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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Thomas Jane
Marcia Gay Harden
Laurie Holden
Jeffrey DeMunn.
Directors
Frank Darabont.
Screenwriters
Running Time
126 minutes

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The Mist
Gives a whole new meaning to bad weather


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Plot
Shoppers in a small Maine town’s supermarket are trapped by the sudden appearance of an otherworldly mist - and the unspeakable, deadly beasts contained within. Two rival groups quickly form, one favouring escape, the other... expiation.


Review
The Mist

Traditionally, horror movies have almost acted as the entry-level exam for gifted filmmakers, a way to make their names before graduating to respectable material - just ask Sam Raimi or Peter Jackson. Refreshingly, with The Mist, Frank Darabont has gone the other way. Of course, he started out writing horror flicks, but this is a guy whose directorial career has largely been about conveying hope, joy, and carefully sculpted sentiment. But for his third take on Stephen King, after The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, Darabont has gone back to the well and come up with a tight, tense frightflick with more originality than a thousand Saws.

So, naturally, it failed at the US box office, grossing just over $25 million and only now, eight months later, is it getting a cinematic release here in the UK. It’s well worth your time, but be warned - by movie’s end, your sunny disposition is likely to have clouded over.

As with all the best siege movies, The Mist takes its time setting up its characters and scenario, expertly and economically placing Thomas Jane’s Everyman artist, David Drayton, at the heart of an ensemble of fantastic actors. In fact, it’s nearly half an hour before any Lovecraftian beastie lifts a toothy tentacle in anger.

And like the best siege movies - Rio Bravo, The Thing, Romero’s Dead trilogy - The Mist isn’t really interested about what’s outside, trying to get in, but what’s inside, trying to get out. And by that, of course, we mean the more venal, spiteful, and downright horrifying side of human nature, personified here by Marcia Gay Harden’s religious zealot, Mrs. Carmody, dispensing frenzied rants as she cajoles her ever-growing army of followers toward one goal: blood sacrifice. She’s the true villain of the piece, and while Gay Harden is excellent, at times it’s scarcely believable that someone so demented would recruit so many disciples.

Of course, it might be more credible to anyone following modern politics, a point driven home by Darabont in one scene featuring dialogue so on-the-nose that it might as well come with a flashing subtitle: ‘This is about the Bush administration’. This lack of subtlety occasionally mars The Mist, but for the most part Darabont’s decision to use an immediate handheld style intensifies the drama. Throughout, the movie feels real - even when the monsters break loose.

And boy, do they break loose, in several superb set-pieces including an extended bug attack on the store at nightfall, and a chilling sequence in the pharmacy next door that will make arachnophobics squirm. When it comes to the bigger monsters (including one that would eat the Cloverfield creature for breakfast), the ever-present mist comes in very handy at cloaking some of the deficiencies of low-budget CG.

It’s in these sequences that the true beating B-movie heart of the movie is revealed - a fact driven home by the excruciatingly downbeat ending, possibly the most depressing five minutes of cinema you’ll see all year. Darabont’s triumph here is in wedding such outlandishness to genuine and untrammelled emotion - who says an old dog can’t learn new tricks?


Verdict
Criminally overlooked in the States, this is one of the best horror movies of the last few years.


Reviewed by Tom Ambrose


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Average user rating for The Mist
Empire Star Rating

RE: The Mist

There were so many bloody annoying characters who did bloody annoying things, but all in all it was a pretty decent little horror movie with a great ending. (Also, it's not hard to see where Darabont cast most of The Walking Dead from ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Whistler at 22:32, 09 April 2012 | Report This Post


RE: The Mist

I had a lot of trouble with it because someone told me the ending before I saw it--f**k!!! So I was very critical when watching it. After a second viewing though I felt better. I liked the idea but I didnt care for the execution. The big stand out was the vampire guy(you know-the military cadet --he looked vampirish--had red lips) when he and the girl were talking in the storeroom right after the rope line killing-boy were they ever relaxed--it was like they were in a high school. Th... More

Posted by Gkel at 09:12, 05 April 2011 | Report This Post


RE: The Mist

Now this was weird From heartwarming Shawshank through tearjerking (and heartwarming) green mile, to sappy the majestic to this downright depressing movie. Darabont is definately the best director ever, he has never done anything stupid (even the majestic was a flawless directing effort) and this film is no exception, it is downright more scarier than any other horro movie i've ever seen, it is quite simply, amazing. 4 stars for a techincally amazing effort, 1 star off for alienating ho... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by threshold at 08:06, 05 April 2011 | Report This Post


The Mist

Loved it. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Tech_Noir at 07:09, 05 April 2011 | Report This Post


Rubbish!

