So with a nod towards Halloween my Sunday Night movie this weekend was The Mist. The Mist is a monster movie based on the Stephen King novella os the same title. I had hear a number of good things about this film and it’s been sitting in my Netflix queue for sometime, so I decided that Halloween was the perfect time to give it a spin.
I was disappointed. This film did not work for me and frankly left me rather cold. It may be that I have grown out of my Stephen King phase or it could be that King has grown stale. Either way too many of the elements to the story felt like stock and formula elements rather than facet of a storyline.
The Mist is a story about a small New England town that is suddenly engulfed in a mysterious mist one day following a terrible storm. The protagonist of the film is David Drayton, played by Thomas Jane, a graphic artist with a loving wife and intelligent little boy. His life is complicated by his neighbor, Brent Norton (played by Andre Braugher) a big shot lawyer with whom Drayton has scuffled in court over property damages. The two, along with Drayton’s son, drive into town for supplies following the storm and are trapped in the local supermarket when the mist closes in around the town.
Quickly it become apparent that there is something in the mist and it is death to go out into it. There are a number of other people trapped in the supermarket and it’s clear that everyone here is part of the stock company of Stephen King characters. David Drayton himself is the smart, talented and usually liked artist. Brant Norton is the unlikeable lawyer/business man type, you have the not-too-bright and even less courageous mechanics in Jim and Myron, the likable and sweet high school girl who babysits for the locals, the shy boy, and the character no King story can possible be without, the Christian Zealot, here embodied by Mrs. Carmody, played by Marcia Gay Harden.
Mrs Carmody is truly a character I am tired of seeing. She is not a character as much as she is parody of a character. King’s dislike of christian characters is evident in work and Mrs. Carmody is no exception. There was nothing interesting, new, or exciting with this set of characters captured in this plot.
The majority of the screentime is spent as a siege movie. The people trapped in the store struggling to over the the events tossed at them. This whole story is pretty much the opposite of a character driven piece. Here events happen, tentacles grab people, giant bugs fly into the store with deadly stingers, and people react to these events. Overall I will give this to the film, the main characters do NOT act like professional victims. They generally figure out the right approaches and right techniques to deal with the situation. However they are reactive and that in my book generally makes for more boring stories.
The film remained so-so right up until the resolution when it jumped the shark and turned into utter garbage. To explain why I feel that was will mean spoilers, so if you wanna know, follow me through the jump.