Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Review: 'The Mist' is ...

... so good. So smart. So angry. And I've already had a spirited disagreement with a film buddy whose opinion I value more than gold. I love how this movie divides us.

Click here to read my review for The Shreveport Times. Here's a snippet: "More than simply a picture that goes boo and bang, 'The Mist' carefully paints the delusions of faith and the failures of reason that drive the townsfolk mad."


Chris-Brad said...

Great review, Alexandyr. Your line, "This locally shot movie, I regret to inform you, is so much more," is the perfect explanation of the flick.

I had several friends ask about the movie after they read reviews on several web sites. Trying to explain to them that what looks like a mainstream Stephen King horror picture is so much more wasn't easy. I'm still not sure I got that point across.

Of course, the hardest part was not giving away THE ending. I'm still not sure how I feel about it, but I think that was intentional.

One guy finally just asked me if it was a good movie. And to be honest, the only answer I could give was this: Yes and no, it just depends on your particular definition and view of what is "good."

Noma said...

I didn't like it as well as you.

I see it as two movies, crammed together. One explores themes of faith of both a religious and secular nature. The other is a typical horror movie. The problem for me exists in that people attracted to the movie for one aspect will not be attuned with the other. Both halves get cheated by the other; either could've been explored more deeply.

I will give it high marks for character development though. Toby Jones was just fantastic in his role. It stimulated our local economy. And most importantly, craft services used my jam.

Alexandyr Kent said...

Thanks, chris-brad and Noma. Glad to see we have diversity of opinions.

I think with any horror film, there's a moment when your suspension of disbelief either kicks in or doesn't. For me, the loading dock scene was that moment, and I obviously was taken by the tentacles and the growing war between faith and doubt.

chris-brad ... regarding the ending? At least, unlike the book, the movie has one. Generally speaking, I think horror books can get away with a lack of resolution, with the suspenseful "what now" endings. Horror films, on the other hand, benefit when they make a particular decision one way or the other. That Darabont had the courage to write and film a definitive, terrifying conclusions shows his respect for genre filmmaking. It's as if he's saying, "This, my friends, is true horror. Like it or not, you will feel their pain."

Noma, totally understand how you see it as two movies. There's actually some great reviews out there that see it the same way (and some which utterly loath the film). Scan metacritic.com for the best stuff.

Remember the days when horror films actually said something? "The Exorcist" and the best days of Roman Polanski? I hope "The Mist" forces today's horror-makers to take a look back and lift themselves out of the current "torture porn" genre, as Darabont calls it. Horror films, I think "The Mist" demonstrates, can be so much more than just cutting sexy, screaming college students into pieces.

... Can someone help me off of this high horse?

Anonymous said...

I just saw the movie, as an extra dying to see it, I was amazed and in shock at the ending....I think it was perfect. An ending....or a beginning or maybe not......I don't dare say more.
Margaret Wren

Steve Taylor said...

I just got back from watching the movie.... I actually almost cried at the ending! WOW! And to see names of people I know in the credits was amazing. One of my students was one of them! As a faithful Stephen King fan for the last 30 years I can tell you that Darabont did a great job of showing what King writes about. Relationships and inner turmoil while facing our deepest, darkest fears. I can only hope that the Dark Tower paintings at the beginning of the movie means that Darabont will tackle another King saga soon! :-)