This is Stephen King’s first screen version I comment here. I must admit not having read this work, however I consider myself an advanced King’s reader, and therefore I’m quite critic with screen versions.
I remember few days ago some TV channel was broadcasting Dreamcatcher, which honestly when I watched it some years ago seemed a piece of shit. A friend of mine was also very disappointed for she had read the book and insisted it was very good.
I don’t know what happens with Stephen King, his stories are amazing and his influence is constant in movies, however many versions fail to be very dodgy and awfully developed, specially the more recent ones.
Still I have to remark some of the most horror classic titles: Carrie, The Shining, The Dead Zone, The Running Man and the mini series Salem’s Lot. I love them all. Even It is cool although lacks of special effects and more budget.
As most of his novels The Mist happens in a small town in Maine. A heavy thunderstorm has stricken the area causing damage all around.
David Drayton (now fasionable Thomas Jane) agrees to drive his neighbour Brent Norton to the local supermarket to get supplies for his car has been crashed total useless by a tree and thick and heavy mist menaces to envelop the area. Drayton’s 5 year-old kid accompanies them for the shot ride, entertained by the march of police patrols, firemen and even the Army.
Panic reaches all the shoppers at the store when an old man covered in blood reaches the entrance and commands to get the doors closed because there’s something frightening in the mist, something evil and lethal.
First people cannot believe there’s something supernatural until few people die attacked by strange creatures.
At this point, after weird events all the action takes place inside the store and film becomes more psychological, due to different attitudes towards what’s going on bringing out several fights, fanatic beliefs encouraged by Mrs. Carmody (Marcia Gay Harden) and extreme situations, dividing people and creating chaos.
Drayton’s main aim is to get the hell out of there and protect his son, some people will join him in an attempt to escape no matter consecuences.
There two typical King’s features repeated in this film. First, common people are the main characters, subjected to a extreme and unreal situation and the way they react and develop or show hidden skills to face the menace. Second, union makes strength philosophy, or how we can survive if we work something out together, threatened in The Mist by crazy Mrs. Carmody and his vision of the apocalypse as God’s will.
This film has a powerful start with plenty of computer effects, camera movements and the feeling of chaos is quite well reflected. Then follows the store action which can become a bit tiring with so much fanatic speech interrupted by some violent events and the end, probably what I liked most, hopeless and unlucky.
Recovering my introduction I must say The Mist is not the best Stephen King’s version and is not to be remarked either, but at least is entertaining. In the future I will definitely read the original story and review the movie just to compare and I might change my opinion. We’ll see…