178. The Mist

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Movie: The Mist

Release Date: November 21, 2007

Director: Frank Darabont

Starring: Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden, Andre Braugher, Toby Jones, William Sadler, Jeffrey DeMunn, Frances Sternhagen, Sam Witwer, Alexa Davalos, Nathan Gamble.

Tag Lines: “Stephen King’s Legendary Tale of Terror.”

“Fear Changes Everything.”

“Belief divides them, mystery surrounds Them, but fear changes everything.”

Relevance: I have been a Stephen King fan since the early 1980’s after I read his novel “Carrie.” With that said, I haven’t read everything that he wrote. I missed his story “The Mist” in the 1980 book “Dark Forces.” I also never read “Skeleton Crew” which was a 1985 collection of his short stories which included a slightly edited version of “The Mist.” When it came to the film adaptation, it somehow flew way under my radar. I don’t even remember the marketing for the film. It did get decent reviews and was a moderate box office hit, but it wasn’t until it was released as a rental was I exposed to ‘The Mist.’ But when I finally saw it, I knew I would never, ever forget it.

I got the movie through Netflix sometime in the Spring of 2008. The movie was relentless. The tension started off quickly and never let up until its shocking, tragic ending. On the surface, it is your typical B monster movie, but it is so much more than that. Its undertones of politics, good versus evil and how people react to frightening situations were just as riveting than what lies behind the strange fog covering the small town in Maine. It was entertaining, intense, frightening and thought provoking. And that ending. Wow! It was quite the shocker. And I absolutely loved it.

The movie quickly became one of my favorite King adaptations and I bought the DVD as soon as I possibly could. I watched and re-watched the film and fell more and more in love with it. It was beautifully directed and the ensemble cast was phenomenal. It is rare that a horror movie makes me choke up and cry, but ‘The Mist’ was successful at that as well. It is quite the polarizing film. Most people detest the shocking ending. Not me. I actually applauded it, as gut-wrenching as it is. As much as I love the film though, I always make sure to do or watch something happy afterwards. My psyche demands it.

Today’s Thoughts: “What kind of awful, horrible movie are you watching?” That was the exact quote from my husband as he walked in on me watching ‘The Mist’ today. He lasted only five minutes in the room before exiting and leaving me alone to finish it. Art is definitely in the eye’s of the beholder.

I have seen this movie numerous times, but probably haven’t watched it in its entirety in about five years or so. It is still as fun, entertaining, violent and frighteningly shocking as it was every other time I watched it. I was really sucked up into the political drama of the film today for some reason, most likely due to the political turmoil that we are all living in this pandemic hell. The themes presented are very thought-provoking and what I like most about the screenplay is that it presents the “ying and yang” of each situation without giving a right or wrong answer. The viewer is left up to make up their own decision. Like always, the movie left me thinking a lot about life after it was over, rare for a horror movie.

The ensemble cast is absolute perfection. Thomas Jane carries most of the film flawlessly and his last scene is truly horrific. Marcia Gay Harden is perfectly crazy as the religious zealot. She is the character I love to hate the most in the film. She is a wonderful actress and I love watching her performance in this. Laurie Holden, Andre Braugher and Toby Jones (I love when a character’s name is Ollie) are all very effective in their supporting roles. A special shout-out to Melissa McBride, a.k.a. Carol from “The Walking Dead.” She has one tremendous, emotional scene at the beginning of the film. She also pops up in one of the final scenes and the look she gives the camera is haunting. She is truly a fine actress.

‘The Mist’ may not be for everyone, including my husband, but for the fan of the horror genre, it is one that I highly recommend. It is really terrifying, fun and packs an emotional punch at the end. Viewer be warned.

Ways to Watch: Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, DVD Availabaility.

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