The Mist (15)

Film

Horror films

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Posted: Tue Jul 1 2008

Ever since his first big-screen Stephen King adaptation, ‘The Shawshank Redemption’, there’s been feverish expectation for each new work from director Frank Darabont. His latest, set in smalltown Maine, which fleshes out a horror novella King wrote in 1980, may not achieve that earlier film’s ‘classic’ status, but it makes for a surprisingly engaging, pleasingly old-fashioned feast of well-worked-out narrative and B-movie-style thrills.

Thomas Jane’s book illustrator, David, is visiting the local mini-market with his son and a neighbour when a mysterious mist descends and a lock-up siege begins. Outside, bloodied men emerge from the murk, otherworldly carnivorous CGI insects splatter the shop glass, and as giant tentacles invade the loading bay, a micro-political war for ascendancy in defence tactics breaks out between David, the shop employees, a black lawyer with inappropriate private agendas (André Braugher) and a strident Christian fundamentalist (Marcia Gay Harden).

What’s interesting about Darabont’s frightfest is the care and efficiency he takes ensuring our involvement with those tense – and frustrating – internal store dynamics. There’s a clear sense of national crisis and military culpability in the air – rumours spread of local Defense Department scientific experiments gone wrong and a couple of implicated soldiers shopping at the time are shitting their army boots. But pleasingly Darabont doesn’t overplay either King’s pre-9/11 liberal allegory nor its post-9/11 subtextual implications. Rather he places his trust in old and venerable genre credentials, taken from ’50s paranoid exploitation movies and sci-fi horror films, to which he applies an adroit Hitchcockian attention to detail, and a series of well-differentiated character performances that lets the icky flying beasts, the tantalising human stupidity, the chaos and the primal fear speak for themselves.
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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Jul 4, 2008

Duration:

126 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:11
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|33
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Tom

While I usually find them gross, and not scary, The Mist is one of the best horror films in years. A small New England town becomes enveloped in a sinister fog that - guess! - turns out to harbor all sorts of dangerous creatures and bugs from the past/future/alternate dimension. While there is plenty of suspense and thrills, a good deal of attention is paid to wildly diverging reactions of individuals when confronted with fear and stress, none more horrifying than a woman who overreaches for biblical, mystical and sacrificial explanations. This could have easily just been a typical gory creature feature, but a fairly strong script and cast (Braugher and Harden especially) set this apart. I place zero credibility on a 1 star reviews that don't seem to suggest better/similar alternatives or any suggestion that they know what they're talking about. Do not watch this film if: 1) You demand everything be explained and spoon fed to you (oh, I'm so disappointed they didn't show the mating rituals for the insects or their DNA sequence) 2) You insist on a happy ending or explosive pyrotechnically driven climax (after all, when humans act like fools when under pressure, doesn't everything usually turn out okay - heroes are common, right) 3) You are expecting The Shawshank Redemption Part Two - Citizen Kane Goes Back To The Slammer!

Tom

While I usually find them gross, and not scary, The Mist is one of the best horror films in years. A small New England town becomes enveloped in a sinister fog that - guess! - turns out to harbor all sorts of dangerous creatures and bugs from the past/future/alternate dimension. While there is plenty of suspense and thrills, a good deal of attention is paid to wildly diverging reactions of individuals when confronted with fear and stress, none more horrifying than a woman who overreaches for biblical, mystical and sacrificial explanations. This could have easily just been a typical gory creature feature, but a fairly strong script and cast (Braugher and Harden especially) set this apart. I place zero credibility on a 1 star reviews that don't seem to suggest better/similar alternatives or any suggestion that they know what they're talking about. Do not watch this film if: 1) You demand everything be explained and spoon fed to you (oh, I'm so disappointed they didn't show the mating rituals for the insects or their DNA sequence) 2) You insist on a happy ending or explosive pyrotechnically driven climax (after all, when humans act like fools when under pressure, doesn't everything usually turn out okay - heroes are common, right) 3) You are expecting The Shawshank Redemption Part Two - Citizen Kane Goes Back To The Slammer!

