The Mist is a movie about, well, a mist that surrounds an entire town. But more tan your everyday kind of fog, it seems that the mist hides some horrible and dangerous secrets inside –secrets that like to kill any unfortunate folk who decides to venture too near to it or get caught inside it. The movie follows the story of a few of the town’s inhabitants as they struggle to find a way to survive against the mist and each other’s extreme behaviours.
The Most Dangerous Fog Ever
In The Mist, a freak thunderstorm hits a small town in Maine. The morning after, graphic artist David Drayton (Thomas Jane) and his beloved wife Stephanie (Kelly Collins Lintz) survey the damage it did around their house. They discover that the winds have brought down the large tree planted by David's grandfather has damaged a part of the house. Another tree which belongs to Brent Norton (Andre Braugher), their next door neighbor, has fallen on their pier and boat house. As they leave their lakeside, they notice an unnatural cloud of mist floating above the lake and seemingly headed towards their house.
David takes his eight-year-old son Billy (Nathan Gamble) to the local grocery to buy supplies with Brent. Ominously, the latter mentions something regarding "Project Arrowhead" which happens to be a top secret government project. They soon discover that the mist hides a terrible secret -- numerous unworldly creatures which have managed to enter the realm through a rift caused by a government project gone wrong. As hell is unleashed on earth, the three hole up inside the grocery store along with other terrified locals while they figure out a way to survive.
Vision Obscuring Gas Clouds are Cheaper to Film than Zombies
It doesn't matter if you've been an avid fan of the genre or if you've only watched a couple of sci-fi horror films. The formula used for The Mist is a familiar one. Pit hapless citizens against a hellish disaster, keeping them huddled in a small area and you'll see sparks fly. It's more effective if the characters have distinct traits which leaves no room for doubt. They are either really useful and eager to please their chosen leader or are utterly hateable and serve only to lead more people to their deaths. The typecasting in The Mist is pretty obvious, with David being the good leader and religious fanatic Mrs. Carmody (Marcia Gay Harden) serving as the one you'll eventually want to become monster feed.
If you're fans of AMC's show, then you'll be treated to some familiar faces. Among the scared shoppers, there's Laurie Holden as Amanda Dunfrey and Jeffrey DeMunn as Dan Miller (Andrea and Dale respectively). Melissa McBride also makes an appearance as a nameless, shaken mother who, to the horror of the others, leaves the safety of the grocery building to go home to her kids. As we've mentioned, the characters are type casted, with predictably clichéd reactions serving only to push the story along. It was hard to miss the obvious plot devices, with few surprises left as a result. Perhaps to make up for this predictability or just to pay homage to other B-movie heroes that came before him, David's character is inconsistent. At first, he insists that their safest bet was to stay inside, protected by the walls of the building. And then later, motivated by a burned man, he leads a small group of people to grab supplies from a drug store within the vicinity. This really never really ends well and you can probably guess what happens next.
From Somewhat Scary to Totally Gross
So what exactly lies within the mist? Tentacles, apparently. Where is it attached to? Just like David, we're not sure ourselves. There are also flying insects the size of a small dog and a pterodactyl-slash-praying mantis kind of thing that feeds on the insects. We're not really convinced that a dart board wasn't involved in designing the monsters for this film, but if you find the unexplained horrifying then they will be the stuff of nightmares. It's not like we were expecting something realistic, but perhaps this could have been more cohesive or explained beyond the whole space-time continuum spiel. The mist does help conceal, well, everything and simply leaves things to the imagination.
FYI: The Book Ended Happier
In the end, it's the acting that makes up for the clichés and predictable characters. Although we're big fans of Frank Darabont, we can't honestly say we were that entertained by The Mist and its predictability. The twist in the end is something special though, which leaves us feeling a bit depressed but is still a welcome, and masterful, touch. We recommend watching this if you love classy (yes, it's not totally a bust) B-movies in the genre or are huge The Walking Dead fans.