Friday, November 23, 2007

Movie Review "The Mist"*

I like well-made movies, although I don't find too many of them. Normally when a new movie comes out that I think I may want to see, I either do not take the time to go see it or I am phenomenally disappointed in it. I can suspend disbelief to enjoy a well-written, well acted movie, but please do not treat me as if I am stupid. I can even enjoy a decent movie with one or two (at most) stupid scenes (have you seen John McClain being chased by the hovering fighter plane in "Live Free or Die Hard"?) But I knew when I paid my money that a Bruce Willis/Die Hard movie was going to be over the top. I don't expect that from most movies.

I also like Stephen King novels. I think I have read almost every King novel written (many more than once) although I don't normally enjoy movies made from his books, because the screenwriters/directors usually ruin the story. "Christine"? Great book, lousy movie. "Cujo"? I don't even want to talk about how bad that movie was. "1408"? Good short story and Surprise! a pretty good movie. (I saw it on DVD, so I think it was probably better than 'pretty good' in the theater.)

I took my 18 year old son and 13 year old step son (not sure I should have taken him, but that is another story) to see Stephen King's "The Mist" this afternoon. Normally my complaint with Stephen King novels made into movies is that the movies miss... something. It is just a fact that movies made from novels do not have the time or the budget to put everything from the book into the movie, so I try to stay away from them because I expect too much and am, usually, disappointed. I thought I might be ok with "The Mist" because (a) it was a short story and could probably cover the entire story in the 127 minutes running time and (b) I haven't read the actual short story in over 15 years so the missing details would also be missing from my memory.

As we left the theater my son turned to me and said, "Wow". That seemed to sum up my entire experience with this film nicely. As I watched I had moments of flashback from the book, "Oh, yea, that is where...". I also had moments of "Oh, shit". At one point I sunk into my seat and pulled my sweatshirt up until it covered my nose, mouth and ears (I left my eyes out or I could've missed something). I think I jumped (really, honestly jumped) 8-10 times. I think I laughed 2 or 3 times. I wanted to cry at least once. And I felt murder in my heart at least once (but probably more).

Even though this movie was based on a Stephen King novella, I would not classify it as part of the true horror genre. This movie was, at times, bloody, yes, but so was "Saving Private Ryan" and you could not say that was a horror movie. Yes, blood and strange things that go bump in the night were an integral part of the story, but it wasn't THE story. The story was more of a sociological question. What happens when a group of very different people (different races, different backgrounds, different socio-economic circumstances) are thrown into a difficult, stressful, possibly life-threatening situation? Who leads? Who follows? Who loses their mind? Who lives? Who dies?

The ending of the movie was different than the one in King's original story and the punch it packs is more of a wallop. I think I finally caught my breath about the time I reached home and if I think too much about it, I still feel a slight hitch in my heart. It wasn't conventional and it wasn't pretty, but it did make a horrible, heart-rending statement about life and love and sacrifice.

If a little gore does not make you sick, I completely recommend this movie. If you watch it, I would appreciate it if you stop back by and let me know what you thought, and, if possible, answer this question. Could you have done it?

*The opinions on this site are strictly those of the author and in no way, shape or form reflect those of Blogger or the Blogger staff. If you hated this movie or just want to read reviews from those who did, they can be found HERE.


Pete Bogs said...

cool review... I thought of doing some on my blog, or starting another blog, but I watch too many movies and it'd take up too much time...

I just saw Beowulf... I liked it, but man was it gory! Angelina Jolie wearing nothing but liquid gold kind of evened things out a little... I had read the story over 20 years ago in high school, and remembered nothing except a monster seeking revenge and a lost arm... the jury's still out on the animation style for me, but it was a decent effort... some genuine scares and lots of gore... was surprised it actually made the PG-13 cut!

LeftLeaningLady said...

I was going to see Beowulf, but my son was not impressed. He liked the animation (and the gore), but he JUST read the poem and apparently the movie got it all wrong. So, after hearing about how bad it was, I figured I would skip it. Besides, I think Angelina is a whore, so I try not to give her my money!

"The Mist" stayed with me for the rest of the night; I just could not get it out of my mind. To me, that is the mark of a good movie (or my insanity).

Pete Bogs said...

I saw Beowulf on 3-D IMAX, so her huge lips were practically in my face... that was pretty scary...

LeftLeaningLady said...

I think that makes Beowulf qualify as a Horror movie. It gives me nightmares just thinking about it.