Thursday, 15 January 2009

The Mist

So, I recently watched ‘The Mist,’ directed by Frank Darabont for the first time and I have mixed emotions about the film. There were parts I thought were excellent and some that were rubbish. I’ve not read the book, but from film reviews, the ending in the book is more open than the films’ controversial end.

There is a typical horror movie start with build up of tension as a mysterious mist overshadows a small community from a storm. David Drayton, his son and other customers are forced to dwell in the store after a man with a bloody nose and injuries runs to the store exclaiming, ‘there is something in the mist!’ As time passes, tensions ascend and after various attacks by a tentacle monster, over-sized insects and a pterodactyl like creature, the group begin to divide and turn against one another. The main cause of this is by Mrs. Carmody (Marcia Gay Harden), a religious activist who suspects the attacks are an act of God requiring sacrifice. She creates a sect from the psychologically pressured patrons. Harden does a spectacular job with the character. The portrayal of the character formed hatred towards Mrs. Carmody and when she did eventually die, the audience naturally cheered.

One thing that really annoyed me was the fact that in the first third of the movie, people kept entering the mist despite seeing the consequences such as disappearances, disembowelled bodies and hearing screams. In reality, I don’t think any sane person would do this in that scenario.

Darabont’s choice of minimal music throughout the movie was a wise choice as the silence definitely sets the mood and has a lasting effect on the audience to create fear. During the end of the movie, as the car drives slowly through the mist in the hope of survival, the powerful song “The Host of Seraphim" by Dead Can Dance is played. I thought this song depicted the end of the line for mankind’s fate perfectly.

The scene showing the tall creature stomping by the car near the end was constructed perfectly. The way it was presented in front of the sun and mist gave it an eccentric silhouette and a sense of wonder.

The ending was hardly gruesome, but it was gruesome in an emotional way and I thought it was rather ironic how a weapon meant for protection ended up being the cause of death for four out of the five remaining characters. I wouldn’t say it was the worst ending, just unexpected and a huge twist. Although the ending was a bit rushed, it creates emotion towards the audience. It made me feel slightly upset and depressed which are the emotions, along with anger that were meant to be experienced by the viewer. Darabont met his aim of wanting the audience to feel the emotions of David Drayton’s.

Overall, the monsters were only a small fragment of the movie. It was more about hope and humankind in addition to the psychological minds of humans and how they react in extreme situations.

The movie was stuck in my mind long after it was over with the recurring thoughts of ‘What if’ questions.

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