Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Film review--The Mist

starring Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden, Andre Braugher, Toby Jones, and Henry Thomas as The Beav.

A storm hits a small town, leaving a mist in its wake. Bizarre and deadly creatures inhabit this mist. A small group of townspeople hole up inside a grocery store and prepare to fight for their lives.

I have really become addicted to the Netflix series, Stranger Things. Military experiments, a major plot point in the show, inspired me to give The Mist another try. I wish I could say more or explain why, but that would only serve to give spoilers about Stranger Things. But I digress...

This film is based on a story by Stephen King and as such it carries a few of his tried and true chestnuts. Namely, get a group of people together, isolate them, trap them, and then watch how the ugliest aspects of their personality begin to emerge. Moral dilemmas abound. And while I certainly don't demand that science fiction be comforting, the tone of this picture is just bleak and unrelenting. The ending is so grim that it might make something of a litmus test for personality. I see two possible reactions: "Ugh! That's awful!" or "Yeah, that's real life right there." Which camp I fall into pretty much just depends on how I'm feeling on any given day. One positive I will say about the ending is that it certainly breaks with Hollywood convention and vilipends the notion that us gutsy humans can overcome anything.

The special effects folks must have had a field day creating all of the creatures. The insect-like ones in particular made me think of F. Paul Wilson's Nightworld and that's certainly not a bad thing.

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