Based on the work of Stephen King (The Shining, The Green Mile) comes the 2007 Horror movie “The Mist”. Set in Bridgton, Maine, Following the Events of a huge storm that damaged their town, David, played by Thomas Jane (The Punisher, The Thin Red Line) leaves to the store with his 8-year-old son, Billy, played by Nathan Gamble (The Dark Knight, Marley & Me) and neighbor Brent, played by Andre Braugher (City of Angels, Frequency). Arriving at the supermarket, the three people notice a strange mist enveloping their town and unusual activity involving police and military personnel. This is dismissed as nothing unusual due to the local military base and soldiers are a common sight. What causes a sudden increase in tension is the sounding of the civil defense alarm, followed quickly by the appearance of a man claiming that there is something in the mist; something that has caused his injuries. At that moment the whole store is covered in the mist, plunging the occupants into confusion.
Mistaking this for the end of the world, Mrs. Carmody, played by Marcia Gay Harden (Pollock, American Gun) uses her tenuous grip on her religion to preach to others about sin and repenting, causing further tensions to the people trapped together. As the plot unfolds, grisly events begin to kill off the survivors one by one. With conflict and tension rising inside the supermarket rising to explosive levels, opposing views on one side see Mrs. Carmody, forming a religious movement embracing the impending apocalypse. This is in stark contrast with those that are attempting to be practical about the ongoing situation. The unbearable rising tensions force the remaining survivors to decide between waiting for their fate inside, amidst all the unpleasant atmosphere, or to go outside and either escape from the unseen horror or potentially meet their gruesome end in the mist.
The claustrophobia of being trapped by some unimaginable terror close to less than desirable companions is palpable throughout this feature and many viewers will be sympathetic to those facing the unknown outside of the store. It is this fear of what we cannot see that provides the initial backdrop of dread until the revealing of the true nature of what is outside replaces this with sheer terror.
As the group tries to survive and their numbers dwindle it becomes inevitable that they will have to leave their familiar surroundings to face the challenges outside, while the cast does an excellent job of portraying that many know a horrific death awaits them. The plot builds to a brilliant junction of stay and probably die or leave and possibly die; the viewer has to make up their own mind about which is the better choice.
As the film reaches the jarring conclusion we are left shocked by the events that have unfolded. What is to become of the become the remaining occupants of Bridgton in the aftermath of the mist is left open-ended as is the implications for the actions taken during the story. The town and the people are left ruined and devastated by the events of the Mist and this is all brilliantly captured by acclaimed horror director Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile) who is well versed in bringing the sinister world of Stephen King to life on the big screen. Darabont changes some details of the original story so even fans of the novel will be left surprised by the varying twists and turns, without being disappointed with the changes. During the telling of this tale, the foreboding is turned to dread as the tension mounts, before becoming outright panic at the unfolding events and viewers can revel in the cinematic roller coaster.
Fans of Stephen King’s work will no doubt be used to the prevalent themes of good versus evil and supernatural elements; however, they will find themselves surprised by how these dynamics are used in the story of The Mist. There is no struggle of good or bad as the story in its simplest interpretation is a tale of survival against an unknown and seemingly undefeatable enemy of supernatural origins. It is the truly unpredictable nature of trying to make the right choices in circumstances of unimaginable terror that revolve around the story that makes it so compelling and keeps viewers riveted from start to finish