Movie review: The Mist (2007)

The Mist 2007Synopsis: There’s creatures in the mist and it’s definitely not gorillas!

Director: Frank Darabont

Starring: Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden and Nathan Gamble

Review: Based on the Stephen King novella (one of my personal favourites) of the same name, David Drayton (Jane) must protect his son (Gamble) when a strange mist encompasses the town, trapping him and a number of other townspeople in the supermarket. It’s not long before petty resentments and jealousies erupt, and hints from army personnel about ‘Project Arrowhead’ getting out causes the shoppers to divide into factions. People being attacked by unseen creatures in the mist rapidly inflame the situation and finally Drayton must decide how best to protect his own life and that of his son.

I’ve long been a fan of the King novella and if you’ve read any of his work, there’s nothing surprising or new here: a small town in Maine is attacked but it’s more the exploration of how mankind deals with the unknown and outside threats which is covered here.

The characters are brought to life well and Jane plays the family man struggling to protect his son while coping with an extraordinary situation well, especially when battling against the crazed, cross-welding, religious maniac played to perfection by Harden – you’ll hate her and be in awe of her zeal at the same time. I found Holden’s character ‘Andrea’ in the Walking Dead to be extremely annoying but she didn’t drive me to want to commit murder in this, although she’s not the most memorable in my opinion. As always with a King story, there’s lots of minor characters who get to shine, especially those involved with closing the loading bay doors.

The action is well-paced and the director allows the cast to use the space well. There’s minimal CGI so the actors have to build the tension which they do. For die-hard King fans, they’ll be annoyed that the ending has changed from the novella. The novella offers the characters a future with hope but this ending is more bleak but in my opinion, this ending is stronger. After watching this, I can guarantee that the next time the fog rolls in, you’ll be checking more than your fog lights as you pack your car.

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