Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Mist

I don't know why I keep watching movies like this. The Mist was nothing more than standard horror bill of fair, albeit not as bad as 30 Days of Night Was. What really perplexes me about this movie is that it is getting very good reviews from the general populace. Though I felt there were some scary moments, and it actually made an effort to go much farther than a horror movie, it was a rather lackluster effort.

This is certainly not the worst Steven King adaptation ever- that title would have to go to the Langoliers, or his made for TV epic version of the Shinning. In fact, this could have been very good, being directed by Frank Darabont (director of hugely successful King adaptations The Shawshank Redemption, and The Green Mile). I was awful disappointed with this one, however.

The plot is about as simple as it comes. A mist falls over a town. Hidden within the fog is a plethora of creepy crawly monsters. Some are big, some are small, but all are deadly- and hungry. Most of the movie centers on a small band of people trapped in a supermarket, and their efforts to stay civilized and survive. This is all tested when they begin to divide into two groups. These are led respectively by the hero, David Drayton (Thomas Jane), and the crazy religious nut, Mrs. Carmody (Marcia Gray Harden), who wants to begin sacrificing people to appease god. It's in these moments of paranoia and fanaticism where the movie begins to take on life. Unfortunately, this is never fully fleshed out.

The biggest disappointment is the acting. Everybody in it is just simply hollow. As a result I didn't believe any of the characters, even in their most dramatic states. I hate to blame the actors, though- because they are so uniformly bad. I think the finger should be pointed straight at the script. Everything is so rigidly scripted, that it's impossible to believe people are actually saying these things in this situation. Harden's religious rants are so clean that she sounds like a street-corner preaches who's rehearsed a thousand times- not a person trapped in a convenience store with monsters outside. Don't get me wrong, her character is scary, but everything she says is just so scripted.

I heard rumblings before I saw this about a brilliant ending. I don't want to give anything away, suffice it to say that a purposely dark ending, does not equal a deep one. The few shining moments were when they were dealing with their inner-demons (clearly embodied in the demons outside the store as well). The themes of "what happens to civilized people when the lights go out?" would have been very interesting had it not been blatantly told to us. This was entirely an up and down movie. Unfortunately there were far more downs than ups, and far too many "c'mon!" moments. It squarely ended on a down note, leaving a rather bad taste in my mouth. I expect this movie to fade away a lot faster than the mist itself.

1.5/5

1 comment:

Jeff Owen Jville AL said...

I thought the movie was fantastic to be honest... It had me scared and made me feel like a little kid at each new type of animal in the mist... until the ending of coarse which me made sick to my stomach... but I guess when your a critic and have to pick out all the faults YEA this movie is kinda bland... but still fun as hell to watch...