the fresh films reviews

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The Mist (2007)

Frank Darabont
Drama/Science Fiction
The Mist
126 minutes
Frank Darabont
Liz Glotzer
Screenwriter (based on a novella by Stephen King):
Frank Darabont

Cast includes:

David Drayton Thomas Jane
Mrs. Carmody Marcia Gay Harden
Amanda Dufries Laurie Holden
Brent Norton Andre Braugher
Ollie Weeks Toby Jones
Jim William Sadler
Dan Miller Jeffrey DeMunn
Irene Reppler Frances Sternhagen
Billy Drayton Nathan Gamble
Private Jessup Sam Witwer
Sally Alexa Davalos
Norm Chris Owen
Bud Brown Robert Trevelier
Myron David Jensen



Frank Darabont makes his fourth feature film, and the third based on the works of Stephen King. His two previous efforts (The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile) are among the most universally renowned drama films of the 1990s, and they made Darabont a big name in the business and elevated the reputation of King in Hollywood from debatable (to put it mildly) to solid. King, who may have become a somewhat commercialized and repetitive novelist, has shown that at his best, he is capable of creating enthralling horror stories and combine them with great characterizations and human insight. And, apart from Taylor Hackford, nobody has been able to translate these characterizations to the big screen as skilfully as Frank Darabont.

Principally, The Mist is a low-budget horror film with mediocre special effects which has more in common with The Langoliers than it has with Darabont's two previous King adaptations. The basic sci-fi premise is not necessarily anything out of the ordinary, but King and Darabont's incredible talent for sociological observations and understanding of the human psyche and interaction makes The Mist a fascinating and suspenseful study. There have been numerous films about alien invasion and the scare of different lifeforms with tentacles, horrific sets of teeth and what not. This film has all of these recycled elements, but here they are only secondary tools in creating tension and suspense. The secret here, in addition to the competent interpersonal portrayal, is the portrayal of what we cannot see. The Mist is not about the realization of creatures and monsters, it's about not knowing and not being able to grasp a situation a level which most modern horror films rarely pays enough attention to.

The ending of this film has been the subject of much debate, but if there is one thing everyone can agree on, it is that it is unconventional and forceful. Some will argue that it is distasteful and illogical, but these arguments will be missing the point. There is no intent of tastefulness when trying to depict the ultimate desperation and human breakdown, and the time-span (which has been attacked as illogical) is, in my opinion, poetic more than anything else. It sums up the entire point King and Darabont are trying to make here, which is about human behaviour in extreme situations. This story is almost thirty years old, but the relevance of King's comments on this matter are as valid as ever.

Copyright 24.9.2008 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang