Tuesday, September 30, 2014

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The Mist (2007)

After a strong storm in the Maine area, local artist Dave Drayton drives from his house nearby the lake to the supermarket with his son Billy and his arrogant neighbor, lawyer Brent Norton, to get supplies.  Along their way, they see a heavy mist, a military convoy, police, fire and ambulance trucks heading toward the mist. While in the supermarket, a frantic bleeding local arrives crying that there is something alive in the mist and the manager closes the entrance doors while the place is encased by the mist. Dave, two employees and some other locals go to the back of the story to start the generator. When they open the back door, cashier Norm is dragged out by fierce tentacles. Dave and the other survivors succeed in closing the loading door and they inform the other people in the store what happened. Brent does not trust Dave’s tale and believes it is a prank while the God-fearing Mrs. Carmody begins preaching about the apocalypse. Soon the group discovers that they are under siege by blood thirsty creatures from another dimension that have reached out through a window opened by a failed military research operation. Running out of options, Dave and a small group decides to take the chance to escape the supermarket, hopping into Dave’s car in hopes of escaping The Mist.

The Mist stars Thomas Jane as Dave Drayton, Marcia Gay Harden as Mrs. Carmody and Laurie Holden as Amanda Dunfrey. This movie had a budget of 18 million and grossed 25.5 million.

Even though I’m jumping straight to the end, I have to say that we have finally come to a Stephen King story where we don’t get the Hollywood happy ending. It’s actually refreshing. But I’ll get back to the ending in a moment.

While I’ll admit that I enjoyed The Mist, it is a movie that is dull. Let’s take a bunch of people and stick them in a confining space.  There’s really not much you can do. What am I thinking? Of course there’s lots you can do. Remember Quarantine or Devil? So maybe it’s not the confinement that bothered me, rather the people. Let’s look at some of them.

Dave Drayton is played by Thomas Jame and I have to admit that I actually like Tom Jane although I don’t think he’s a great actor. I do find the characters he portrays interesting. Basically Tom Jane is good at playing the everybody’s man. Dave is a local artist, a father and local resident of the area, there’s nothing extraordinary about him. Even his actions later in the movie are nothing special except a willingness to survive.

Now, let’s talk about my less favorite characters…the lawyer Brent Norton and Mrs. Carmody. To be honest, I wanted to hurt these these people. First, there’s “I have the biggest chip on my shoulder in the entire universe” Brent Norton. This character almost optimizes  a reverse racist. You know the type…the person who thinks the world and everyone in it owes him something. Needless to say, I wasn’t sad to see him leave the supermarket with his followers early in the movie. Although you never know what truly happens to Mr. Norton, I always hoped it wasn’t pleasant.

And then there’s Mrs. Carmody – the God-fearing misquoting and taking Biblical passages out of content “crazy” lady. In some regards, Mrs. Carmody’s influence and actions are worse than Mr. Norton’s because at one point she is responsible for a lynching and nearly a riot. I would have loved to see this character come to a disastrous end as well but we leave her behind as well.

***SPOILER ALERT***

Now, let’s talk about the ending. It was the most horrific ending that I’ve seen in a long time. Fearing that there’s no chance of survival, Dave is forced to kill his son and companions to keep them from supposedly suffering a gruesome death at the hands of the monsters in the mist. And after Dave’s done all the killing, left distraught and wanting to die himself, here comes a military convoy to the rescue with other survivors in tow. It was the perfect ending.

While The Mist is a guilty pleasure of mine, I don’t necessarily recommend this movie. It’s a little too dry and dull, but if you’re a King fan, it’s worth sitting through at least once.

 

 

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