Full of Atmosphere
When a freak storm hits a small community David Drayton (Thomas Jane) finds himself having to get on with his neighbour Brent Norton (Andre Braugher) as they both suffer destruction to their properties with a tree in Norton's property smashing Drayton's boat house. Having headed in to town together along with David's young son Billy (Nathan Gamble) they find themselves amongst a group of people trapped inside the supermarket when a strange mist engulfs it and some of them witness a tentacled monster within the fog when Norm (Chris Owen) the bagboy is dragged away by it. But the danger is not just outside as Brent, a New York judge, refuses to believe what he hasn't seen whilst Mrs. Carmondy (Marcia Gay Harden) believes it is religious retribution and with trouble growing more and more people side with her.
I can't remember the last time a horror movie had captivated me as much as "The Mist" did and in truth I didn't expect it as the whole concept of people trapped in a supermarket or mall isn't exactly new. Some might say well the combination of the writing of Stephen King and director Frank Darabont should have lead me to expect something special but the concept is so familiar that I couldn't see how it could be anything but ordinary at best, yet "The Mist" is pretty darn special.
The thing about "The Mist" is that King has explored not just the situation of being stuck in the supermarket but built upon it with a mystery of what lurks outside in the thick mist. So we have tensions rising inside between those who fear what is outside and those who need to see to believe in danger. We also have an extremely religious woman and much more which means these people are a danger to themselves. But this isn't some internal war zone where people quickly turn on each but argue as they take sides, it builds up to a situation with the tension inside evolving. It is hard to put in to words but it is such an amazing atmosphere and evolving situation that you can't take your eyes off of the screen for a second.
But it is more than just atmosphere because the mystery of the mist which engulfs the supermarket and the town lays way for the science fiction of a variety of monstrous possibilities. I'm not going to divulge what comes out of the mist but I will say that Darabont delivers a slow build up of action and gore so we have the big ending a movie like this needs and so that it appeals to everyone.
As for the acting, this is where Darabont is a genius as on one hand you have Thomas Jane as a logical hero character, the man with muscles under his t-shirt who tries to save everyone and Thomas Jane is good. But then there is Toby Jones, a brilliant actor but a hero figure! Yet that is what we have here, the ordinary guy who works in the supermarket who suddenly reveals he has talents no one would expect him to have but not talents which are ridiculously out of place.
What this all boils down to is that "The Mist" is another special movie which shows how much Frank Darabont understands Stephen King's stories but also shows he understands what makes a great horror movie. And the thing about "The Mist" is that you can watch it more than once and it still has the same power the second and third time.