Plot: A vicious storm has washed over a coastal town, leaving local resident David (Thomas Jane) with immense damage to his home and boathouse. As he looks over the debris, he notices a mist rolling off the mountains toward the shore, but assumes it is just a byproduct of the storm. He stops to talk with his neighbor Brent (Andre Braugher), with whom he has had a rocky relationship, then plans to head into town to stock up on supplies and information. As his car is totaled by the storm, Brent rides in with David and David’s young son, Billy (Nathan Gamble). The grocery store is packed of course, with everyone scrambling to pick up food, water, and other necessities. Soon, a man bursts into the store, visibly shaken and covered in blood, shouting that the mist had taken his friend. And as the mist rolls right up to the store’s doors, some believe him and others discount his claims. Is there something out in the mist or is this just a result of the violent storm?
Entertainment Value: A dark, dead serious take on the classic b movie monster yarn, The Mist provides a great change of pace in the horror realm. The story is one you’ve seen countless times, as a small group bands together inside a location while some kind of force seeks to either come inside, or force them outside. Frank Darabont shows his chops as always, leaning on suspense and gradual tension to raise the terror, instead of jump scares. The patience shown to the narrative is remarkable and it pays off, giving us a descent into the unknown that is powerful and effective. But the pace isn’t slow, despite the patient approach, thanks to a capable cast and a consistent build. Thomas Jane has the lead, but this is very much an ensemble piece and while the cast is large, everyone is more than up to the task. The movie angles between the dangers outside and the threats inside, which helps keep the flow steady and tension ever present. And I was glad to see a dark, bold conclusion that suits the narrative well. If you’re a fan of Stephen King, monster movies, or tense thrillers, you should enjoy The Mist.
No nakedness here. There’s a good amount of blood however, mostly CGI effects with some practical moments worked in. I can’t give full points for CGI blood, but some of it looks better than you might think. The burn makeup looks good, as do most of the various attack scenes, but some of the CGI blood has that cartoon, video game look, as it often does. The various creature effects are solid for the most part, with some cool designs and attack sequences. The characters are written broadly, but in serious tone and with zero camp involved. So aside from the religious rantings, no real strange or quotable dialogue. The end is the most potent element of The Mist and it earns a couple crazy points, not to mention the creature designs and dimensional possibilities involved with those. But otherwise, The Mist is a grounded experience, a real world put into an unreal situation.
Overall Insanity: 3/10