GravesendJoe

Some of the reviews here have been unkind and have failed to acknowledge that Darabont’s narrative comprises a set of thought-provoking subtexts which are of particular significance for our modern era - an age where, as it stands, predictions for the future hardly encourage optimism. Aside from a few fumbled moments at the beginning, as Darabont sets out his stall, I cannot see much else wrong with The Mist. After the initial attack on the supermarket where the majority of the story takes place, when the shoppers realise there are some rather hostile, not-quite-herbivorous beasts in the fog wanting to feast, the writer-director retains his confident grip right up until the laudably anti- feel-good ending; an ending which arguably caused The Mist to perform averagely at the box office in the USA, then spend ages awaiting distribution here in Britain (it deserves a healthier fate in rental and purchase returns). Perhaps The Mist’s detractors might want to cast their eye over the state of the American horror genre in general, and compare this film’s considerable sub-textual clout, as well as its commitment to storytelling, with the dubious proclivities of the torture porn films and their all-too-often inept exponents. Or else maybe consider the one-dimensionality of big-budget let-downs such as The Wolf Man. Or possibly they’d like to consider the endless parade of duff remakes of 80s slasher classics, those produced by the objectionable Michael Bay, whose brand of narcissistic bone-headedness and aesthetic poverty they apparently seek to emulate. No, give me The Mist any day. Darabont’s screenplay perhaps doesn’t one-hundred percent successfully delineate and elaborate on the class and racial conflicts hinted at, but they are there, sketched out as subsidiaries to the central thematic focus: the conflict between the religious zealots on the one hand and our band of rational heroes on the other. It’s obvious why the story appealed to King, who has proved such a trenchant critic of Christian fundamentalism and its evils since he found success in the 1970s with Carrie. Allegorical configurations abound. The controversy over Iraq may have abated, but American encroachments onto middle-eastern territory in the name of humanity must have stirred in Darabont’s subconscious, as he adapted a story in which an arrogant and haphazard US army working up in local mountains decide to toy with the unknown, only to pay a most catastrophic price and bring destruction reigning down on a small New England town. And, as suggested, it’s the heroes’ resistance to Old Testament hysteria, and vicious local zealot Mrs Carmody, that occupies centre stage in the story. Besides Darabont’s critique of a (typically American?) brand of fundamentalism, and alluding to western-capitalist hubris on the world stage, the writer-director asks questions of human psychology and how it fares in the face of extreme adversity. In bringing to the screen King’s novella, Darabont has returned to territory he familiarised himself with in the 1980s as a young writer working on the remake of The Blob and A Nightmare on Elm Street III. The Mist seems very much a fan-boy’s ode to sci-fi horrors like Don Siegel’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers and other McCarthy-era classics. Mirroring the similarly structured Night of the Living Dead, The Mist seems more interested in the conflict between humans than it is the conflict between man and beast. The visceral violence we witness in the best Elm Street films doesn’t feel gratuitous because its intriguingly offset by a view of dead-eyed suburban alienation, and The Mist trades on a similar co-existing dynamic. The amoral brutality of the alien world is really just there to augment and underwrite the violence proper, just as the world’s collide narrative is more or less subordinate to the narrative proper (both violence and narrative in the film really belonging to the humans and their drama). Defying the laws of physics by ripping a hole in reality’s fabric is here a disconcerting proposition in itself, but as tailored by the collective imagination of Darabont and King, it is of what it leads to, namely the self-implosion as a unit of the townsfolk, their inability to work in unison towards a resolution, and more frighteningly, the regression of many of them to a state of primitive hostility, the likes of which the philosopher Thomas Hobbes would’ve recognised. And a note on that ending. Before the grim finale there’s a wonderful, chilling moment, a sort of twisted inversion of the scene in Jurassic Park when Sam Neill and Laura Dern first lay eyes on the brontosaurus, in which the band of survivors peer disbelieving from their jeep. It’s ethereality I think is eerie and beautiful. I hope this review acts as a fitting refutation of some of the more severe and knee-jerk criticisms that have preceded it.

