The Mist (2007)
August 28, 2022 10:09 AM - Subscribe

After a powerful storm damages their Maine home, David Drayton (Thomas Jane) and his young son head into town to gather food and supplies. Soon afterward, a thick fog rolls in and engulfs the town, trapping the Draytons and others in the grocery store. Contains what may be one of the bleakest endings ever filmed.

Also starring Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden, Toby Jones, Andre Braugher, William Sadler, Melissa McBride.

Written and directed by Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption) based on the novella by Stephen King.

71% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently streaming in the US on Netflix and available for Digital rental on multiple outlets. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (8 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Yesterday we were talking about King and how his novellas were often his best work, and I argued that The Mist was my favorite of them—a tense work with a lot of mysteries that never outstays it’s welcome.

And then I mentioned that the movie version is one of the only film adaptations to be much, much, MUCH bleaker than the original story. And holy shit is it bleak; I saw it over 15 years ago and I’m still thinking about it once or twice a month to this day.

(The original ending of the novella, I think, gets referenced in the end of 10 Cloverfield Lane, the best King adaptation not actually based on a King story.)
posted by thecaddy at 7:14 PM on August 28, 2022 [8 favorites]

i could only watch this once.
posted by alchemist at 10:28 PM on August 28, 2022 [5 favorites]

I fucking hated, hated, HATED the movie ending. Just the worst fucking thing. Not even so much because it had Drayton taking out everyone else, because that was mentioned as a possibility in the novella ending. It's that they go for the cheap, shitty irony of the army showing up and the mist suddenly dissipating one fucking minute after he does it. One. Fucking. Minute. Ha ha, fuck you buddy, if you'd held off long enough to read the 23rd Psalm or do your Brando in On the Waterfront imitation or a couple of sketches, boy, that would have been something, huh? And the novella ending was perfectly fine; yeah, he might have done it if it had come to that, but
he heard something on the radio that might have been some other survivors giving a location and he thought he'd check that out.

And it's really too bad, because the rest of the movie is pretty good, with some interesting casting choices; especially Toby Jones, whom most of the world probably remembers best as Arnim Zola in a couple of Captain America movies.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:12 AM on August 29, 2022 [5 favorites]

I fucking hated, hated, HATED the movie ending.

I seem to remember Stephen King saying he prefers the ending of the movie to his own ending. I can't find a link that says he specifically prefers it, but here are a couple links where he says he loves the movie's ending: 2007 (during promotion of The Mist) and 2017 (during promotion of IT).
posted by msbrauer at 7:48 AM on August 30, 2022 [2 favorites]

I kind of remember that, and all I can say is that authors aren't necessarily the best judges of their own work.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:04 AM on August 30, 2022

Definitely one of my favorite King adaptations, and woooo boy does the end always hit in a way that is simultaneously believable and astoundingly narratively cruel. The weakest link is one that is shared with (checks notes) every single King story ever written, which is giving some character a ludicrously heavy-handed dialect tic that takes them far past 'believably local' and into 'farcically cartoonish' - in this case some of the dialogue from the malevolent bible-lady in the bathroom. And even then, the film had the good sense to have a protagonist character practically stare at the camera with a 'what even the fuck was that' expression.

Side note - my favorite film adaptation highlight of this weird idiom fetish is the original 1990 'It' with adult Ben describing how, as kids, they used to say "sure as ferns!". Not featured - literally any other time in the film where anyone ever uses that bizarrely specific expression.
posted by FatherDagon at 9:37 AM on August 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

I remember being impressed by the ending, even if I didn't like it, exactly. And for better or worse, it's still something I think of when I'm deciding whether to give up hope on something on other. It's like an evil "Hang In There!" cat poster that way.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:28 PM on August 30, 2022 [3 favorites]

Can recommend watching the black and white version Darabont released because the grocery store dynamics lull you into this being set in any decade and then suddenly BAM! tentacles CGI and your brain does a flip.
posted by Molesome at 8:24 AM on September 1, 2022

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