so here; acting, direction and sound all impressed me and you can't say it didn't take things seriously...

... however that's also my problem with the movie. By the end it was so totally humourless and depressing, that I did feel like it had turned into a different movie... in the first
If nothing else, it's one of the better Steven King movies. As an occasional King fan, I've been seriously disappointed in some of the films based on his stories... some have been, well... just cheesy. Not so here; acting, direction and sound all impressed me and you can't say it didn't take things seriously...

... however that's also my problem with the movie. By the end it was so totally humourless and depressing, that I did feel like it had turned into a different movie... in the first half I had no idea it would end up going for the "Most Depressing Movie" award... of course some would say successfully f*cking with audience expectations is the mark of a good filmmaker, but for me it didn't quite feel right...

The ending itself was a problem for me... I saw it coming and it was painful to watch... now if you define good horror as "the most horrible thing you can imagine" then it's good horror... Thomas Jane got f*cked hard. But for me it just went too far. Same with the sudden conversion of everyone to religious nutjobs. I'm sure in King's book it was well developed, but within the space of an hour it was too extreme and too soon... I don't have much faith in the inherent goodness of people, but I still think a few more people would have told Carmody to shut the f*ck up rather than let her keep talking until her spiel started to make sense.

Ultimately two things annoyed me most about The Mist.
One: By the end it was just too bloody depressing. I get it, people are more horrible than monsters from another world... but I want a movie to say more than just "Oh look at how f*cked up people are... aren't people f*cked up? Oh we're all so f*cked..." I'm sure it works for many, but personally I never liked Fulci having everyone randomly decide to commit murder in the sickest way possible, and I didn't like Darabont having everyone turn into a certified baby-sacrificing fundamentalist overnight.
Two: I felt cheated. As a horror fan, I don't expect to have 'bad guys' be defeated and 'good guys' walk off into the sunset... but Marcia Gay Harden hijacked the movie, and every time her character was slapped or otherwise assaulted I was thinking "ABOUT TIME! WHAT THE HELL TOOK YOU SO LONG?"... and to then have her 'get off easy', while Jane's guy was treated more harshly than any victim in any film I can remember... I just felt so sorry for the guy that the feeling turned to anger at the movie and at Frank Darabont, rather than being directed into any rational consideration of the issues raised... for me it just went too far..

... BUT... the fact that I felt so strongly about it is testament to the writing, directing and acting... they made me feel for Jane's character and the 'sane' ones around him (like the Toby Jones character), and Harden was very effective filling the horror genre-specific role of "Character Who Really Needs To Get Killed By The End Or The Audience Will Riot". The creature attacks were handled well, the creatures themselves were well designed and realised... all around, it was technically a good movie. The problems I have with it are with the tone, and I know a lot of people (apparently including The Arrow) will like the direction it took... so I definitely can't give it a negative score... but although it was well-made and I wanted to like it, it just didn't sit right with me.
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12:45PM on 01/02/2008
Honestly, if this movie is in the running to be considered the cream of 2007's horror crop, then 2007 was either a god-awful year for horror or people are just lowering their standards. I really wanted to like this movie, and aside from some stupid characters (that religious zealot played by Marcia Gay Harden) and dodgy CGI, I had an okay time...that is until the ending rolled around. The ending to this film has to be one of the worst I've seen in awhile. It's a pretentious,
Honestly, if this movie is in the running to be considered the cream of 2007's horror crop, then 2007 was either a god-awful year for horror or people are just lowering their standards. I really wanted to like this movie, and aside from some stupid characters (that religious zealot played by Marcia Gay Harden) and dodgy CGI, I had an okay time...that is until the ending rolled around. The ending to this film has to be one of the worst I've seen in awhile. It's a pretentious, self-congratulatory conclusion that feels like something out of a different movie, and it really did ruin the movie for me.
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10:41PM on 11/27/2007

Spot on...

I don't usualy post on websites, in fact this is my first one on JoBlo or any of its affiliates, but I felt compelled to extend my kudos to the author of this review for his spot on analysis of the film, in correlation to pretty much all of my feelings on the film, and my anticipation of it. Well written!
I don't usualy post on websites, in fact this is my first one on JoBlo or any of its affiliates, but I felt compelled to extend my kudos to the author of this review for his spot on analysis of the film, in correlation to pretty much all of my feelings on the film, and my anticipation of it. Well written!
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+0
6:25PM on 11/26/2007

Best horror film of the year?

It was certainly the best horror movie I've seen this year. With the ballsiest ending of the decade? The acting was top-notch (Thomas Jane is the man, too bad he won't come back as the Punisher) but I thought the film kinda suffered from its extremely slow pace, and maybe, just maybe, TOO MANY characters. Other than that it was really good.
It was certainly the best horror movie I've seen this year. With the ballsiest ending of the decade? The acting was top-notch (Thomas Jane is the man, too bad he won't come back as the Punisher) but I thought the film kinda suffered from its extremely slow pace, and maybe, just maybe, TOO MANY characters. Other than that it was really good.
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+0
4:39PM on 11/26/2007

What A Rush!

Most complaints are on the CGI. I can handle less than perfect CGI unless it is some of the SCI-FI channel movies of late.
Superb performances by the actors and great pacing by the editor and director. This movie ranks up there in my top movies. I had waited all these years for this movie and went in to the theatre all pumped up. I was not let down and really loved the non-hollywood ending.
Most complaints are on the CGI. I can handle less than perfect CGI unless it is some of the SCI-FI channel movies of late.
Superb performances by the actors and great pacing by the editor and director. This movie ranks up there in my top movies. I had waited all these years for this movie and went in to the theatre all pumped up. I was not let down and really loved the non-hollywood ending.
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3:22PM on 11/26/2007

Anyone else actually cry?

Lol, maybe it was an off day for me and the other 10 people in the theater but seriously as the lights came on we all looked around and everyone looked as if they cried at least once in the final half hour.

I didn't care about the CGI for being shoddy at times, I really hardly noticed, I was too enthralled with the story to care and really unless you are looking for a mistake or expecting Transformers quality then you wont notice either.
Lol, maybe it was an off day for me and the other 10 people in the theater but seriously as the lights came on we all looked around and everyone looked as if they cried at least once in the final half hour.

I didn't care about the CGI for being shoddy at times, I really hardly noticed, I was too enthralled with the story to care and really unless you are looking for a mistake or expecting Transformers quality then you wont notice either.
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9:44AM on 11/26/2007
I really didn't know whether to give this a 3 or 3.5. It was a great movie, but the CG was off, when Thomas Jane really needed to hit it, he overshot it (final scene anyone?), and the final scene really didn't "SHOCK" me. I saw it coming making the effect not that pronounced. The dialogue was great, the pacing was AMAZING, and overall The Mist was a really gratifying movie. FINALLY, a Stephen King novel made movie that really kicks ass (though I thought the Stand was excellent).
I really didn't know whether to give this a 3 or 3.5. It was a great movie, but the CG was off, when Thomas Jane really needed to hit it, he overshot it (final scene anyone?), and the final scene really didn't "SHOCK" me. I saw it coming making the effect not that pronounced. The dialogue was great, the pacing was AMAZING, and overall The Mist was a really gratifying movie. FINALLY, a Stephen King novel made movie that really kicks ass (though I thought the Stand was excellent).
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