GravesendJoe

Some of the reviews here have been unkind and have failed to acknowledge that Darabont’s narrative comprises a set of thought-provoking subtexts which are of particular significance for our modern era - an age where, as it stands, predictions for the future hardly encourage optimism. Aside from a few fumbled moments at the beginning, as Darabont sets out his stall, I cannot see much else wrong with The Mist. After the initial attack on the supermarket where the majority of the story takes place, when the shoppers realise there are some rather hostile, not-quite-herbivorous beasts in the fog wanting to feast, the writer-director retains his confident grip right up until the laudably anti- feel-good ending; an ending which arguably caused The Mist to perform averagely at the box office in the USA, then spend ages awaiting distribution here in Britain (it deserves a healthier fate in rental and purchase returns). Perhaps The Mist’s detractors might want to cast their eye over the state of the American horror genre in general, and compare this film’s considerable sub-textual clout, as well as its commitment to storytelling, with the dubious proclivities of the torture porn films and their all-too-often inept exponents. Or else maybe consider the one-dimensionality of big-budget let-downs such as The Wolf Man. Or possibly they’d like to consider the endless parade of duff remakes of 80s slasher classics, those produced by the objectionable Michael Bay, whose brand of narcissistic bone-headedness and aesthetic poverty they apparently seek to emulate. No, give me The Mist any day. Darabont’s screenplay perhaps doesn’t one-hundred percent successfully delineate and elaborate on the class and racial conflicts hinted at, but they are there, sketched out as subsidiaries to the central thematic focus: the conflict between the religious zealots on the one hand and our band of rational heroes on the other. It’s obvious why the story appealed to King, who has proved such a trenchant critic of Christian fundamentalism and its evils since he found success in the 1970s with Carrie. Allegorical configurations abound. The controversy over Iraq may have abated, but American encroachments onto middle-eastern territory in the name of humanity must have stirred in Darabont’s subconscious, as he adapted a story in which an arrogant and haphazard US army working up in local mountains decide to toy with the unknown, only to pay a most catastrophic price and bring destruction reigning down on a small New England town. And, as suggested, it’s the heroes’ resistance to Old Testament hysteria, and vicious local zealot Mrs Carmody, that occupies centre stage in the story. Besides Darabont’s critique of a (typically American?) brand of fundamentalism, and alluding to western-capitalist hubris on the world stage, the writer-director asks questions of human psychology and how it fares in the face of extreme adversity. In bringing to the screen King’s novella, Darabont has returned to territory he familiarised himself with in the 1980s as a young writer working on the remake of The Blob and A Nightmare on Elm Street III. The Mist seems very much a fan-boy’s ode to sci-fi horrors like Don Siegel’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers and other McCarthy-era classics. Mirroring the similarly structured Night of the Living Dead, The Mist seems more interested in the conflict between humans than it is the conflict between man and beast. The visceral violence we witness in the best Elm Street films doesn’t feel gratuitous because its intriguingly offset by a view of dead-eyed suburban alienation, and The Mist trades on a similar co-existing dynamic. The amoral brutality of the alien world is really just there to augment and underwrite the violence proper, just as the world’s collide narrative is more or less subordinate to the narrative proper (both violence and narrative in the film really belonging to the humans and their drama). Defying the laws of physics by ripping a hole in reality’s fabric is here a disconcerting proposition in itself, but as tailored by the collective imagination of Darabont and King, it is of what it leads to, namely the self-implosion as a unit of the townsfolk, their inability to work in unison towards a resolution, and more frighteningly, the regression of many of them to a state of primitive hostility, the likes of which the philosopher Thomas Hobbes would’ve recognised. And a note on that ending. Before the grim finale there’s a wonderful, chilling moment, a sort of twisted inversion of the scene in Jurassic Park when Sam Neill and Laura Dern first lay eyes on the brontosaurus, in which the band of survivors peer disbelieving from their jeep. It’s ethereality I think is eerie and beautiful. I hope this review acts as a fitting refutation of some of the more severe and knee-jerk criticisms that have preceded it.

Grant

Quite dreadful. Generic characters who bore little resemblance to 'real' people, terrible dialogue that would disgrace a tawdry and hastily-written 6th form story. It wasn't scary, it wasn't involving but it was sure as hell irritating to watch. I made it to the end and just laughed at the denoument. The sad thing is that this could have been a decent little B-movie but because it took itself and it's skewed logic so seriously it was 2 hours of almost unutterable tedium. On a plus note, I didn't know it was Thomas Jane until the end credits and I thought he acquitted himself quite well in the cirmumstances.

Andy S

Very good overall, full of tension and frights, and the performances and character build up was excellent. Look out for small roles by Darabont 'regulars' as they all pop up which is nice (half the Shawshank cast are in the store!). The ending....very gutsy, and who knows what people would do if it were them?! Worth a rent at least. Gutsy gory fun.

Lewis

this film was honestly, a wind up! the only reason i got the end is because I PAID TO WATCH IT!!! at least with some of these films you might watch them if nothing else is on.. but with this one, I'd rather dig a hole in my back garden! I would be embarrased to say i own this film on dvd. total waste of my time!

