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Customer Review

96 of 113 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A King-sized thriller!, April 9, 2008
This review is from: The Mist (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) (DVD)
Director Frank Darabont successfully adapts yet another King tale. He had done a great job with King's prison tales The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, but is equally good at working on King's thrillers.

***This may contain some spoilers. I think I'm vague enough, but some like to be warned of any potential spoilers within a review. So, here's your warning***

This film is based on a novella, a short novel that is usually less than 150 pages, which helps to keep this film tightly focused on a small band of people trapped in a supermarket as a strange mists surrounds an entire town. Within this mist are incredible monsters that are very effectively produced as part CGI and part puppets. They do look frighteningly real and not as obvious special effects. As with any of these "band of survivors" kind of films there are an odd collection of characters, but I can't label them as stereotypes and that is a welcome change for this genre of film.

All the actors bring a real and human quality to their characters. Thomas Jane, of Deep Blue Sea, King's Dreamcatcher, and husband to Patricia Arquette of NBC's Medium for which he had a role on two episodes, has always been something of an action actor with passing acting abilities, but here the director gets a sincere and highly emotional performance out of him. Andre Braugher as the initially hostile out-of-towner, turned nice guy, turned angry guy, turned determine guy is performed quite well considering the complexity of the actual role. You see the tension with him all the time, but you also see a "nice guy" trying to come out and get along with others who struggles with insecurities. In addition, there is Toby Jones, The Painted Veil and Infamous, as a shift manager who is keenly insightful about people in general, but believably so. The supermarket is rounded out with the likes of Frances Sternhagen who graces any film she's in, William Sadler who is great at playing semi-villains, and the ever reliable Jeffrey DuMunn who is no stranger to starring in King films. Lauren Holden as a kind of a stand-in wife/son to Thomas Jane's character and his son while trapped at the supermarket and is good in her role. She may be best known as the macho cop in the horror film Silent Hill.

I would be remiss if I didn't note the Oscar-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden's role as the sick, sadistic, Bible thumping, I'm against the world, bitter religious zealot Mrs. Carmody. In the Stephen King world this is the Christian stereotype as it was in his Carrie novel. King himself admits that he has had a very negative view of Christians prior to his near fatal car accident, and often painted them with the same brush he painted Mrs. Carmody. Even prior to his accident he was beginning to lighten up on his view of Christians and his The Green Mile - Six Volume Box Setis a good example to that softening of King's views. Having said this, Harden plays this role a bit over-the-top at times, but is still convincing. She does eventually become a caricature of sorts, but she is very compelling to watch and I give her kudos for that kind of performance.

As much as the actors make this a very enjoyable film, much credit for the success of this highly effective horror film is the writing and directing by Danabont who just knows how to handle King's stories. King often fought with his publishers when he had downer endings. Publisher hate it when an author kills off the heroes in a story or evil appears to win, but King, to his credit, never flinched and has had numerous stories in which his main characters die and evil won. I admire that with King and some of his most effective stories have been the ones with downer endings. I'm not saying who dies in this story and who doesn't in this story or if the evil in the mist wins as I don't believe in spoiling someone else's enjoyment of a film, but this adaptation is very faithful to the novella and it does have a strong ending. In fact, the ending is quite shocking, moving, harrowing, and just plain jaw-dropping. I doubt anyone would see it coming which makes it all that much more effective.

This is an outstanding horror film that is worthy of a place in your DVD collection.
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Showing 1-10 of 28 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 10, 2008 12:33:28 PM PDT
I like your title, Steven. In fact, the entire review is "horrorific!" Thanks for this tidbit of information: << As much as the actors make this a very enjoyable film, much credit for the success of this highly effective horror film is the writing and directing by Danabont who just knows how to handle King's stories. >>

Sounds like a great combination of author/director. You sold me because I love good horror movies! I like being scared out of my "pink capris." U R the best, Steven--man, teacher, reviewer, and husband, according to Marilyn! :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2008 12:47:07 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 11, 2008 1:05:18 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2008 3:58:44 PM PDT
Misfit says:
It must be your turn to get the love taps as Judy calls them.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2008 4:21:24 PM PDT
I know nothing about film reviews, but this is well done.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2008 6:56:44 PM PDT
Jenny says:
Steven, You deserve every bit of the praise in here (that including your wife's success). Even if I agree or even mildly disagree or have no opinions at all, I thoroughly enjoy reading your insightful, fair-minded, intelligently rendered reviews (see I can do it too JP ;-) As far as this film goes I haven't seen it yet but I will keep an eye out for it.

Posted on Apr 11, 2008 7:18:18 AM PDT
Misfit says:
Steven, ROFL. Triple M has deleted the reviews with comments from Kingfisher and reposted one of them -- and Kingfisher has responded in kind.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2008 7:23:05 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 11, 2008 7:23:05 AM PDT]

Posted on Apr 11, 2008 9:36:51 AM PDT
Groovin' guy says:
I like suspense and a twist at the end.

Well done.

Posted on Apr 11, 2008 12:25:15 PM PDT
Great review--and you're climbing the ladder, Steven--congratulations!

Posted on Apr 11, 2008 3:20:07 PM PDT
Dave. K says:
Hey Steven. Great write up. Thanks for stopping by and checking out my reviews. The last month and a half has been crazy and I'm a bit behind on everything from reviews to comments. I try to get it all in, but it's tough.

I haven't seen this yet, but I do own the DVD. I'm currently reading the Novella and I'm around the mid-way mark. Once I finish I'll watch the movie.

Hey on your profile you said you were originally from Brooklyn. What part? I used to live in Brooklyn now I'm in Staten Island.
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