“…some moments even leave you gasping and crying in shock during the unpredictable and memorable final act.”writes A Bearded Critic.
Book-to-film adaptations are a tricky thing to do correctly and an even harder thing to do well. Frank Darabont, however, is one of the best screen directors out there to do it not once with The Green Mile (1999), not twice with The Shawshank Redemption (1994) but three times with The Mist (2007); allof which were adaptations of Stephen King’s novels. The Mist, based on the 1980 novella of the same name, is a frightening insight into the likely deconstruction of civilisation of people faced with the fear of the unknown.With some creepy, otherworldly monsters thrown in for good measure.
With a huge ensemble cast including Thomas Jane (The Punisher 2004) as the father, David Drayton, who is trying to rationalise the supernatural chaos, and Marcia Gay Harden (Mystic River 2003) as ‘the local nutjob’, Mrs. Carmody, who seeks to use the situation to her advantage. The recognisable faces do not stop there, with cast members from the hit TV show ‘The Walking Dead’ making appearances as well as recently popular actors from hit sitcoms. So, there is plenty of talent to appreciate when scanning the foreground in each and every nail-biting scene.
“I can’t accept that. People are basically good; decent. My god, David, we’re a civilized society.” – Amanda
When a freak storm tears through part of the Drayton family home David, his son, and their not-so-friendly neighbourBrent (played by Andre Braugher from Brooklyn Nine-Nine)head into town in search of supplies from the local market. It is not long before a local resident rushes into the busy store,bloodied, scared, and shouting about noises coming from within the thick mist that engulfs the street outside. The white sheet of mist obscures any view of what lies on the other side of the thin glass window between them, causing people to fall into conflict on how best to proceed through the ensuing nights together. What proceeds is a frightening, double-edgedlook at both the monsters inside the store as well as those outside amid the mist.
Winner of multiple awards, with the most noteworthy being the 2009 ‘Best DVD Special Edition Release’, which sawboth the theatrical colour release of the movie as well as a black and white variant released for home watching. With other successful movies since following this trend (such as Mad Max Fury Road and Logan) The Mist is undoubtedly the best in the category. With the black-and-white version bringing a recognisable change of tone and heightened suspense, thanks to its murky blacks and striking whites. It almost makes it impossible to watch the equally good colour version once you have witnessed its impressive monotoned form.
“We have to tell them. The people in the market. We have to stop them from going outside.” - Ollie
When it comes to the ensemble cast giving theirperformances, it could have been potentially difficult for an audience to focus on who or what was most important, however, to their credit, the entire cast (including the extras) manage to come together seamlessly and create something truly mesmerising to watch. Unique and significant charactersdo still take prime spots though when the drama develops, as the clashing of viewpoints begins to grow into something more than you might expect given the circumstances, with some moments even leaving you gasping and crying in shockduring the unpredictable and memorable final act.
Stephen King’s Novella ‘The Mist’ is considered to be one of his most iconic, and renowned as a true classic in its genre, so Darabont would have struggled to mess this one up. What some may not have expected though was for the film adaption to become one of the best in its genre too. Watching it over a decade later, it is hard not to criticise the dated-looking CGI of monsters or chuckle at the stereotypes of characters’ motivations, however, the film does still stand strong as a masterpiece in horror and suspense to this day.
With an extensive run time of just over 2 hours, the moviedoes well to keep a good pace and suspense throughout, usinginteresting dialogue between the great characters along withperfectly timed jump scares. However, for me, the best thing to take from the film is the skilful use of the space givenwithin the sole location of the movie, the market. Darabont does remarkably well with framing as much into each scene as possible but also is not scared to allow the mist to consume his shots, adding to the unease of the vacant empty spaces and the unknown dangers it brings.
“There’s no defence against the will of God. There’s no court of appeals in hell.” – Mrs. Carmody
A Bearded Critic rating: 4/5