“The Mist” – 2007. Dir. Frank Darabont.

With Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden, Toby Jones, Andre Braugher and William Sadler.

“You got that kid killed! And I got his fucking blood on me!”

  • David Drayton (Thomas Jane)

I’ve been on a Thomas Jane kick lately. I watched “Boogie Nights” the other night and he just puts on a clinic. Then I discovered HBO’s “Hung” – not a bad show, it’s a little trying at times but Jane makes it worth watching. I’ve always liked Jane since I first saw him in Billy Crystal’s “61*”.

The film “The Mist” (based on a Stephen King novel and directed by King lover Frank Darabont – duh!) takes place on a small town in the New England coast. A horrible storm ripped through this town and created a mysterious mist that forms along water. David Drayton (Jane) has suffered much damage at his home; he his son and his neighbor Mr. Norton (Braugher) embark in to town to gather supplies.

They all shop for food at a local grocery store. A man runs into the store, covered in blood and screaming. He’s yelling for everyone to stay out of the mist, to stay into the store. The mist killed a man. A few people flee from the store but get killed by something into the “mist”.

While the shoppers grow anxious and barricade themselves in the store, the group split into two factions – a group lead by Drayton who want to hold out and weather the mist and wait for help. Then there is a group lead by Mrs. Carmody (Gay Harden) who is a Christian zealot who preaches to the people in the store that this is rapture – this is the end of days. They need to start sacrificing non believers to the mist.

I am extremely impressed by this film. The film drops along hints as to what the mist is, what caused the mist – and once you find out what caused it, it’s pretty lackluster. What is impressive is the way Darabont builds suspension. It really does keep you engaged and very interested. The complexity of the film isn’t just the mysterious mist and the monsters that lurk in it, but the character dynamic that grows inside the store, away from the mist.

The cast is excellent. The always reliable William Sadler plays the “blue collar” man in the bunch. The man who becomes the right hand man of Harden – AWESOME! Sadler has always been excellent. See him in “Kinsey” and see it now.

The cast is excellent, and I don’t care what people say about “The Punisher” but Thomas Jane kicks ass, and can carry a fucking movie! Marcia Gay Harden is nothing but excellent in the film, the way she carries the power of God, the way she manipulates everything that is happening into “his will”. She is nothing less than excellent and gives her best performance since “Mystic River”. She’s like Sarah Palin – she looks harmless but you want to strangle her with your bare hands.

As the film quickly breezes by and we get to the explanation of the film, we’re left feeling slightly cheated, as if the answer was too easy. What really saves the film from the anticlimactic explanation is the ending of the film. I cannot even believe the studio allowed the ending the film has. I am shocked they didn’t change it. It’s some pretty powerful shit.

Rating: 8.5/10

Author: Frank Mengarelli

Everybody relax, Frank's here. After going to film school at Columbia College Chicago, Frank decided to underachieve with his vast knowledge of film into a career in civil service. Frank had a brief stint as a film blogger, and then he met the heterosexual love of his life, Nick Clement. The two instantly bonded over their love from everything to Terence Malick to THE EXPENDABLES films. Some of Frank's favorite filmmakers are Terence Malick, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Sylvester Stallone, Oliver Stone and Spike Lee. Some of his favorite films are THE TREE OF LIFE, STAR WARS (all of them), BAD LIEUTENANT, THE THING and ALL THAT JAZZ. Frank spends his free time with his dog Roger, collecting any Star Wars collectible he can find and trying to finish his pretentious, first person narrative novel(la), LARGE MEN IN SMALL CARS..

10 thoughts on ““The Mist” – 2007. Dir. Frank Darabont.”

  1. I’d agree that there’s a lot of interest in the early part of the film. There’s also a great story to be told within the confines of the supermarket but I didn’t feel Daramont fully explored it. The ending is a complete let down.

  2. I thought it had one of the greatest horror film endings ever, but that may just be me.

    Harden makes me feel sick to my stomach onscreen, truly a mesmerizing performance.

  3. Yep, one of my favourite films of the last decade. I can see why some people don’t like it (it’s overly simplistic in some characterisation and crude in its exploration of the power of fanaticism), but I like it – it feels like film making by analogy.

    By the way, you might want to check out the “director’s cut”. It’s literally the same film, just in black and white. It lends the film a very 1950s feel and also helps deal with some of the (in my opinion) not too special special effects). Darabonte originally wanted the film to be released in black-and-white, but the studio overruled him.

    Thank god they didn’t touch that ending.

  4. Actually, I don’t like this movie. I like some of the characters in it (like Marcia Gay Harden), but overall the movie didn’t do much for me. The ending, however, is pretty fwiggin’ awesome. Nobody writes a “f*ck you, buddy” ending quite like Mr. King does.

    1. Yep, even King said Darabont made a far better ending than he did. His ended with them just continuing to drive in the Mist and their being no saving grace. No freedom, just endless, nothing………..which is so dark and depressing. Definitely King.

  5. I was surprised by how much this movie effed with my head. The only part I had a really hard time with was how often the Dad left his son. It was wholly unrealistic. Sure in part he made efforts to save everyone to save his son, but he would have been more protective over him. As a parent that always irked me. Aside from that, a very psychologically disturbing movie done very well.

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