The Mist ★★

A mist eerily rolls across a lake, suddenly immersing an entire town under a blanket of dense fog. We make it as far as the supermarket before being locked in with a large majority of the towns fearful inhabitants, paranoid to venture beyond the norm after seeing and hearing about the monsters that may be encircling them outside. All is working well up to this point. And then tentacled 'things' and flying beasts appear, revealing the true nature of these hackneyed characters, turning this into another forgettable Syfy special.

Thomas Jane is the best thing in it, his earthy performance deserving of far better. On the other side we have Marcia Gay Haden overacting once again, her character in need of a Bible beating. Quite why Darbont thought it was a good idea to position her as a central figure is beyond comprehension. Her fanatical Old Testament rhetoric is just another grating stereotype we could all live without. It's the sort of character that may have got away with sounding semi-realistic up until the 90's but that sort of hollow doom-mongering now sounds laughable.

Darbont's film strains as hard as it can to be many things and ultimately managed to be none of them at all. A modern day gore-fest, an old school bump in the night flick, a heart wrenching story of a family's sacrifice, and a social breakdown of how people interact with each other when push comes to shove. All of which sounds manageable enough in the hope that it won't all be boiled down go the dumbest denominator. And yet, as expected, that's how placid life may really be.

Which is exactly where it Intends to finish, packed to the brim with a nutty range of clichéd caricatures who deserve to suffer the most heinous, miserable deaths imaginable. There are no surprises to speak of (except, gasp! the ending) because the twists and turns couldn't be more mapped out if you entered the coordinates directly into Google Maps. You'd probably have more fun spending two hours investigating routes on your phone than trapping yourself in this life-sapping nightmare.

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