Spooktober 22, Day 3: The Mist

Alright, beasties. It’s that spooky time of year again. For this edition of Spooktober, I’m going to do a post a day but, like a great haul after trick or treating, I’m hoping to mix it up and deliver some surprises. There’ll be reviews, new or old, seen/unseen, TV or film. There may also be lists, audio, or video, depending on my wicked mood. I hope you’ll enjoy it and remember: stay spooky.

Ah, The Mist. This is one of those middle-higher-tier Stephen King adaptations that occasionally seems to be overlooked. It’s a hell of a hook though, and with an amble of scares and discomforting creatures (and the people, oh the people) it’s one that I love.

source: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

David (Thomas Jane) is an artist living in a small coastal Maine town. After a hurricane knocks a tree into their home he heads into town with his young son Billy (Nathan Gamble) and neighbor with whom he has an estranged relationship with Brent (Andre Braugher) for supplies. Once inside the grocery store, a strange mist rolls into town, and with it, fear. Fear of what’s within.

When Dan (Jeffrey DeMunn) comes in yelling that something in the mist took someone, the paranoia, confusion, and uncertainty grow. The inhabitants of the store are terrified of the unknown, while some play it off as some sort of misunderstanding. However, when some witness a tentacle attacking in a back room, others are more convinced that this isn’t a natural, foggy, occurrence.

What makes The Mist so intriguing is the actions and responses of those in crisis. Most of the film is set in this enclosed grocery store with a variety of personalities, and people with their own ideas of what’s happening. Included is Mrs. Carmody (Marcia Gay Harden) whose religious prophecies bring many to her call. Others think it’s something to do with the military facility on the mountain.

source: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
source: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

David and many others, including Amanda (Laurie Holden) and Ollie (Toby Jones) are on the side of a careful, reluctant, and more reasonable belief that whatever it is, it is not good.

Common King collaborator/adapter Frank Darabont writes and directs, utilizing every opportunity to permeate the fear that lies within the unexplainable. As people become more anxious, the need for action is more prominent, and we get glimpses into what’s outside.

The creature effects and mounting tension make for a slick horror where sometimes, the unseen is the scariest of all. Marcia Gay Harden does an incredible job at ratcheting up the already monumental terror. And the trail of mayhem that ensues from words and the seed of doubt that spreads is equally menacing.

source: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Be forewarned, even if you’ve read Stephen King’s story, this ending is different and it packs a hell of a punch. Very few movies have had such a devastating finality, so I feel it my duty to give you the heads up.

Overall, The Mist is a terrifying example of fantastical nightmares coming to life, and the human monsters that crisis can make of us. The acting is on point and the design is a spooky delight. The end will have you screaming.

The Mist is currently streaming on Netflix

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