Megan

This film honestly left me cold. It is possibly one of the most chilling films i've ever seen. I must admit i was a bit sceptical when i first saw the tenticles as it was kind of predictable but i feel that the film is not so much about the monsters as it was about the psychological state of the trapped locals. I found it chilling how the situation completely changed everything and by the end it was not the creatures from another dimention that were the monsters it was the humans trapped in the supermarket. You can really see how terrible, REAL events happen when people are put into the right situation (just think about the concept of genocide). And the ending made me feel sick at the very concept of it. It was simply chilling and this film has played on my mind ever since seeing it! Although i watched it with two other people and although two of us found it a gripping, chilling film the other thought it was rubbish! So i guess that it's kind of a bit of a marmite thing - you either love it or you hate it! It depends what you're looking for in a horror film but i would highly recomend seeing it and making up your own mind about it.

Megan

This film honestly left me cold. It is possibly one of the most chilling films i've ever seen. I must admit i was a bit sceptical when i first saw the tenticles as it was kind of predictable but i feel that the film is not so much about the monsters as it was about the psychological state of the trapped locals. I found it chilling how the situation completely changed everything and by the end it was not the creatures from another dimention that were the monsters it was the humans trapped in the supermarket. You can really see how terrible, REAL events happen when people are put into the right situation (just think about the concept of genocide). And the ending made me feel sick at the very concept of it. It was simply chilling and this film has played on my mind ever since seeing it! Although i watched it with two other people and although two of us found it a gripping, chilling film the other thought it was rubbish! So i guess that it's kind of a bit of a marmite thing - you either love it or you hate it! It depends what you're looking for in a horror film but i would highly recomend seeing it and making up your own mind about it.

hugo

TERRIBLE TERRIBLE TERRIBLE ! This is NOT a good modern horrow film. 'Character tension' and plot was generic and contradictory, ending (aka 'bleak' for the sake of being 'bleak') resolved nothing and only served to further aggrevate an already painfull hour and fifty minutes of viewing. Acting was poor, directing and cinematography cliche and predictable. If anytihng this should be classed as a B grade comedy - I certainly had a good laugh. Absolute rubbish! *Note: Wish I could rate this 0/5, please don't misinterpret star.

Squidy

I read some of the incredibly negative comments on this film with equal incredulity. Who are these people? Did they actually watch this film? Do they have any feeling for the genre at all? Are they hired by competing movie companies to heap scorn on this film? While not perfect, this is an enormously successful horror movie. Watch it for yourself and make you own mind up. Perhaps those aforementioned are so conditioned by the usual incompetent crap they can't recognise a quality piece when they see it. Terrific film.

Squidy

I read some of the incredibly negative comments on this film with equal incredulity. Who are these people? Did they actually watch this film? Do they have any feeling for the genre at all? Are they hired by competing movie companies to heap scorn on this film? While not perfect, this is an enormously successful horror movie. Watch it for yourself and make you own mind up. Perhaps those aforementioned are so conditioned by the usual incompetent crap they can't recognise a quality piece when they see it. Terrific film.

Balbir

I haven't read the book but the film is very poor. Up until the mist appears the film is gripping but then it goes down hill. Special effects are cheesy and the film remains unconvincing. The worst bit is saved for the end. Watched with a group of 5 nobody was impressed.

Elisabeth

This was an ok film that was unfortunately not as clever as it thinks it is. Its exploration of man's inhumanity under pressure wasn't anywhere as convincing as in, say, The Shawshank Redemption. There WERE some very interesting characters and it was very well acted but the end result left me feeling somewhat dissatisfied. I felt like it couldn't decide whether it wanted to be a cool and scary monster movie or something deeper. The ending was very disappointing - I saw it coming a mile off but the real problem was how sudden it was and how suddenly the whole thing was resolved. It would also have been more interesting if we'd not been told where the monsters came from. Still, good marks on the monsters - that film has the scariest spiders I've ever seen. Entertaining enough.

alan sundry

Are you positive reviewers retards or am I really in a horror film with you lot? If so I hope I'm the slightly less than stupid hero and you lot are the brainless chum. I've just wasted 2 hours of my life on this film. Frankly it's shocking, not so much the scares but the terrible acting, the hopelessly obvious plot-lines, you name it, garbage. Really its total shite. If you want to watch a poor interpretation of The Fog by John Carpenter please watch the original, its crap, but much better than this stephen king (alleged) drivel. It actually started out really well, there was a great tension building, until the tentacles appeared, ah ffs, what a let down I repeat, anyone who gives this total crap a positive review should be the first down the evil monsters neck. If you think this deserves anything more than ZERO (1 is minimum, should be zero) your a retard.

