Director: Frank Darabont
Starring: Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden, Andre Braugher, Toby Jones
Fear changes everything
A violent storm hits a small town in Maine, leaving several people injured and also caused damages worth several hundred thousands of dollars on buildings and vehicles. Dave Drayton takes his son and neighbor into the supermarket to gather supplies and stuff to fix the damages that have occurred on their properties.
They are not the only ones out for supplies, a big group of townspeople have also headed in the same direction and shortly after they arrive they notice a strange mist coming closer and closer to the store. They do not believe it is safe to go outside into the mist and it won’t take long before they figure out that they are absolutely not safe anymore.
The Mist is a film by Frank Darabont that are based upon an old novella with the same title from 1980 by Stephen King. This was the third film Darabont worked on that were based on the writing of Stephen King and after delivering The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile you could say that the anticipation was huge. Did it live up to the two previous films? Sadly, no.
The film starts out, like many other King adaptations does, with the small town setting with ordinary people going through something very unordinary. It’s something we have seen in films such as Needful Things and Storm of the Century and it is a setting that works well with King’s characters and stories. Although it does work in The Mist, it is not filled with as many interesting and original characters as in the previous adaptations.
It also does suffer a bit by having a leading character that doesn’t stand that much out in my opinion. Thomas Jane isn’t that great as David Drayton and the only one that I did like to watch was William Sadler, but that’s because he is who he is and will always do something interesting on the screen. This is not to say that the acting is bad in this film, but it never reaches a level to make the viewer very engaged in any of the characters and none of them get that much development either. These type of characters work much better in a longer film or mini-series since they have more time to flesh them out.
The threat of the film, the creatures of the mist, is interesting but some of the special effects are too obviously CGI effects and that always puts me out of a film quickly. They could also have used some more creativity instead of basically making giant bugs and slightly altered creatures of what we are already familiar with. The concept of this type of threat and where it came from is interesting though.
The one thing that this film is known for is its ending. Darabont changed the original ending from the King novella and went very dark with his way of closing the story. Some hate it, some love it, regardless of how you might feel about it, it is definitely a ballsy move on his part and I applaud him for his choice.
The Mist is a good Stephen King adaptation, but it does have its flaws and lacks some of the character warmth that is much-needed for films like this. It is however still a very entertaining film and definitely worth giving a watch if you are a fan of the stories that King has come up with during the years.