The Mist just manages not to go the way of Bernard Matthews by taking an anthropological twist as the veneer of civilised society is stripped away by fear and panic.
Frank Darabont returns to directing after a six-year absence to tread familiar ground with another Stephen King adaptation, this time of 'The Mist'.
After a thunderstorm destroys part of their house, painter David Drayton (Thomas Jane) and his young son Billy head down to the local supermarket to get some supplies. They are met by a whole town of frenzied shoppers spooked by a power cut, and a petrified and bloodied old man ranting about creatures in the strange mist that has descended.
As the terrified townsfolk hole up in the supermarket, the usual, formulaic characters emerge from the woodwork – the annoying woman freaking out, the cynical black man playing the race card and the caustic redneck calling everyone 'pussies' all put in an appearance. These cardboard cutouts then proceed to drop clangers so awful that the only horror on display is the script.
A script that then demands a huge suspension of disbelief to accept that people would choose to abandon the food, shelter and medical supplies offered by the supermarket to take their chances in the monster-ridden fog that lurks outside.
Despite such conspicuous flaws, The Mist just manages not to go the way of Bernard Matthews by taking an anthropological twist as the veneer of civilised society is stripped away by fear and panic. Marcia Gay Harden puts in a solid performance as the fire and brimstone Christian, wet for the apocalypse and recruiting penitents to offer Billy up as sacrifice to appease God's wrath.
Toby Jones also does his career no harm as the head-strong, sharp-shooting checkout assistant, sticking it to monsters, manic shoppers and his officious boss alike.
It’s not until David and his mates escape from the fanatics that the film manages to put aside its initial shortcomings. The refreshingly unconventional conclusion helps to redeem the sporadically crass script (penned by Darabont himself), ludicrous context and special effects that look like they were rendered on a ZX Spectrum. But it’s not quite enough to stop you reflecting on how standards have slipped.
Darabonnt and King back together again.
A clichéd horror-by-numbers until… BAM!
Whoa, never saw that coming! Nice.