The Mist Review

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By: Sherry Lu <slu@hilite.org>

Horrendous cannot even begin to describe the movie adaptation of Stephan King’s book The Mist. Although the movie is only a little over two hours long, it seemed to drag on forever with its constant perpetuation of horrible acting, awful cliché lines and intolerable stock characters. “The Mist” follows a long list of movie adaptations of Stephan King books, which include “1408”, “The Shining”, and “Carrie”. Yet this movie falls tremendously short of the high caliber expected from Stephan King movies.

The opening scene begins in a small city near Portland as it is beginning to recover in the aftermath of a fierce storm. The main protagonist, David Drayton, sees a thick mist spreading from the mountains, yet thinks nothing of it. He grabs his son and a neighbor to go to the supermarket to get supplies. The supermarket is where most of the action unfolds as insanity ensues, mysterious alien creatures attack, and many people are killed. For most of the movie, the audience is not sure what causes the mist. However towards the end, a military officer mentions something called “Project Arrowhead” which was taking place up in the mountains. According to him, military scientists were trying to find a door to another dimension. The mist and the creatures within it are probably consequences of this military experiment gone awry.

From the very beginning of the movie, it is discernable that this movie will not have phenomenal acting, probably not even good acting. However this can be overlooked if not for the most cliché and idiotic lines these actors have to deliver. For instance, one character ran into the supermarket screaming “there is something in the mist.” Well duh that is why this movie is called “The Mist”. Another such line is towards the end where some characters are considering mass suicide. The main protagonist empties the ammunition from the gun, counts and says, “There are only four bullets”. The leading female character then looks up at him which is followed by a few minutes of agonizing silence. She finally says with the most dramatization “well there are five of us”. Lines like these are throughout the movie are not only excruciatingly obvious but probably also creates a feeling of sheer boredom within the audience.

Furthermore, it seems like almost half the movie involves listening to a religious fanatic preach about the coming of Armageddon and how everyone who does not believe that this is a representation of God’s anger toward mankind will go to Hell. Towards the end of the film, it is almost unbearable as more and more people start to believe her and become essentially insane. However, she is not the only unoriginal character in this movie. There is also the pair of people that can be referred to as “dumb and dumber” and the “stupid” teenager who attempts to show off and ends up getting killed.

The only few redeeming qualities within this movie are its blatantly obvious commentary on human nature. The characters in the movie actually have a five-minute long discussion about it amid all the chaos. King tries to comment on the wildness of human nature when the mechanisms of order in society disappear. People begin to lose a sense of themselves, of humanity and essentially became the creatures they are fighting. The supermarket can be compared to the island in Lord of the Flies, as societal structure breaks and looks towards a higher power for a source of organization. Aside from this moral, there are also a lot of gruesome creatures and scenes for those in the mood for horror. Additionally, there are a few action scenes that are actually pretty decent.

Nonetheless, the movie overall wasn’t very scary or good. This movie is not the right choice for true horror movie fans and definitely not for those people who have actually read the book.

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