SCI-FI HORROR; 2hr 6min
STARRING: Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden
The fog of war: from left, Laurie Holden, Jane and Nathan Gamble
The genius of author Stephen King lies in his knack of scoping out the evil in the ordinary. Central to that is his understanding of human beings under extreme duress — and whatever form that may take (vampires, hauntings, insanity et al), it’s how his characters deal with it that sets King’s work apart. In his 1980 novella The Mist, that duress is a diabolical fog that descends upon a Maine township, leaving rattled residents blockaded in the local supermarket. Hidden within the mist are rapacious tentacles, unearthly, pug-ugly bugs and spiders, and lord alone knows what else.
If you’ve seen one vile FX beastie, you’ve basically met their relatives. What gives The Mist its desperate edge is that the focus of its horrific infestation is how the victims — filmed in loose, observational style by screenwriter-director Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption) — choose to deal with it. Their terror-driven responses range from religious mania (Harden) to grim resolve (Jane), as the trapped crowd mutates into a vengeful mob and surviving the unthinkable is unthinkable in itself.