Dec 2007 02

The Mist, the third Stephen King adaptation by Frank Darabont, is a pretty good suspense horror film that is constantly engaging and remains pretty much unpredictable; which is a good quality for horror suspense fair.
Thomas Jane plays David Drayton, a successful movie poster painter living in a small Maine town that is hit by a violent thunderstorm. The storm does some significant damage to the town and knocks out the electricity so Drayton along with his son and neighbor, the stubborn as hell Andre Braugher, head into town, leaving his wife behind looking upon a strange mist rolling out over the lake there house sits on. The trio heads to the grocery store to pick up supplies to find it full of people with the same idea of stocking up supplies when Dan Miller, played well by Jeffrey DeMunn comes screaming into the store, “Something in the mist!” As the mist rolls over the parking lot the supermarket patrons hear screams and the shop violently shakes as it is engulfed in the mysterious haze.
Now to tell you much else would rob the movie of it’s entertainment value in “what’s going to happen next?” Just know it keeps you tensed up and engaged, be it from the terrors outside or the insanity fear brings to some of the people in the supermarket. And that leads me to another point, if you are expecting a balls to the wall creature flick with gory grisly deaths, which there are some, you will be disappointed a bit. There is some of that but the real drama revolves around the people inside the shop and how they react to one another in this desperate time.
A few of the actors deserve some deserving credit for there work in this film. Toby Jones is just great as the smart and witty Ollie who works in the store. Jane is good as always and is criminally under used in Hollywood; he could be a mega star if given a big break. Frances Sternhagen plays is great as an elderly woman who is fighting for her life as hard as anyone in the movie. Sam Witwer is a nice find as a homegrown military boy that just misses getting out of town, while Alexa Davalos is solid as the cute girl next door cashier. Laurie Holden is also pretty good as the mother figure for Drayton’s son during the crisis and has some great back and forth with Marcia Gay Harden who is phenomenal in this film.
Harden owns every scene she is in as the fire and brimstone bible beater and you will love to hate her as the film goes by. Her character’s arc in the film is the most interesting and compelling and sadly is probably fairly accurate if people were in a similar life or death situation. She spouts off to people and just raises everybody’s blood temperature throughout the film and you just dread, in a good way, every time she comes on screen.
Also to note, this film is quite funny at times with some good lines through out. Also the film does a good job of making sure you feel nobody is safe and they aren’t. The special effects at times left a bit to be desired, but Darabont was working with a smaller budget and considering that they are more than good enough most of the time. The mist is also extremely well done but it must have been a pain in the ass to work with.
All in all, this is a solid effort from Darabont and crew and while it isn’t the best thing in the world, it is a fun way to spend a couple hours if you are up for some scares and human drama.


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