8 July 2008 | The_Void
Another big success for Stephen King and Frank Darabont!
Films based on the writing of Stephen King have a habit of not translating to the screen very well; although director Frank Darabont made what is often considered the best of the Stephen King films in The Shawshank Redemption - and now with The Mist he's directed what is surely one of the major contenders for the title of best horror film to be based on a Stephen King story! When I first heard the plot description, I was expecting the film to be a cross between John Carpenter's The Fog and modern horror disappointment Feast; and while it does have elements of both those movies, it is thankfully much better than both. The film starts with a violent storm that leaves the Drayton family home in tatters. David Drayton sets off to the local store along with his son and a neighbour; but the town is soon plummeted into trouble when it is surrounded by a malicious mist. It soon transpires that there are otherworldly creatures within the mist and the townsfolk in the local store find themselves battling against the creatures as well as themselves...
The film takes on a real classic style horror feel and never tries to be exceedingly clever or overly gory and that is one of its main strengths. Frank Darabont puts his focus mainly on the tension between the characters and the atmosphere and this benefits the film as there's always enough to keep things interesting - and that is particularly impressive when you consider the thin plot and the fact that it's over two hours long. Thomas Jane takes the lead role and gives a great performance which is nicely pitched between family man and action hero. The rest of the ensemble perform well alongside the lead actor, with Marcia Gay Harden as a fanatical Christian and Toby Jones as the quiet shopkeeper stand out most. The special effects are used sparingly but are very well done and show some great imagination. The creatures that come out of the mist are varied and interesting. There is a lot of talk about the ending of this film and I have to say I'm not really surprised; you'll either love it or hate but personally I found it to be a refreshing end to a commercial modern horror film. Overall, The Mist is an excellent horror film and can be considered a must see for anyone who is a fan of the genre!