“You don't have much faith in humanity, do you?”
Frank Darabont’s third adaptation of a Stephen King novel proves without a doubt that he is the best director at bringing the writer’s words to film. The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile were both fantastic films, although not the typical horror novels you’d expect from King. The Mist however is much closer to the horror genre we’d expect from him, and Darabont manages to successfully adapt his work for the third time. Not that there haven’t been other successful King adaptations from other director’s such as Kubrick’s direction in The Shining, Reiner in Misery and Stand By Me, and De Palma in Carrie, but most of the time the adaptations don’t seem to work as well. But when it comes to Frank Darabont he has always managed to impress us with the way he brings those novels to the big screen. I honestly have no idea why I never got around to watching this film considering how much I loved Darabont’s previous work, but I think much of it had to do with my confusion over the 2005 film The Fog. The name of that film was translated in Spanish as “The Niebla” which was the same name they gave The Mist so I thought I had seen this film before and hated it. When I finally realized these were two separate films I decided to watch it and what a pleasant experience it was. The Mist is a fantastic homage to 50 and 60’s monster horror films, but at the same time Darabont seems to be reminding us that no matter how dangerous and ugly these things might be, the true enemy is our own humanity. No matter how much fun the ride was, the ending is what will really stick with you. You will love it and hate it at the same time.
David Drayton (Thomas Jane) is an artist who is working on his latest Hollywood poster painting from his comfortable home in Maine. He is unexpectedly interrupted by a storm and quickly seeks refugee in the basement with his wife and five year-old son, Billy (Nathan Gamble). The next morning they see the damage the fallen trees have left on their home and along with his son and their neighbor Brent (Andre Braugher) they head to the market to buy supplies. There is a heavy mist that seems to be approaching and while they are on their way to the market several firetrucks and army vehicles seem to be heading towards the opposite direction. Once they arrive at the supermarket the mist has already caught up to them and a few minutes later an old man named Dan (Jeffrey DeMunn) runs in half scared to death claiming that there is something in the mist taking people. There are more than 50 people in the market who begin to panic and they decide to close the doors and wait inside for help. David decides to check the generator along with some of the men there including a store employee named Ollie (Toby Jones) and a client named Jim (William Sadler) but what they experience leaves them completely horrified. Some sort of gigantic creature’s tentacles begin to slide under the loading dock door and the men immediately have to shut it. There is no doubt in their minds now that there is definitely something out of this world in the mist. According to Mrs. Carmody (Marcia Gay Harden), the town’s religious fanatic, they are all experiencing God’s wrath for their sinful nature. At first no one pays attention to her, but as the strange creatures begin to creep into the store, she begins to have more followers. David will not only have to look out for what is terrorizing them from the outside, but worry about the growing hate that Mrs. Carmody is sowing in everyone’s hearts.
In a way, The Mist is sort of The Walking Dead reunion since there are three actors from that series (Laurie Holden, Jeffrey DeMunn, and Melissa McBride) in this film. It comes as no surprise since Darabont is one of the producers and directors of that series as well and DeMunn has always worked with him in his other King adaptations. If you are a fan of that series, you will definitely want to check this film out because there could be a clue as to how that series might end. Darabont always has a surprise in store and he is deeply influenced by his good friend Stephen King so you know you can’t expect a cliched finale. As much as I enjoyed this film I did feel that the two hour length was a bit tiresome at some points. The film could’ve been cut a good 20 minutes and the experience could’ve been much better. The Marcia Gay Harden character also got on my nerves and I think they gave her too much screen time. The religious fanatic element was an important plot point but Darabont emphasized it a bit too much. The Mist is still a lot of fun and it delivers several suspenseful moments.