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Non-Review Review: The Mist

Our recording of the 24 season finale failed last night. We’re hoping that Sky will put the two-hour episode up on Anytime, like they did with Lost. It’s not all bad though, figuring we’d prepared the snacks and beverages, we decided to see what was on to watch. We settled on The Mist, a small-scale horror movie based on the Stepehn King novella. Our random selection of films from Anytime has never been particularly lucky, so were we impressed with our choice of horror film?

We had a picture to go with the film, but it was just too intense...

We had a picture to go with the film, but it was just too intense...


Boy were we. From director Frabnk Darabont, it’s like the anti-Shawshank Redemption. It’s grim, relentless and gritty. And, despite the film’s warnings about the monsters in the mist, it’s the other people trapped in the store you need to worry about. King has never been a particularly original writer (that’s not too suggest he isn’t a great writer, just not particularly original), so the basic plot borrows heavily from classic monster movies. Smalltown folk are beseiged by otherworldly evils while sheltering inside a small convenience story. The difference here is the execution.

Well acted by an ensemble of reliable supporting players (see if you recognise one name apart from Thomas Jane and Marcia Gay Harden), Darabont and King skillfully use the setup to examine how long a community of people could survive in a confined space without any idea what is going on. The strange creatures in the mist may be visually disturbing, but the lengths the crowd is willing to go to are far more sickening. The film is well constructed to sap just about any faith the viewer has in humanity, and I feel the need to warn you that this is not a happy movie. It’s a brave, thought provoking and scary movie, but it isn’t a happy one.

It isn’t a perfect film. Though the CGI creations are scary, they lose some of their effectiveness when we can clearly identify them as computer generated. They are much better when glimpsed through the fog outside the store – but that is try of most horror creations. The music can also get a bit overwhelming in places, with its Gothic Gregorian chant, but it works very well over the ending.

It’s nice to see a horror film that doesn’t require excessive gore to elicit the desired reaction from the audience. All it needs to do is lock a bunch of people together at the end of the world and watch what happens. The best scary movie I’ve seen in quite a while. If you like your movies ambiguous, you should really check it out.

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The Mist is an adaptation of a Stephen King novella by Frank Darabont. It stars Thomas Jane (Punisher), Laurie Holden (The X-Files, Silent Hill), Marcia Gay Harden (Mystic River, Miller’s Crossing), Toby Jones (W., Frost/Nixon), William Sadler (Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, Die Hard 2) and Andre Braugher (Poseiden, Primal Fear). It was released in the US on 21st November 2007, but wasn’t released in the UK and Ireland until 4th July 2008.

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9 Responses

  1. […] Hallow Man), Oliver Platt (The West Wing), Sam Rockwell (Galaxy Quest, Moon), Toby Jones (The Mist, W.), Rebecca Hall (The Prestige, Vicky Christina Barcelona) and Matthew Macfadyen (Spooks, Pride […]

  2. […] Day 7 In Review By Darren So, after a technical malfunction last night left us all watching The Mist, we caught a repeat of the 24 season finale last night. I have to say, I quite enjoyed it, as I […]

  3. […] get me wrong, we still get a really good one, from time-to-time. Part of the reason that I enjoyed The Mist so much is because it was so rare to find a genuinely old-school horror. Everything these days […]

  4. […] Darabont (of The Mist and The Shawshank Redemption) told us why good films don’t get made – and […]

  5. I love The Mist…some brilliant scenes and so underrated

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