It’s Recommends Day Wednesday!

I opted to skip NDTD yesterday in order to give a little more blog time to my kick-ass contributors Jerry and Erin, because their reviews were both so fun. Also, I’m lazy! Everybody wins!

I figured I hadn’t done a RDWD in some time, so let’s run with one today, okay folks?

I was talking to a friend about The Mist the other day, discussing how I found myself so pleasantly surprised upon my first viewing. I realized, “Why the hell have I not preached this Misty gospel to that hungry congregation that is the world wide web?!” No one truly understands The Mist, no one believes me until they’ve seen it. I know, I know, most Stephen King movies aren’t particularly hard-core. Or, you know, good. Spoken by a true Stephen King fan, still I repeat: the movies? They suck.*

*this obviously does not apply to The Shining, Shawshank Redemption or Misery. All of which premiered 20-30 years ago, so move on.

Guys, The Mist will KICK YOUR ASS. This is no candy-assed Hollywood happy-ending film. It’s serious business! Based on the Stephen King novella of the same name, The Mist is taut and gory, a real big-budget monster movie with balls. No bullshit. This movie has BALLS FOR DAYS.

Scream king Thomas Jane plays David Drayton, a commercial artist first spotted putting the finishing touches on a painting of none other than Roland of Gilead. This is quite the expeditious route to my heart. Alright, so I’m a sucker for Dark Tower shout-outs, but The Mist offers a little more than that. After a violent thunderstorm rocks a small town in Maine (you were expecting some other state?), a gnarly mist rolls into the city. And there are things…in the mist.

Drayton and his young son are stuck in the local grocery store with several other townies, and shit deteriorates with a quickness. A bloody, gruesome, disturbing, AWESOME quickness.

As in most Stephen King stories (including his newest, Under the Dome, which I’m currently wolfing), the big baddies outside are merely a frightening symbol for the characters’ own darkness within, a darkness that is exposed once danger strikes, resources dwindle and panic spreads. Marcia Gay Harden plays the intensely freaky Religious Right prophet, Andre Braugher plays Drayton’s crotchety old neighbor (although he’s no Brian Cox), Smallville‘s Sam Witwer plays a guilt-ridden soldier and Toby Jones plays Stephen King’s favorite character to write, the unlikely hero, Ollie.

The Mist has some extraordinary special effects, OUTSTANDING grue, and tension that steadily escalates until you want to gnaw off your own arm just to relieve the stress. Thomas Jane plays a great everyman struggling in a treacherous situation—which is good, because that’s pretty much what he does in every genre movie ever. Fine with me, Mr. Jane! Stick your handsome mug in all of my favorite horror movies!

thomas jane the mist

Better you than Angela Bettis!

All of the acting is fun and enthusiastic, if not overwhelmingly nuanced. As always with Stephen King stories, The Mist has several fully-realized characters with complex motivations and wildly disparate reactions to the looming menace, and the cast pulls it off.

Director, screenwriter and frequent SK collaborator Frank Darabont created a film that is a love letter to old Hollywood monster flicks. The Mist has some unbelievable set designs and the creature work is downright spectacular. And the ending…I am SO PROUD of this ending. Having just realized that this is based on a Stephen King novella (rather than his own screenplay), I am not surprised to discover that this is not the ending he chose for his story. I love Mr. King like a father, but he is a fan of the pattycake ending. Darabont? Did not write a pattycake ending. The ending of this film is AMAZING, a big, ballsy “EFF YOU!” to Hollywood. 

So: The Mist! Watch it immediately! Now excuse me while I go follow my own advice, as it’s been too many months since I’ve punched my fist in the air as the credits roll and shouted to my empty living room, “I LOVE THIS MOVIE!”

Link Drop:

I knew it was too good to be true. Rachel McAdams has no Spidey plans.

The Smallville movie event has a name! Smallville: Absolute Justice. The date has also changed from January 29 to Feb 5.

Review Preview:

FINALLY watching Deadgirl tonight and reviewing it tomorrow. Whoop!

6 Responses to “It’s Recommends Day Wednesday!”

  1. Just have to say. I was totally scared of Pet Semetary when I was little. I would include that in good Stephen King movies. Pax Cow is WAY horrifying, and never have I been more creeped out by a Maine accent. “Thah, garownd ihs sawah Loo-ahs.” (Would I also be lame to say that IT scared me tons when I was 12?)

    The Brood first, but the Mist is now on the list!

  2. Actually, this is one of the few books by Stephen King that I have actually read! It’s from Nightmares and Dreamscapes, I believe. I also read tear of the dragon, or something like that, a kickass YA fantasy novel which I highly recommend.

  3. The Mist was SUCH a pleasant surprise! I watched it, on a whim, while apartment-sitting for M & M, and it totally blew my mind. Waaaay better than I had expected, and with an ending that is just too cool to even have been allowed.

    Rev – The Eyes of The Dragon, I think. King wrote it for his 12-yr old daughter, cause he realized he had written no books that were appropriate for her. It is an awesome book.


    also i have to take this opportunity to say that i have actually seen the shining (and shawshank, obvs) cos usually i’ve never seen any of the movies you reference due to my weenie pants but YAY I’VE SEEN TWO OF THEM!

  5. Yay, you have totally seen those movies, PD!! Sally, I own IT, The Stand and Storm of the Century on DVD: I actually generally like his mini-series, since they’re long enough to include so much of the character development that makes his stories personally relevant and thus far scarier.

    Jon, I love Eyes of the Dragon! It’s super awesome and it is thematically linked to the Dark Tower! Sarah, you should definitely read it.

  6. The Mist rules the school. I was totally expecting it to be lukewarm but I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve seen it twice now and it’s just as good the second time. Marcia Gay Hardin is really intense and super crazy. I’ve never seen her play a role like this and she totally delivers.

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