After an unearthly mist consumes a small town, survivors takes shelter in a grocery store, where dire circumstances reveal their true natures.
The Mist (2007)
Written and Directed by Frank Darabont
Starring Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden,
Toby Jones, Jeffrey DeMunn, William Sadler,
Andre Braugher, Nathan Gamble, Frances Sternhagen,
Sam Witwer, Robert C. Treveiler
Based on the novella by Stephen King
I think it's time to introduce an unspoken rule that Frank Darabont is the only filmmaker allowed to adapt the work of Stephen King. With The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, he proved he could faithfully adapt King's dramatic work, but with The Mist he showed he could do horror as well. The Mist is a frightening tale of man's primal need to survive when faced with the certainty of death, especially what we would do to those who get in our way. It's one of King's more visceral stories and Darabont brings it to life with gruesome perfection.
The Mist is told from the perspective of David Drayton (Thomas Jane), an artist who is trapped by the mist and must comfort his son while keeping the religious fanatics at bay. Jane does a believable job of playing a desperate father, but it's Marcia Gay Harden as the psychotic God-fearing Mrs. Carmody who steals the show. As with any crisis, there are those who manipulate the weak-minded to their own ends and Mrs. Carmody uses God to do just that. Honestly, the scariest thing about the film isn't the monsters in the mist. It's the monsters inside all of us. The ones who are waiting to emerge when all the rules have been stripped away from society. That's what this film does best. It shows how people will tear others apart when confronted with a dire situation.
I can't review this film without talking about the extremely controversial ending that Darabont changed from the novella. It's arguably the saddest, most tragic ending in film history, simply because of the timing. It's a better ending than the one in the story because it's much less ambiguous and gives the audience some form of closure, no matter how depressing it is. The Mist is one of the best Stephen King movies out there, thanks to Frank Darabont's determination to keep the story as intact as possible. I hope to see him adapt more stories in the future.