Movie of the Day – The Mist
October 3, 2012 2 Comments
Alright, this might not be considered by the horror movie crowd to be a horror movie per say, but I feel that this deserves to be in the genre alone for the ending of this adaptation of a Stephen King novella. So I want to say this right now, once this opening is finished, I am going to spoil the movie. If you haven’t seen the movie, just go ahead and leave the page once you are done reading this. After the traditional picture that leads into the synopsis and my shortened review, I want to talk about one of the most soul crushing endings to a movie that truly is horrific to me. Fair warning.
With that spoiler warning out of the way, The Mist is really a terrifying movie about a group of survivors taking shelter in a market while a mysterious mist rolls over the town. What lurks out there in the mist? I assume monsters.
Frequent Stephen King collaborator Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption) teamed with the celebrated horror author once again for this tale of terror concerning a small town engulfed by a malevolent mist, based on a story originally published in King’s 1985 horror anthology Skeleton Crew. When a thick fog descends upon a rural community and claims the lives of anyone unfortunate enough to be caught outside, a small band of survivors seeks refuge in a local grocery store. Now trapped in a darkened cloud of pure horror, the frightened denizens of the town are forced to fend off an advancing horde of murderous monsters. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Actually I am not going to spoiler the movie, not right this instance. The Mist is really a strong horror movie with its unknown atmosphere and the constant tension and threat of what waits out there in the mist. There is a lot of scares and just enough gore to really scare the shit out of people, but it’s truly the unknown factor of what is outside the confines of the store that is truly where the horror aspect lies.
The cast is pretty compelling, mainly with Thomas Jane playing the strident father who trying to keep things from devolving into a crusade and witch burning by Marcia Gay Harden’s character who believes it is the end times with her fundamentalist ways. The pitting of the two factions create tense moments of infighting that seems more dangerous than what is outside waiting for them. Each character is fascinating to watch as they cope with the reality of their situation and Thomas Jane definitely has one of the difficult roles in this movie. Which leads me to the real reason this is a horror movie.
If you have seen the ending, then you probably realize how soul crushing that ending was. If you made it this far in the post, past the spoiler warning, then you know what to expect. I personally was awestruck that Darabont decided to end the movie the way he did and seeing Thomas Jane have to make the terrible decision to bear the weight the deaths of his companions as they leave the market is horrifying. I couldn’t imaging that the movie would take a turn like that in which Jane gives the passengers an easy out of death rather than being taken by the creatures out there. He had to kill the last person of the group, a kid, and walk out into the mist to accept his fate. The final reveal being that the army is battling back against the creatures and winning just breaks your heart and the agony of Jane’s face is heart wrenching. That is what makes this a horror movie in my eyes, seeing humanity just ripped from your chest after you did you thought was right and only to find out it was needed. Darabont really just went right for the gut with that ending and it capped off a great adaptation of a Stephen King novella.
*images via RottenTomatoes