Thursday, 1 January 2009

The Mist

A freak storm unleashes a species of blood-thirsty creatures on a small town, where a band of citizens are obliged to hole-up in a supermarket, and fight for their lives

This film came out in 2007 in the US, but didn't get a release in the UK until this year. Perhaps The Mist suffered because it came out shortly after the dire remake of The Fog? Or perhaps the film's distributors ran scared because of its uncompromising and uncomfortable ending? I don't know, but I do know that film is a little seen gem. A genuine, old-fashioned scare-fest, based on a short novel by Stephen King and directed with assured polish by Frank Darabont.

Darabont, an old hand at King adaptations and friend of the author, sat on the movie rights of this horror classic for years until he had the time to film it. It was well worth the wait. He veers barely at all from the source material. The various creeping monsters that come out of the all-eveloping mist are frightening and believable creatures. The danger that comes from within the group of survivors is also creditable and loaded with irony. Here, a charismatic individual who seems to offers answers, begins to turn the minds of the frightened people in the supermarket. The political and religious parallels of this storyline are merely observed, rather than hammered home, and the film is all the better for it.

There are no big stars on show. Just a lot of good actors: Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden, and Andre Braugher. Thus, you've really no idea who will survive and who won't, adding to the suspense. A warning though. The ending carries on from where the novel finishes, to offer a double gut-punch finale, which may upset you and that you certainly won't forget.

No comments: