During the week I grabbed the DVD of The Mist — Frank Darabont doing a different kind of Stephen King story. The film had a very quiet cinema release here, which is a shame. I enjoyed it.
In a nutshell: freakish all-enveloping mist contains nasty creatures and traps a mix of small-town folks in their local supermarket.
The creatures are cleverly designed, most of them more menacing for having almost human-like heads and faces, and the great design more than makes up for the slightly weak CGI. Most unnerving, though, is the conflict between different people trapped in the store. It starts out as random shouting, leaving me wanting a bit of backstory to explain the conflict, but the main tension is well set up and develops very nicely: the slightly mad pseudo-Christian fundamentalist Mrs Carmody proclaims the end of days, claiming that God has chosen her to lead the faithful in appeasing the creatures with blood sacrifice.
The development of Mrs Carmody’s unhinged interpretation of events, her growing confidence, her gradual winning of followers among the group and the eventual clash with the skeptical few are brilliantly drawn and very satisfying, even if I did spend half the film shouting at her to try reading that Bible she was waving around.
Most memorable, though, is the ending. I won’t spoil it in detail, but it is about as bleak — but excellent — a bit of cinema as I’ve seen.