Greetings my Movie Ghouls
Stephen King gets a hard time for endings. It was highlighted in It Chapter 2 and in most of the adaptations of his books. But in Frank Darabont’s 2007 take King’s 1980 novella The Mist the ending is thrown out for a more definitive conclusion.
The Mist begins with David Drayton (Thomas Jane) a movie poster artist finishing his newest piece, which happens to show The Gunslinger and Dark Tower. An interesting opening suggesting either a larger Stephen King universe exists within this film, or their world actually got a good Dark Tower movie. A storm hits and they have to hunker down in the basement for the night. The next day there is destruction and loss of power.
David, his son and his neighbour travel to the local shop to get supplies. Before they leave they see mist floating down the mountains and on to the lake. At the shop, we meet a whole host of King characters including the religious nut, Mrs Carmody. The mist hits with Jeffrey DeMunn’s character running into the shop with blood coming from his face. He shouts not to go in the mist and that there is something in there.
The Mist Monsters
The majority of the film takes place within the shop as the survivors try to protect themselves inside. There are a couple
of scenes where the survivors come up against the monsters in the mist and they’re all really interesting designed creatures, but it turns out the real monsters are those within the supermarket.
Mrs Carmody after having a monster land on her and leave her alone begins to believe that she has been chosen by God to protect and save the people. Most people ignore her but realise that if things get harder they will begin flocking to her.
The problem with The Mist and I say problem lightly is the creatures CGI. Despite being a 2007 movie, the effects for the creatures just let the film down slightly. Personally I don’t mind it, as they try to blend the CG with some practical effects. Take a look at the spider birthing scene or the stinger scene for practical effects. But when you have a big CG tentacle feeling its way around the loading bay it looks a little off.
As mentioned up top, the ending is changed for the film and having read what happened in the novella, I believe the movie ending is better.
In the book, it is left ambiguous and on a hopeful note, but the movie is a lot darker. A small group escape the supermarket and drive away trying to locate Drayton’s wife. She’s dead and they drive on through the endless mist. They believe the country is overrun and decide to use the remaining bullets on themselves.
Unfortunately, they don’t have enough bullets so David opts to stay alive. He shoots everyone in the car including his son. Thomas Jane’s acting here is raw and emotional being simply screams for what he’s just done. He shouts for the monsters to get him but sees that the mist is clearing and army trucks with survivors are coming through. The film ends with him screaming as soldiers look in the car.
I hate spoiling things. If you haven’t watched the Mist, I urge you to watch it. It is a good and atmospheric movie. Being set predominantly in the supermarket gives limited sets, which means the actors have to act. And they all do. Even the kid isn’t too obnoxious.
What comes out of The Mist isn’t great but it is believable if a little weightless. But your mind fills in the blanks. The end makes the film. If Darabont had used the Novella ending I don’t think this would have been as memorable.
Fans of the Walking Dead will notice up to 5 future characters including Carol, Dale and Andrea. As for Thomas Jane, it made me realise how good a fit he would be for Rowland The Gunslinger In a Dark Tower movie.
For yesterday’s article click here.
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