Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Mist. B

The Mist is one of the better Stephen King film adaptations. Unfortunately, "better" could have been replaced by "best" if not for director Frank Darabont's portentous approach to the movie. Darabont isn't a stranger to adapting King, previously helming The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. Yet while those were some of King's more dramatic narratives, The Mist is really straight up horror. Rather than following the tradition of the genre, Darabont turns to his Shawshank roots, abandons the source material, and makes The Mist something far more serious than it has a right to be. But there's still plenty of Stephen King greatness to be had, and though the stupidity Darabont infuses in the film towards the end cannot be forgiven, he still does a great job with the rest of the movie. The close knit community plays a large part in most of King's work, and it's no exception here. A mysterious mist supposedly carrying something deadly traps a group of people in a grocery store. They're all from the same small town so they know each other, which is nice. Also nice is that there's plenty of food to go around. Not so nice is what's lurking out in the mist. If you don't know anything about the story, you're in for a shock. The movie is frightening and uncompromising. The case could be made that Darabont made the feel-bad movie of the decade. The Mist can be seen as modern day version of The Birds. Darabont's direction is similar to Hitchock's in that he's focused as much on telling a story as he in scaring the audience. But while The Birds had a perfectly ambiguous closing, The Mist is set on an explanation and a bitter close. A shame, because when the rest of the movie is comparable to The Birds you know it's doing something right.

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