Saturday, December 01, 2007

Just Mist

Going in, "The Mist" had almost all indications that it was going to be awesome. Frank Darabont ["The Shawshank Redemption" "The Green Mile"] had written the screenplay and directed Stephen King's novella of the same name. It was Darabont's dream project and one of King's most popular stories. The movie was well cast and early word was positive.

The Good: the story - a mysterious mist containing creatures rolls in to a small town forcing a variety of characters to take refuge in a supermarket; the interplay of the people as they slowly learn what is going on; the ending [which is different than King's novella -- and no, I'm not giving away either]; the meek store clerk, Marcia Gay Harden in her role as Mrs. Carmody.

The Bad: some of the CGI creatures; what happens to some of the characters; the ending [yeah, I know, I listed it under the good as well... more on that in a second]; Ms. Carmody.

The Ugly: what happens to some of the characters and the ending [more in a sec].

As you probably guessed the ending really has an impact. Although different than the novella's [and praised by Stephen King], it just wasn't the ending that I wanted. There's no doubt that it works on one level, and could be justified as logical -- but, and here's the big but, it could just as easily be argued that it wasn't logical and it doesn't work. I give credit to Darabont for having the courage to go with his vision and perhaps it will grow on me as time passes.

Although I'm glad that I saw "The Mist" it just missed getting a solid recommendation from me. It definitely has kept me thinking about it. And maybe that's the best recommendation a movie can get.


Chad said...

I'm sure we all know this ending is VERY controversial, but I for one praise it. It's not the ending I expected either, which makes me love it even more. It harkens back to when horror movies did not have happy endings, ala John Carpenter's The Thing (My personal favorite horror/sci-fi movie ever.) But I think the movie not only entertains, but entertains in a very uncomfortable and squirm in your seat kind of way. As I was watching it, I was really thinking, what would I do in the same situation? To insure my son's survival, how far would I go? And that's what made the ending for me so gut wrenching. And so unforgettable. The same feeling I had when I first saw Carpenter's The Thing. Maybe it's no mistake that a poster of The Thing was hanging in Thomas Jane's studio at the beginning of the film. Yeah, the CGI was a little wonky, but I feel the story's the thing here.This movie still had me thinking about it days after I watched it, which as you said Craig, maybe that's a good recommendation right there. Great performances from a great cast. It's for sure not a movie you want to watch repeatedly, just for the fact that it's so bleak and dark, but it's one of the better Stephen King adaptations in a loooooong time.

Craig Zablo said...

Chad, like you, I also continued to put myself in the father's position to see how I would react to save my son[s. I totally get your reference to John Carpenter's The Thing [and noticed the poster as well]. I do applaud the stones to end the movie as chosen and can argue the logic for doing so. Still, and what bugs me, is that it could have still been ended with the same result and pushed just a bit more before the final actions.

Hope that makes sense without spoiling it for those who haven't seen it.

Raf said...

I agree with the bad CGI creatures, especially the "small" sized ones. They looked like unfinished CGI work.

I liked the ending as well, it reminded me more of an EC or TWILIGHT ZONE ending. Although I can see what Craig means by the pacing - it did seem too hurried. I think there was a good extra five to ten minutes of really great dramatic tension that could have been built up. I suppose it could be argued that they had nothing left to say.

I'd recommend the film just because it is unorthodox for today's endings although now come to think of it - it has an odd relation to a more "serious" film like NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN.

Anonymous said...

I was very surprised by this film. I really enjoyed it. The ending had me gasping and nearly screaming out...but I still understood it and I liked that it was totally "out there".

thanks for reviewing this Craig.