Smegson P Donnohugh

I absolutley loved this film, i felt it was an extremely accurate enterpretation of how society would respond under such circumstances. Manuy of you will disagree with the anti-religious ideas portrayed in the film but in my opinion it is completely accurate. I loved the way the horror is not through the mist itself but from the people invilved.

Smegson P Donnohugh

I absolutley loved this film, i felt it was an extremely accurate enterpretation of how society would respond under such circumstances. Manuy of you will disagree with the anti-religious ideas portrayed in the film but in my opinion it is completely accurate. I loved the way the horror is not through the mist itself but from the people invilved.

Olly

Michelle's review is total nonsense. This is a superb modern horror film that ticks so many boxes - great tension, conflict between the characters, terrifying monsters and an incredibly bleak ending. Apparently Darabont was offered an extra $20 million by the studio if he changed the ending - thank god he didn't. I think real horror fans will love this film.

Olly

Michelle's review is total nonsense. This is a superb modern horror film that ticks so many boxes - great tension, conflict between the characters, terrifying monsters and an incredibly bleak ending. Apparently Darabont was offered an extra $20 million by the studio if he changed the ending - thank god he didn't. I think real horror fans will love this film.

Michelle

Very strong views about this film and really did not like or get it! It started OK and seemed that among a whole lot of contradiction it may redeem itself at the end. Unfortunately, the ending was worse! It was tragic but did not make sense due to the personalities of the characters (which often also were contradictory). There was, in addition, a preacher woman whose story line seemed to make very little sense; she played a big part to make a very small point. I really disliked this film and wish I has spent 2 hours doing some ironing! I am now going to read the book as I fear it was a bad interpretation of a good story as the acting and the music were terrible.

Sneekz

Despite what has been said, the ending was perfectly in keeping with the increasing sense of isolation and despair generated throughout the film. The underlying message? There is darkness before the dawn, and pain before you get there. Great 'ennertainment', but with its flaws, and a revitalizing kick up the genre's a*se.

Sneekz

Despite what has been said, the ending was perfectly in keeping with the increasing sense of isolation and despair generated throughout the film. The underlying message? There is darkness before the dawn, and pain before you get there. Great 'ennertainment', but with its flaws, and a revitalizing kick up the genre's a*se.

symboleyes

One of the worst and most predictable films Ive seen in a while. Reminded me of a bad 80's horror movie. The cgi is laughable and so bad it aint true, you'd see better in a ghostbuster film than this. Words fail me on how this managed to get a high star rating, it was just so boring and Ive been more scared watching paint dry. The ending had this film in a nutshell, total shite!!!!!

Mazer

This movie was absolutely awful. The special effects were cheesy, and the anti-religious theme was absurd. The ending is absolutely awful. This movie seemed to have 2 messages. First, the vast majority of people are idiots. Second, when faced with difficult circumstances just give up, roll over, and die. This is a true horror movie in the sense that it was truly horrible.

chingyc

the film was good, the consept was brill, and for the ending who saw it coming, its makes a change from all the happy ever after that u would normally get from every other films,

chingyc

the film was good, the consept was brill, and for the ending who saw it coming, its makes a change from all the happy ever after that u would normally get from every other films,

LEE

ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT....... AS REFRESHING AS A COLD ORANGE JUICE AFTER A NIGHT OUT ON THE BEER.

LEE

ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT....... AS REFRESHING AS A COLD ORANGE JUICE AFTER A NIGHT OUT ON THE BEER.

MARIAM

YO DAT MOVIE WAZ DA BOMBZ DIGGIDY!!! IT WAZ MADD SCAREY BUT IT WAS WORTH IT!!!!! I WOULD GO SEE THE MOVIE AGAIN ANY TIME!!!! ANYONE WHO HAVEN'T SEEN THIS MOVIE IS MISSING OUT ALOT YA DiiQZ S0 GO WATCH DiiQZ MOVIE PIECE!!!!!

MARIAM

YO DAT MOVIE WAZ DA BOMBZ DIGGIDY!!! IT WAZ MADD SCAREY BUT IT WAS WORTH IT!!!!! I WOULD GO SEE THE MOVIE AGAIN ANY TIME!!!! ANYONE WHO HAVEN'T SEEN THIS MOVIE IS MISSING OUT ALOT YA DiiQZ S0 GO WATCH DiiQZ MOVIE PIECE!!!!!