Sunday, 17 February 2013

The Mist (2007)

Following a devastating storm, a mysterious mist rolls in off a lake and envelops the local town.   David Drayton and his son Billy are in the local supermarket when the mist finally covers the town, but now they can't get out; there's something in the mist! 

As this is based on a Stephen King novel it means that the characters are well written, they're not just 2 dimensional cannon fodder.  The dialogue isn't hammy, in fact it's a lot sharper than I would expect from a horror such as this.  When Drayton (Thomas Jane) asks William Sadler's character if he is being "wilfully dense", it quickly became our phrase of the week!  Jane is good as Drayton, a fairly natural lead; the other main character is Ollie Weeks, the supermarket bag packer played by the excellent Toby Jones.  Even the local religious nut, Mrs Carmody, is a great (yet annoying) character played very well by Marcia Gay Harden. 

Director Frank Darabont does well at creating tension and at getting the conflict of personalities between the cast just right.  He also gets the balance right between seeing some of the creatures within the mist, while leaving enough for our imaginations to create fear of the unknown.  When we do see some creatures, the design is pretty good; everything is suitably weird and has a greyish colour which seems to suit the fact that they come out of the mist.  Actually some of the huge creatures reminded me of those in Monsters.

Overall I got more out of this film than I expected; smart direction, clever script, great cast and interaction between characters; oh and one hell of a climax!