Updated: Nov 11, 2019
Nominee #14 - The Mist (2007)
Frank Darabont is a master of Stephen King adaptations. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) and
The Green Mile (1999) are some of the best examples of King adaptations out there. The Mist, the
third of Darabont’s adaptions seemed to be a departure from his typical filmography. While
The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile were mostly grounded in reality, The Mist (2007)
was a whole different genre.
Starring Thomas Jane, The Mist is the story of a group of random individuals trapped in a mall after a storm. A thick mist descends on the town and something violent and sinister lurks within.
The film delves into the chaos and violence humans are capable of and are willing to do under duress.
The Mist is an incredible character study. Much like the novella it is based on, The Mist
effectively explores the human species in crisis. The fact that the threat is extra-terrestrial is
almost arbitrary, the film’s primary concern is to present a group of characters with their
own ideas of survival.
The film delves into the chaos and violence humans are capable of and are willing to do under duress. We witness the decisions these characters make and therefore are forced to consider ourselves and the decisions we would make. We watch this group evolve, or perhaps the opposite, we see each character transform as the danger outside the mall intensifies. We follow Thomas Jane’s character, a father, whose sole concern is to protect his son.
Darabont enforces these relationships through a powerful script and through solid performances and forces the audience to care. With a run time in excess of two hours, The Mist is far from a bore. Every moment of the film is engaging, the audience is dragged through the terror of the situation slowly and
painfully. The film effectively provides and steals hope, we watch the character succeed and
then repeatedly fail, and in some sense, we endure a piece of their agony and desperation.
Despite being a faithful adaptation, the film is perhaps its strongest in its departures from its
source material, specifically its ending. The ending of The Mist is perhaps one of the most
divisive yet powerful endings in Hollywood history. It’s daring, unique and sets the film head
and shoulders above most in its genre.
The Mist is an exploration of the descent into insanity and the lengths humans will go to
survive. It’s a film about chaos, hopelessness, terror and survival all while being a tense and
entertaining sci-fi horror thrill ride.