Tuesday, 29 March 2011

The Mist

How did they get away with that ending!?

Lover: Taken from IMDB
“Let me take a breath... Never have I had such a visceral physical reaction to a film... ever. Not even with Elem Klimov's Come and See. In the last fifteen minutes I was nearly physically paralyzed, and then started shaking, realizing how numb my body was... and I am dead serious. Frank Darabont's adaptation of Stephen King's novella goes heads above a 50s/60s monster movie homage. This is grade "A" chilling, terrifying, unsettling and utterly hopeless cinema in line with the most cynical and depressing classics from the 70s. The Mist itself and the monsters it brings are just the appetizer here. As all good horror should be, this explores the ultimate enemy, ourselves. In short one of the most beautiful, thrilling and terrible times I've had at the movies. To elaborate, it isn't a pitch perfect film... Some of the CGI at the beginning is weak, and there are a few lines that can't escape the genre, but other than that this is a home run in every department - The performances (especially from Toby Jones and Marcia Gay Harden), the ingenious hand held camera, which is never used as a gimmick. The sound design, the lack of an underscore... This lends to the great atmosphere and tension Darabont builds. I'm sure you can guess by now this isn't schmaltzy, sentimental Darabont here; this is an angry, maniacal man that rears his head and shouts, "Everything is lost!" and then shoots you in the gut. Any fan of Stephen King, The Twilight Zone or Ray Bradbury, will greedily devour this with a great big grin on their face, then feel very sick but so damn happy and then throw up. Best film of the year yet.”

A great review, maybe a bit over the top with how scary it was for some people. I have to say though that I agree with him, I knew nothing about this film when seeing it and a lot of the horrific moments and that ending have stayed with me since watching.

Hater: Taken from IMDB
“Better than the fog?... The Carpenter original?... Hell NO. With factory molded characters, bad CGI and unimaginative creature designs, you have your average bad TV movie, and yeah the ONLY Christian character is bat-poo crazy and Token Black Guy and his band of Ethnics don't trust Whitey... cue spurious amounts of patronising moralising tabloid level garbage (that is 'thought provoking' in the same way that carpet bombing is accurate..) This ends in the oh so obvious deaths you fully expect so far so bad TV movie all the way up to the very end. And then whoever made this decides finally to 'be creative' and makes such a miserable, downbeat, depressing, foul, evil minded ending that like the 'token Christian zealot' you will desire a sacrifice. It basically takes the hero forces him against type, forces him to destroy everything he lives for... and then in a continuity plot hole that Paul W S Anderson would orgasm over; suddenly 'the cavalry arrives' and all the evil misty stuff vanishes in the face of the 'lean, mean green machine' and its 'mist clearing flamethrowers(TM)' every one who sided with 'evil' lives and the hero is left a shattered ruined broken man with nothing to live for... and your left with a profound sense of joy.. Oh...er... sorry; I mean severe clinical depression.”

This is a bit harsh, labelling the characters ‘factory moulded’, what about the store assistant manager who is a crack hand with a gun or the grizzly old lady who’s more than willing to get her hands dirty. I think this person got to the end and like me was a bit depressed at how the director decided to end it, he’s then applied that whole feeling to the rest labelling what actually is a very effective horror and comment on society as a “TV Movie”. It’s over the top and unfair, The Mist is a fairly hopeless movie but not every film has to have a happy ending!

What I thought:

I went into watching The Mist knowing only one thing that the ending would blow me away. Well it did and here’s what I thought of the rest before I get to that ending! The first thing that struck me was effective build of tension, from the creeping mist down the mountain to soldiers, fire trucks and police driving by. It’s effective without needing any obvious clichés like radio news reports or really tense music. By the time the mist creeps over the car park of the super market and a local has come screaming in with a bloody nose, you should be hooked.

It’s at this point where I have a complaint; the first death scene featuring the Sherminator from American Pie is a bit messy. It’s mostly because the CGI in this sequence is the most questionable in the whole film. It is however only a blemish on what is a very scary film, scary not just in the sequences that involve the blood thirsty creatures but when the mirror is put up to the audience. We are shown a side of humanity most people gratefully will probably never have to see when all morals go out of the window! As one of the characters states when a human faces their mortality they will turn to anything that offers a solution.

It’s a grim reality and most of these scenes are so tense it’s hard to keep watching, some of the creature scenes are vastly effective to, from the spiders to bigger creatures in the mist, all brilliant. The of course is THAT ending, there is no way around it and it has to be mentioned. It is one of the bravest endings you will ever see and how the studio let them do it is beyond me! Bravo to them however because despite it being extremely melancholy it will blow you away and only top off what is supposed to be a pretty miserable movie anyway!

1 comment:

Amber Salm said...

A great horror film. At so many points I got really scared and shocked me. Enjoyy !!
The Mist Photo

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"Films are Loved, Films are hated. I'm here to help you decide where you stand..." I also do web work including a good knowledge of HTML, ASP, using the adobe web package and a strong understanding of SEO, Google Analytics.