Starring: Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden,
Andre Braugher, Toby Jones. Rated R.
Stephen King’s latest doomsday scenario to be adapted for the screen, The
Mist finds David Drayton (Thomas Jane) and his five-year-old son
(Nathan Gamble) trapped in a small-town supermarket while an army of hellish
beasts from an alternate dimension gathers outside, ominously shrouded in an
impenetrable haze. Frank Darabont, who previously directed The
Redemption and The Green Mile, keeps the atmosphere tense and the action
increasingly terrifying as Drayton and his other would-be survivors wander one
by one into the mist, which swallows its victims as if it were a living,
breathing creature in its own right. The Mist works best as an intelligently written,
old-fashioned monster movie; Darabont veers into far bleaker territory during
the film’s grisly climax, to no discernible end.
Darabont’s commentary focuses on the technical, explaining his decision to shoot
on an elaborately constructed sound stage in Shreveport, La., and heaping
generous praise on his cast, particularly Jane and longtime collaborator
William Sadler. More gratifying is his inclusion of a black-and-white version
of the film, a fitting tribute to the genre classics that inspired it.