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The Mist Movie Review

The Mist (2007)

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Written by: Frank Darabont (screenplay), Stephen King (novel)
Directed by: Frank Darabont
Starring: Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden, Andre Braugher, Toby Jones, Melissa McBride
Rated: R
Watch the trailer

Plot
A freak storm unleashes a species of bloodthirsty creatures on a small town, where a small band of citizens hole up in a supermarket and fight for their lives.

Verdict
It’s certainly a solid horror-suspense movie as we see the best and worst of humans trapped in a grocery store. It’s the typical strife among people trapped in a perilous situation. The reason this movie needs to be seen is the ending. It’s a gut punch, and it’s ending many movies don’t attempt. While this movie is full of characters make dumb decisions for the sake of the story, the ending is completely justified.
Watch It.

Review
Darabont had already done The Shawshank Redemption, and he went on to create The Walking Dead. This movie certainly has similarities in story and actors with the zombie series. It’s a very similar situation on a smaller scale. Stephen King wrote the inspiration for both Shawshank and The Mist.

An ominous mist rolls into a small town. With the power also out David (Thomas Jane) heads to the store like everyone else to stockpile things they don’t really need. He takes his neighbor Brent (Andre Braugher) along. I was really expecting a terrible neighbor in the vein of a crotchety old man with the way David and his wife talk about him. He seems nice enough, but his role in the story later is to create conflict as needed.

Toby Jones, Thomas Jane, Jeffrey DeMunn play Ollie, David, Dan

The movie doesn’t waste much time as soon enough someone is attacked and then killed by the mist. There’s a bunch of people trapped in the grocery store afraid to go outside. This feeds unnecessary drama with the locals mad at big shot artist David. It’s silly and makes little sense, but this movie likes to force drama every so often. We know there is something outside, but the movie needs characters to do something stupid as an excuse to go outside and show us a glimpse of the monster. What we see is something with a tentacle. That monster makes no more appearances. Every other monster we see is a bug of some shape or size. It seems like misdirection. I really wanted to see a tentacled monster. The tentacle also vanishes into thin air so that people don’t believe David when he claims there is a monster outside despite multiple people seeing the tentacle. The monsters outside keeps everyone inside and that begins to divide them as to how they should react.

I’m happily surprised this doesn’t cut back to David’s wife or someone else in the town. Movies often like to run multiple story lines to maximize drama and fill runtime. I’m glad this doesn’t. I like the focus on one location and one rather large problem. The latter part of the movie is what happens when you lock a bunch of people into one room. People succumb to primal influences and attack each other. Others claim acts of god.

Marcia Gay Harden plays Mr.s Carmody

This is well paced though characters often make decisions to increase drama for the sake of the narrative. The plot demands sacrifice and characters are quick to oblige. The main characters venturing into the mist is a great moment though a stupid decision. These characters do plenty of dumb things.

I’d read the ending was notable, and that is definitely true. It’s a wow moment. What leads to it are the unknowns. They don’t know how many monsters, how big the mist is, or how much of the country is affected. That ending is a gut punch. Just wow. It’s a decision by the character that feels completely justified which makes it effective. I just wish more of the previous decisions felt like characters trying to survive rather than story turns. Either way, the movie is a must see for the conclusion alone.

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