The Mist (2007)
Reviewed on 2008 May 10
Good adaptation of a Steven King short, with a few scares, great monster effects and a couple of kick-in-the-stomach moments.
After a huge summer thunderstorm pounds a small town, the citizens flock the local supermarket to get some provisions and some cold beer to take the sting out of the home repairs. David Drayton and his son Billy (Thomas Jane and Nathan Gamble) leave wife and mom Steffi (Kelly Collins Lintz) home and trek to the Food House, thinking that the worst thing they’ll have to face are long lines of grumpy shoppers. Things go to pieces rapidly when a thick, opaque mist surrounds the store. Suddenly a bleeding, screaming man (Jeffrey DeMunn) barges in, frantically yelling about things in the mist and begging people to close the doors.
Drayton knows the guy isn’t imagining whatever he saw out there. The problem is that some people refuse to believe that there’s anything out there, and there’s so much fighting among the group that you know some of them would waste time arguing about this even if the monsters initially walked up to the freaking door and knocked. As they get more frightened the people get uglier, and pretty soon you wonder if the monsters are the worst beings in the story.
That’s what drives the movie: not only is it a giant creature movie, it’s a creepy study of human behavior and a siege movie. Think of having to hole up in a supermarket with a group of strangers, and half of them won’t even take a clear threat seriously. This was Frank Darabont’s least successful King film; since Darabont also did The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption, that’s kind of like squawking because someone forgot the parsley garnish on your steak. The acting was better in the first two but they were more serious. For its genre, this was great.
Two chocolate morsels, and some kettle corn, since it’s an old-fashioned monster movie at heart.