On the rare occasion when I get the house to myself and have nothing really useful to do, I tend to spoil myself rotten.
Yesterday, this involved hiding the mobile phone, renting a movie and hitting the couch very hard indeed.
I like to watch movies that I know Trish wouldn’t be bothered with but which I will probably enjoy. So that, almost invariably, leads me straight to the horror section.
Yesterday I treated myself to ‘The Mist’ – which is one I had wanted to see for some time. I knew the Stephen King novella since it was first published and liked it a lot so that was a good start. Add to this that Frank Darabont wrote and directed this one and he had already done quite well with adapting King material such as ‘The Green Mile’ and, of course, that ‘Shawshank’ thingie. I had also heard a few dubious comments about this film which served to lower my expectations nicely.
So, as I lowered the blinds, I expected nothing more than a fun ‘creature feature’ with a few gory moments and, hopefully a couple of hours peaceful diversion.
I actually got quite a but more than I bargained for and that is the primary reason that, if you can stand a little horror, I am going to recommend this movie to you.
The story concerns a diverse group of people who become trapped in a local convenience store when a sinister mist descends upon their town after a frightening storm. It soon becomes clear that there is much more to this mist that meets – or obscures – the eye.
‘The Mist’ ticks all the boxes for an adult horror flick. There are monsters, tension, gore aplenty and there are also many of the stock characters one would expect to encounter in one of those ‘Group of people verses the creatures’ movies such as ‘Tremors’.
But, after ticking these boxes successfully, Frank Darabont then takes the material quite a bit further than one might expect. I won’t say how or what ‘cos we don’t do spoilers too much round here but suffice it to say that it is unusual and quite striking in its execution.
Very few films are perfect and this certainly is not one of them. Let me try for a few criticisms. The acting seems quite wooden at first, until the action kicks in. There is a religious side-plot which seems overwrought and unconvincing to me. One of the more interesting characters seems ultimately to be underused. Oh and there is that perennial problem that the unknown ‘horror’ out in the mist is infinitely more worrying than what finally materialises but I think, not matter how CGI evolves in the future, this will always be the case – nothing can scare us like our own imaginings can. Finally, on the criticism front, I always feel that Darabont allows several scenes too many into his movies, particularly in the final act. I think this is true of both Green Mile and Shawshank and I think it is true here too.
But, all in all, I was very impressed with the time I spent in ‘The Mist’. I found it entertaining, edgy and ultimately more than a little disturbing – which hardly ever happens to me.
I will be interested to see if the upcoming Daniel Day Lewis performance in Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road’ sparks a revisit to this film – in several key ways, the themes are strikingly similar.
In the meantime, I commend this film unto you. Have you seen it? Do you agree or disagree with me? Let me know, eh?
I’m over here – can’t you see me?