The Mist (2007)

Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden, Andre Braugher
A freak storm unleashes a species of bloodthirsty creatures on a small town, where a small band of citizens hole up in a supermarket and fight for their lives.
Frank Darabont's impressive camerawork and politically incisive script make The Mist a truly frightening experience.
  • The Weinstein Company Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 21 Nov 2007 Released:
  • 18 Mar 2008 DVD Release:
  • $25.5M Box office:

All subtitles:

Trailer:

One of the best horror films I've seen in a long, long time10/10
On first impressions The Mist doesn't remotely seem like the kind of film anyone should be excited about. The Mist, what? A bit like The Fog, then. Stephen King's The Mist, oh, that makes it even worse. Directed by Frank Darabont, since when did he direct horror films? Okay, so he scripted Nightmare on Elm Street 3 and The Blob, not bad films, but not classics in any sense. Starring Thomas Jane, has anyone seen The Punisher. And, to cap it all, The Mist died a quick death at the US box office. It'll probably go straight to DVD in the UK.

The only reason I bought and watched the film was on a recommendation from a friend. He pleaded: "You have to see this film. You won't believe how good it is." So I put his judgement to the test.

And thank God. This is a great horror film. From the opening scene, Darabont sets a tone that's creepy, sinister and beautifully judged. The script is realistic, the character are believable and the direction... Darabont has almost reinvented himself. The Mist is dark, scary and even funny (intentionally). You care about the characters, the scary scenes are scary, and the whole film is carried off with an efficiency, a lack of pretension and a strong idea of what makes a good, if not great, horror film.

And the ending... how dark can you get? I can understand why this didn't do well at the box office. But neither did Shawshank Redemption...
"The Mist" is worth watching!9/10
I've been a member of IMDb for many years now and rarely do I take the time to comment on a film. In addition, I watch, on average, about 10-15 films a month, split among all genres including horror. Lately though, I've been very disenfranchised with most horror films especially with the proliferation of shock/gore/splatter/torture-porn films such as Hostel 2, The latest Saw film, Captivity, etc. Enter "The Mist" and I leave the theater saying to myself "this is why I go see movies".

Frank Darabont should be the only one adapting Steven King novels and short stories...period. He brings a human balance that's missing in most horror films these days. You can have the most unbelievable, and maybe even the most ludicrous, situations and events, but if you make the characters believable and further peel the layers to expose fear, prejudices and vulnerability then you have the foundations towards making an effective film. I was absolutely gripped during the entire film, and that all-too-rare-these-days sense of dread permeates through almost every scene and left me emotionally exhausted at the end. And speaking of the ending, isn't that what almost everyone is talking about? I'm not going to give anything away, but in my opinion, I loved it. I can see why it can split into camps of "loved it"/"didn't like it" but for me it was a great conclusion to the entire storyline of the human condition. I wouldn't have changed a thing.
Classic Horror in a Post Modern age10/10
Let me take a breath... Never have I had such a visceral physical reaction to a film... ever. Not even with Elem Klimov's Come and See. In the last fifteen minutes I was nearly physically paralyzed, and then started shaking, realizing how numb my body was... and I am dead serious. Frank Darabont's adaptation of Stephen King's novella goes heads above a 50s/60s monster movie homage. This is grade "A" chilling, terrifying, unsettling and utterly hopeless cinema in line with the most cynical and depressing classics from the 70s. The Mist itself and the monsters it brings are just the appetizer here. As all good horror should be, this explores the ultimate enemy, ourselves. In short one of the most beautiful, thrilling and terrible times I've had at the movies.

To elaborate, it isn't a pitch perfect film... Some of the CGI at the beginning is weak, and there are a few lines that can't escape the genre, but other than that this is a home run in every department - The performances (especially from Toby Jones and Marcia Gay Harden), the ingenious hand held camera, which is never used as a gimmick. The sound design, the lack of an underscore... This lends to the great atmosphere and tension Darabont builds. I'm sure you can guess by now this isn't schmaltzy, sentimental Darabont here; this is an angry, maniacal man that rears his head and shouts, "Everything is lost!" and then shoots you in the gut. Any fan of Stephen King, The Twilight Zone or Ray Bradbury, will greedily devour this with a great big grin on their face, then feel very sick but so damn happy and then throw up. Best film of the year yet.
A Spectacular Scarefest8/10
While the cast and crew of "The Mist" will herald the Weinstein Brothers at press junkets and the like, the producing duo has made 2007's most refreshingly original horror films ("Grindhouse," "Halloween") sacrificial lambs to fright-unfriendly weekends (there's a good article on this at Dread Central.com). And while "The Mist" certainly commands a 30-foot screen, maybe its best possible fate lies on DVD, where viewers with surround sound and a widescreen TV can live the horrific, harrowing experience without the distraction of an audience too dumb to decipher their ticket stubs.

