Monday, February 29, 2016

Film Review: The Mist (2007)

The Mist (Review)
United States/2007
Format Viewed For Review: Amazon Instant
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: Yes

"...an intense and ominous film."

After a vicious storm, a group of citizens find themselves trapped in a supermarket when mist engulfs the city and a man claims a creature lurks within...

The Mist follows a group of citizens – primarily, David Drayton (Thomas Jane), who was at the market with his son when hell broke loose. Speaking of hell, the film also follows Mrs. Carmody (Marcia Gay Harden), a religious fanatic, and Brent Norton (Andre Braugher), David's neighbor. So, you essentially have three different groups: David leads the people who want to fight the mysterious creatures and survive; Brent leads the people who don't believe in the creatures; and, eventually, Carmody leads people into believing her preaching about the apocalypse. The narrative does well in blending the human conflict and creature-feature excitement. You see the politics that occur when they're forced to make a choice and the action when they're forced to fight. The film leads to a haunting ending – the less you know, the better.

The Mist is a superb science-fiction/horror film. The story is gripping from beginning to end. The masterfully-crafted ominous atmosphere keeps you at the edge of your seat. The character development, really more of a character-study, places you into these shattering psyches. The creature attacks are tense and exciting, filled with gore and suspense. The characters, which really fuel the creative concept at the end of the day, create more suspense through their conflicts – scenes that make you grit your teeth or clench your fists. If you've never felt like strangling a character, you will now – and for good reason. That's a big point, too. No matter how much you may hate a character, you'll ultimately understand. The film is simply splendid. There was a moment or two that felt utterly contrived, but these moments didn't hinder or sully the entire experience – it's forgivable.

The acting was also great. Thomas Jane is a great leading man, filling his everyday-character-turned-almost-hero well. Marcia Gay Harden, however, steals the show. She plays her deplorable character excellently. She truly becomes her character and delivers her performance with conviction and confidence. The cinematography is great and the soundtrack is superb. There are some computer-generated special effects that stick out like a sore thumb; then, there are those visuals that look stunning. It's a hit-and-miss kind of thing. The film is written for the screen and directed by Frank Darabont based off a novella by Stephen King. The writing is great and the direction is superb. Much like his cast, Darabont directs with confidence, meticulously crafting every scene to produce an extremely effective film.

Overall, The Mist is a superb film. It's fantastic science-fiction/horror film, from it's concept to its execution. The film hits all of the right notes, focusing on the character conflicts to essentially amplify the creature effectiveness. It balances both elements well to deliver an intense and ominous film. Sure, there's a flaw or two riddled in here, but it doesn't stop the film from entertaining. If you love creature-features or Stephen King, this one's for you.

Score: 9/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore.

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