The Mist ★★★★

Frank Darabont is at his very best when he is adapting Stephen King’s noveIs. I had very high expectations going into this and I was not disappointed.

The mist has it all. Normally in a horror flick there would not be much characterization. All the thought and input would have gone into the process of scaring the shit out of people. But that is where The Mist stands out. It has well etched out characters ranging from those to whom I rooted for, liked, disliked and completely loathed with burning passion. And above all this it has the cover of mist which makes the horror all the more effective, startling, unexpected and terrifying.

The performances of the actors were splendid. Thomas Jane as the leader of the pack is convincing with his controlled understated performance. He won me over with his screams at the end of the movie. Marcia Gay Harden’s character is so well done and so despicable that it must be regarded as one of the best female antagonist roles on the lines of Nurse Ratched and Aileen Wuornos. Her performance in this movie deserves more appreciation than it gets and is severely underrated. She was so frightening and obviously insane that anyone watching her would want to get onto the screen knuckle her to death. Her role had all the possibilities of being made to look over the top and unbearable but she treads the line so well and shells out a truly terrifying misanthropist. She brought more chills to me than any mist could ever bring me. Then I knew that she was the real monster in the movie.

Darabont’s documentary style of direction, with shaky camera shots and unexpectedly odd zoom ups within the grocery store gives the audience a more real experience and brings them closer to the horror as if it were real. It is used to real good use here and I personally think that it might one of the major reasons why the horror shown on screen was so effective.

The minimal use of background music also gives the audience a more immersive feel and makes the movie more straight forward without dramatizing it. It takes a lot of guts for a director to go in for a horror flick with no Back ground music at all and Darabont has surely succeeded without it. I must also mention the brilliant use of the “The Host of Seraphim” by the band Dead Can Dance for bringing out a heavier emotion in the audience when they see the hopeless sordid ending. The music at the finale so efficiently accentuates the frustration of Jane’s character, the inevitability of life on earth and how powerless he remain against the will of nature.

After having a series of Films which showcased the goodness in Humans, Darabont brilliantly switches genres to showcase the exact opposite here. He so intelligently chooses Horror to exhibit the savage, egoistic, inherent insaneness and crude nature of human beings and how they would turn against each other in times of hopelessness and panic.

The ending has been getting a lot of slack and has been termed as unnecessarily fitted so that the film would seem darker. But as far I am concerned nothing could have complimented the dry, chilling, unwelcoming and hopeless end of mist in the movie than the supremely dark hopeless ending.

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