I just attended "The Mist" advanced screening with 200 or 300 local folks, and I think I was sitting in the rowdiest section. I was surrounded by a few extras, all of which have been desperate to see the film since it wrapped production in Shreveport earlier this year.
Dagnabbit, were they excited. And cheering. And shocked. And gleeful when they caught glimpses of themselves on screen. I sat next to one local actress -- Dodie Brown -- who managed to get a line (see previous post). That was pretty cool.
It's hard to explain, but these folks are all drawn together by this curious kind of electricity. It arcs when they recognize themselves or a familiar face. To sit among them is invigorating for those who live vicariously. (I'm a reporter, so I do this for a living.)
But ... it's going to take this crowd a few different viewings to understand just what kind of film this is, and just who director Frank Darabont is turning into as a storyteller. (Not to be a snob, but I'm not sure too many of us care about the latter question. ... OK, fine. I'm a snob.)
I'll tell you what I think soon. My review, which is safe for pre-screening consumption if you read reviews, is en route.
In the meantime, here's some unsolicited advice for that rowdy crowd and everybody who wants to tell everything about "The Mist."
Don't. Store away the spoilers for as long as you can. Let the movie simmer a bit. Keep it inside. Don't corrupt friends and family with talk about the ending. Hold onto that electricity just a little bit longer. Let others be genuinely surprised to discover you and "The Mist" on screen, just like you may have been tonight.