The Mist: A Sort-of Review with a Slight Look at the Horror Genre in General

Now before you read on, remember that this is going to be written in free form. It isn’t a review; it’s my thoughts on the movie completely, from the execution to what happens. If anything, it’s a review for people who have already seen it. So basically, expect spoilers. You have been warned.

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Why should I write a review of a movie for people that have already seen it? Because it seems like everyone I talked to didn’t like it for the wrong reasons, so if you didn’t like it I’d like to make a case for why it should be liked. I know I can’t make someone like something but I think that in the end, the negative feedback is from people coming from having had different expectations for this movie.

The CGI in The Mist could have been a lot better yes, but I’m guessing they did the best with their budget. But if you step back and disregard the CGI, and just watch how the “monsters” are introduced on the screen, they just appear. Sure there is some sort of surprise, but it isn’t exaggerated at all. When you have a movie that has something pop out of nowhere with a huge audio eruption, it degrades what is a horror movie. Its causing a reaction instead of showing one.

The Mist is ultimately a flaunting of the human psyche. It isn’t intended to be your typical scary movie with monsters that jump out at you and is shown in the style in which the director used. Frank Darabont has written and directed many of Stephen King’s works on the screen with great results. In fact when you take into account that it was based off of a novella, you can see why it isn’t supposed to be a “jumper” movie. The composition of a horror story on paper is meant to display human nature in such a way it scares you. If you take this into account while you watch it, you can see that that is why the movie might be a let down to some. The style of this movie was intended to stay consistent with the writer; to show the themes of the original piece. Even the camera work goes in with this. A lot of the times it is moving/handheld to subconsciously make you feel in the craziness.

And when you think about it, the movie brings back into light what really makes a horror movie, emotions. “Jumper” movies do show. No amount of ugly monsters with head-wounds popping out can change one perfect look that a character gives. That moment in time within the universe that the movie is taking place in IS what makes the movie scary if it is done right. Horror movies from back in the day were structured around this. In The Mist we can see this through the many discussions and demonstrations of the characters undergoing psychological changes through the progression of the movie.

I’m sure everyone noticed the faith themes that are shown, religion being the main. It was very Lord of the Flies-ish, which isn’t a big surprise because King has used references and LOTF style situations before in many of his works. The falling out of society is shown in a way that is very ironic. In one scene, Ollie says something along the lines of “Why do you think we invented religion and politics” during the build up of when the mass majority of the characters in the store start to shift into a seemingly demise. The juxtaposition of two ironic situations is one of these moments where emotions are shown. There you have characters degrading religion because it looks like everyone is turning into a deranged mob, and at the same time there is a character saying religion is an essential part in maintain society.

The fact that this happens doesn’t make it good; it’s the way it happens in a very literary literature form. I honestly believe it was done great, and while it might seem annoying and cheesy to some; it was indented that way to scare you psychologically. Yeah chances are people wouldn’t turn under a religious nut like that, but at the same time, stereotypical weird monsters from another dimension that fly around and use humans, as hosts won’t happen either. Sure I can get into all the damn themes and symbols and all that crap… but I’m too lazy. Just watch it again if you didn’t like it and try and take this new angle of perspective into consideration.

The movie does have its flaws but the things that I liked about it outweighed them heavily. I had some mixed feelings with the end however. I liked that it felt original, but it was depressing as hell at to a point that was unneeded.

The ending is basically this, to refresh/tell– The two Drayton family members (father and son) along with other members of the store decide to leave and try to drive their way to the end of the Mist, regardless of the fact that they don’t even know if the Mist ends. I liked 4 specific shots within the ending sequence–

1. The first was the car slowly driving by the store front as the crazed people who had just lost their “mouth of god.”

2. The stop by to the Drayton household.

3. A giant monster walks over them.

4. The look on Billy Drayton, the son, before he gets shot by his father.

Reasons:

1. I loved it because you wonder what they are going to do now that they have lost their “leader.”

2. You realize that this isn’t going to be your typical Hollywood ending movie where everything turns out great when you see that the mother of the family is dead.

3. It is the most peaceful scene with the monsters in it yet at the same time the one that causes the most risk. The thing is huge, a hundred feet tall, and the people in the car look on at a seemingly ease because it is so huge, they are disregarded by the monster.

4. The scene to me was one of the big scenes that I talk about along with emotion. The whole movie you hear about how the father promises to protect his son from the monsters, but in the end, his dad is the one that kills him after they run out of gas. Not only that, but you also have the prospective from the father’s side. He said he would protect Billy from the monsters and in the end he ironically has to kill his own son to do that. I think the way it is done is very depressing, but at the same time really well done. First of all I set there thinking “no way he is going to do it” while he is loading the pistol, then the kid wakes up, looks over to his dad and makes a terrified face, and before you know it the camera goes out of the car and you see/hear the gunshot followed by the other three shots for the other people in the car. Pretty terrifying to think of the psyche someone would have to be in to do that to their kid.

Alright, now I’ll get to what I didn’t like about the ending. After being pissed off, the dad opens the door and calls for the monsters to come and kill him (how Hollywoodish…), and then the guessable happens- the army comes symbolizing that he is safe because the mist is being destroyed as they go. Now this seems like you are kicking a man when he is down. It’s fine that they changed the ending, but they changed it so much that he gets out of the Mist, something that is implied in the story. It is an annoying thing when you sit there saying to yourself “if they would have waited 1 more minute…everything would have been fine.” I just told myself “all right” and took it with a grain of salt while saying, “Maybe it is because they are trying to say (if anything at all) that ‘nothing good can come out of The Mist.’” Kind of cheesy if you ask me. I mean it’s okay that they changed the ending some, but to have the end involve the mist actually leaving and showing an end to that part of the story line doesn’t set well with me because takes away the “what’s going to happen” factor.

If I had written the scene where he shoots everyone in the car, I would have then had it end with him in the car alone breathing hard after having a big temper tantrum as he looks at the mist in front of him. The depressing feeling of the ending would be WONDER OF WHAT WILL HAPPEN instead of REGRET OF WHAT DID HAPPENED.

But overall, if you are reading this and still haven’t seen it, I’d recommend it of course. It’s a great movie if you are looking at it from a certain perspective. It isn’t going to scare you with visuals that much, so just keep an eye out for what the characters are going through and you will see hopefully what I am talking about.

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8 Responses to “The Mist: A Sort-of Review with a Slight Look at the Horror Genre in General”

  1. the Mist is a thinker for sure, pretty good all around, except a lot of the character conflict was really predictable…

    is it me, or did those insect-like aliens have human teeth?

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