Empire what were you thinking when you wrote this review??! It's one of the worst horror films I've ever seen. We rented it on Hallowe'en night and were yawning after 20 minutes. There is NOTHING scary about this and is an insult to the horror genre. I've seen scarier episodes of Spongebob Squarepants. Hammy acting, hopelessly outdated special fx, illogical decisons made only to facilitate the plot, this is complete and utter nonsense. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by alanlowney at 11:40, 11 March 2011 | Report This Post


Really?!

That's an astonishing review Empire. This film is truly bad. Everything about it is bad. Even for a horror movie the actions of the characters are completely illogical (why go outside? why keep pulling a blood-soaked rope? do they want the lights on or off??). Watching this film is SO frustrating because the characters just run around like headless chickens, making it up as they go along. Combined with some clunky dialogue, shit acting, a soldier who looks like a transvestite, and not a single s... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by faulknerdrummer at 22:03, 29 September 2010 | Report This Post


TWILIGHT SUCKS BALLS, this is a REAL MOVIE.

King's Lovecraftian take on the themes of George A. Romero's Dawn of the dead directed by Darabont, The ending broke my heart, i loved this movie just sheer genius. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Horrorguru at 16:29, 08 August 2010 | Report This Post


I loved it. My favourite horror film ever. A great examination of how fragile human civilisation is. SPOILER ALERT! I remember when they left the store and the requiem music was playing with the giant creature. All I could think was "Earth doesn't belong to us anymore ". Chilled me to the fucking bone. Darabont rocks! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by sneeson at 12:23, 30 March 2010 | Report This Post


RE: The Mist

L: _twilight_obsessed_ I saw this movie about 6 months ago, and I have to say I really didn't like it.. I didn't know what was going on half of the time, and the ending, I thought, was absurd.. There was no substance to the movie, and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. as twilight like, totally, much much better? ... More

Posted by spamandham at 23:55, 15 September 2009 | Report This Post


RE: The Mist

I saw this movie about 6 months ago, and I have to say I really didn't like it.. I didn't know what was going on half of the time, and the ending, I thought, was absurd.. There was no substance to the movie, and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.   ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by _twilight_obsessed_ at 21:02, 15 September 2009 | Report This Post


RE: The Mist

L: lebowski_24 Pretty ropey mid section with very clunky dialouge,i have heard thats intentional for a more b movie feel but for me its still tough to watch.However the last third of the movie makes up for any failings ,with some properly tense scenes and teriffecly over the top performances.Even if the effects are not exactly top notch i dont think they lessen the effect,(all about what you dont see).Some say the ending is bleak for bleaks sake and robs the audience .To me its brillia... More

Posted by wgamador at 15:44, 08 September 2009 | Report This Post


RE: The Mist

Pretty ropey mid section with very clunky dialouge,i have heard thats intentional for a more b movie feel but for me its still tough to watch.However the last third of the movie makes up for any failings ,with some properly tense scenes and teriffecly over the top performances.Even if the effects are not exactly top notch i dont think they lessen the effect,(all about what you dont see).Some say the ending is bleak for bleaks sake and robs the audience .To me its brilliantly original and very p... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by lebowski_24 at 21:44, 07 September 2009 | Report This Post


RE: The Mist

It's funny to see how much worse Tom Jane's performance get with a second viewing, particularly near the end... ... More

Posted by Jasper_29 at 12:19, 07 September 2009 | Report This Post


RE: The Mist

The massive multi-limbed thing near the end deserves its' own film! ... More

Posted by CORLEONE at 12:15, 07 September 2009 | Report This Post


RE: The Mist

]t ] es Excellent concept that doesn't get revealed until later in the film. 2. Nice sense of dread and impending doom once the mist arrives. 3. The movie wastes no time in introducing the menacing mist. There is no waiting around for it. 4. Real cool and intriguing creatures are introduced as the movie progresses. 5. Bittersweet ending that was definately unexpected..... 6. Although we've seen dangerous "Fog" movies, the mist still brings with it a sense of doom. 7. Real coo... More

