Director: Frank Darabont
Cast: Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Andre
Braugher, Laurie Holden, Toby Jones, William Sadler, Frances
Sternhagen, Jeffrey DeMunn
RunTime: 2 hrs 7 mins
Released By: GV
Official Website: www.themist-movie.com
Opening Day: 24th January 2008
OF THE ORIGINAL STORY BY STEPHEN KING
David Drayton (Thomas Jane) and his young son Billy (Nathan
Gamble) are among alarge group of terrified townspeople trapped
in a local grocery store by a strange, otherworldly mist.
David is the first to realize that there are things lurking
in the mist…deadly, horrifying things…creatures
not of this world. Survival depends on everybody in the store
pulling together…but is that possible, given human nature?
As reason crumbles in the face of fear and panic, David begins
to wonder what terrifies him more: the monsters in the mist—or
the ones inside the store, the human kind, the people that
until now had been his friends and neighbors?
The Mist is unbelievably bad its shameful. When I see The
Mist register a 70 percent on Rotten Tomatoes I despair. Maybe
I wrapped a scarf around my head and wept. I am a big fan
of The Green Mile and I respect Darabont for The Shawshank
Redemption but The Mist is one of the most obscene cases of
blind, obnoxious track-record worshipping ever. Darabont screwed
The Mist. Period. It is near impossible to justify a script
and screenplay so blinkered and bigoted, so naively abysmal
that its plays worse than a B-grade horror that everyone uses
to justify its existence. Even standard B-grade fare produce
relatively brainless fare with intellectual understanding
of their own intent and purpose. The Mist tries so hard to
be preachy, scary, sophisticated the only scary thing is how
someone could achieve so little with so much at hand. (In
Darabont's case, a seemingly proven talent, creativity and
movie magic inspiration.)
The Mist had no characters in the film. Really. The "characters"
were such horrendous caricatures they were literally stand
up cardboard figures with name tags like "guy with a
huge chip on shoulder" or "stupid, shrieking bimbotic
female" on them. In fact they were so real and life-like
I for a moment feared a grey haired cardboard collecting auntie
would trundle in, box them in, fold them up and cart them
away to the nearest recycling centre. A man runs into the
supermarket, blood stained, amidst a spreading mist and shrieking
voices of death and despair, warning the trapped townsfolk
of the impending pestilence, death and decay. Sounds like
a good start to story? Yeah.
Barely hours later, stereotyped alpha male blue collared workers
work up a fit when the lead caricature David Drayton annoys
them by telling them not to go out. Yes. "Don't think
'cos you're educated" tripe takes centrestage as they
insist on going out of the supermarket to fix, of all things,
a choked vent of a generator that's smoking. Worse still,
the generator, turned off by the lead caricature a few minutes
prior and it shut down the lights to...the storeroom. Yes.
non even the entire supermarket. I.e. useless generator. That's
the kind of conversation, scripting and lines that will permeate
the entire movie. David's lawyer neighbour blows up accusing
him of lying about monsters in order to get back at a lawsuit
that he filed against David. What? Yeah go figure.
David holds lights to the supermarket glass at night and tons
of gigantic bugs flutter to the glass and tries to break them.
After glass almost and eventually breaks, caricature declares
- "they're attracted to light!"
You want cheap horror? In a bid to find weapons to fend off
the monsters, one man goes to a truck to retrieve a shotgun.
A rope is tied to him as he walks, only for it to fly into
the air as he is chomped up by the monsters. Guess what? "Hero"
pulls the rope back to supermarket, only to see lower torso.
Every one screams. Hero continues pulling. Everyone screams
louder. Maybe hero wants a better view. Continues pulling.
Ms. Carmody, the prophecy spewing "Christian" takes
the cake in the movie. Her character is so insensitively offensive
it is almost hate inducing. Portrayed to insanely annoying
levels by Marcia Gay Harden, she embodies all the "stereotyped"
nuances of modern Pentecostal evangelists it takes up a good
three quarter chunk of the movie.The attempted religious undertones,
possibly speaking out against George Bush's religiously slanted
war-mongering (Darabont admits speaking out against modern
America) were so poorly developed, crassly portrayed that
it bordered on irresponsibility and irrationality. The movie
was an extravagant indulgence of misplaced plot devices, sequences
and terrible storytelling. Imagine this - the character was
so bad that members of the audience were deviating towards
anti-Christian cursings and the entire theatre roared in cheers
and applauded when the woman is confronted by the "good
guys in the movie". Is this the social commentary Darabont
wanted to achieve?
Cheesy special effects, music, horribly laughable attempts
at suspense, emotions are the bane of the entire movie. The
last 15 minutes of the film were utter tripe and cinematographic
shame. If not for the fact that I would be banished to spoilerville
if i attempted to criticise the obscenely atrocious and abysmal
attempts at passing this off as a movie, I would have ripped
it to shreds. Mercilessly. Like this ridiculously bug looking
things did to the caricatures in the movie.
I write this out of sadness rather than anger. Darabont? I
don't quite know what happened to basic film sensibilities
when a movie like The Mist can be given any semblance of plaudits.
If you think scripting and directing that spits in the face
of the simple rule of "show not tell", one that
shows you how not to make a thoughtful film fills your cinematic
hunger, then by all means feast on the visual diarrhoea of
Darabont. Otherwise, with the exception of it being decently
budget (decently budgeted, not decent) film production quality
that at least trudges from start to finish, The Mist is one
show I wouldn't recommend to anyone. Or anything.
(The Mistake, a sample of cinematic atrocity)
Review by Daniel Lim