"What's wrong with Stephen King?!" one member asked at the climax of "The Mist," certain he had made an alternately incisive and hilarious comment. To which I thought, "Had you actually read the novella, clod, you'd know that King ended on an (almost) upbeat note." With home entertainment fast becoming the industry standard, I guess the expectation of a tactful audience is beyond reason anymore.

Despite the running commentary, I was able to see the treasure most of the room missed out on. As a novella, "The Mist" is—like most of King's work—pulpy, scary, and compelling. The film, written and directed by Frank Darabont, is a stunning adaptation that manages to capture the slow burn of dread and desperation that permeates the novella. And while there is an uncanny titular similarity to John Carpenter's "The Fog," this is an altogether different beast.

The setup is simple: after a brutal storm whips through a small Maine community, movie poster artist David Drayton (Thomas Jane—"Dreamcatcher") and his son, Bill (Nathan Gamble) head into town for supplies, accompanied by Norton (Andre Braugher), their next-door neighbor. Once they arrive at a small shopping plaza, a shear mist encroaches upon them, trapping a large number of people inside a grocery store. The utter randomness of this scenario is enough to make one's skin crawl, but it turns out there are prehistoric-looking monsters waiting in the mist. And the inhabitants of the store become increasingly desperate for survival.

(At this juncture, I will apologize in advance for the upcoming comparisons to "Night of the Living Dead," due to the sheer quantity of mentions.)

What follows has a lot of thematic parallels to George Romero's "Night of the Living Dead," a B movie whose guerrilla fearlessness and intelligence pushed it into legitimacy and legend. "The Mist" is as much about things-that-go-bump-against-the-plate-glass as the way in which trapped humans respond to such a fantastic situation. Like "Night," the breakdown of social order and martial law is addressed; the role of the military comes into play; religious fundamentalism is personified by Mrs. Carmody (Marcia Gay Harden), a fire-and-brimstone type who becomes a macabre, sacrifice-minded beacon to the store's desperate. In an era where most of today's horror crowd expects "Saw XIV" every time they walk into a theater, Darabont's script is built on a foundation of logic and authentic human action (even when characters do things we know are unwise, their rationale is convincingly fleshed-out) as opposed to manipulative twists and anticlimaxes. The ending is at once ballsy, depressing, and right. Like "Night," "The Mist" is less about otherworldly monsters than mankind's uncanny ability to BE the monster.

That being said, "The Mist" works as well as a traditional horror film, with several genuinely scary sequences involving mutant hybrids of pterodactyls, houseflies, and spiders, with several Cthulhu-esquire unmentionables to complement their Lovecraftian backstory. The CG is well-utilized and the sharp editing keeps it from being overdone. Darabont transforms the creatures—which are essentially '50s B-movie fodder—into absolutely convincing visions of hell. This film bucks current horror trends by actually scaring the audience instead of just repulsing them.

"The Mist" is one of the year's best.
This King adaptation gets it right8/10
I was very impressed by this adaptation of Stephen King's 'The Mist'. I have been a fan of the story since it came out and have played the text game and have heard the 3-D audio version of it. This is a masterful suspense/monster movie that puts an ensemble cast into the untenable situation of being in a deteriorating situation they cannot escape from. We watch as alliances are formed, religious paranoia takes hold and, nicely, the movie takes the time to establish characters whom we come to care for before the true action begins. I dock it a couple of points because some of the monsters seemed a little too cgi, and the middle lags a bit, but the much talked about ending is indeed awesome and I was most impressed by the director's decision to keep the music soundtrack down and even eliminate it completely during many of the action sequences. So many movies nowadays crank the music up to 11 to make up for the fact that their suspense scenes do not work. This movie does. I was breathlessly on the edge of my seat for most of it, even though I was already familiar with the story. Highly recommended.