Posted by wgamador at 03:28, 07 September 2009 | Report This Post


RE: The Mist

Coincidently I rewatched this again on Blu Ray last night, liked it a lot more this time around too. The slightly wonky CGI kept taking me out of the film when I watched it the first time, but in HD B&W it all looks far more acceptible and creepy. And like a few have stated, the ending's still a bitch! ... More

Posted by captainrentboy at 20:55, 06 September 2009 | Report This Post


RE: The Mist

Watched the movie last night and was pleasantly surprised. Being a fan of both the original King story and seige-like plots in horror films I knew it had potential. I especially liked the giant creature, it wasn't milked and the lack of comment from the cast made the moment all visual. Maybe not four stars but a good three. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Ross Shapland at 20:02, 06 September 2009 | Report This Post


Ignore the imbeciles, this film is brilliant, the ending is hardcore

Darabont should be patted on the back for Turning one of King's best Novellas into a kick ass movie that has shades of LOvecraft, and Romero thrown in for good measure, miles better than most of the tat that passes as horror these days, ( saw fans, People who prefer the remakes to the originals, yeah you dumbasses) The mist won't be for everyone, as to appreciate THE MIST you need a modicum of intelligence. Brilliant ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Horrorguru at 09:58, 14 August 2009 | Report This Post


Very good

Just saw this on DVD a couple of weeks ago and I have to say I probably should have seen this in the cinema. I don't think there is anything I wouldn't dissgree with in Empire's review. The regilious fanatics are suitably menacing and the level headed are equally desperate. As I have nothing to say that hasnt been already been said, I'll go off on a tangent. It struck me that this would have made for a very good adaptation/extended story of the original 'Half-Life' game (which is not a ch... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by brokenking at 13:52, 10 June 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Meh

L: The Kevmiester Pretty poorly overacted by all involved, especially marcia gay harden, pretty poor special effects, just not very scary or creepy, Dreadful, god awful dialague and an ending that feels forced and that you can see coming. Still not dreadful, and i did like the whole segment with the mad hatters taking over the store, but apart from that it just wasn't that good, am i honestly the only one to see that? sp; Over acted?  go and watch some keanu reeves. ... More

Posted by genejoke at 10:46, 18 March 2009 | Report This Post


terrifically downbeat

Really good horror movie that works in several ways (b-movie horror, siege, apocalyptical) It's just so refreshing to see a horror movie done seriously, Darabont and his cast create a film that leagues ahead of all those repetitive identi-kit slash & gore movies which are just a bit of fun, where as this is truly depressing and bleak, The ending didn't shock or surprise me, I wouldn't describe it as a 'twist', but it is decent. The ride is more fun though. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tysmuse at 23:52, 21 February 2009 | Report This Post


Great film shame about the CGI

I really liked this film it had everything, the coolest giant spiders ever, you were right they do give you the shivers.Ek, interesting flys slash scorpions, but as soon as the big monsters came in it got a bit silly. But that ending was one of the best I've seen in a film. I really enjoyed this film. Terrific acting, a solid 4 stars from me, PS: that big monster would have got slaughtered by the Cloverfield monster. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by GavMan94 at 17:44, 17 February 2009 | Report This Post


Another classic

Darabont makes a brilliant seige movie that just happens to have monsters in it.The feel of it is pure King,full of soul searching and even a few laughs.Thomas Jane is underrated as an actor and puts in a great performance here.i enjoy watching it again and again and it gets better each time.Turning out to be one of my favourite horrors in a long long time. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by otacons folly at 11:50, 06 February 2009 | Report This Post


Fantastic

Highly enjoyable horror, as long as you don't take it too seriously. I just wish the reviews I'd read before I saw it hadn't drawn attention to the bleak ending because I'm sure it would've had a much greater impact on me otherwise. Throughout the whole film I was aware that things were going to end badly. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by muchobenny at 01:03, 25 January 2009 | Report This Post


Thanks for a smart horror (but stupid ending :D) ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ARmy2510 at 11:51, 16 January 2009 | Report This Post


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