In these troubled times of pandemics, empty streets and people with masks lining up to enter supermarkets I have remembered this interesting horror film that once passed without pain or glory and I think it is well worth recovering: The mist.

Director Frank Darabont had already adapted novels from Stephen King quite successfully in Life imprisonment (The Shawshank Redemption) and The green Mile, his two best films. True, they weren’t King’s typical horror novels. In 2007 Darabont dared with another adaptation of a story by Stephen King and this time of terror: The mist.

I admit that I really liked the boot, when you still do not know what is hidden behind the fog. That fear of the unknown seems very disturbing to me. The more undetectable a threat is, the more it terrifies us. However, The Fog loses enough interest when we discover what lies in wait for the protagonists in the thick fog, especially when it is something so implausible that not even they themselves believe it. It seems that the tension has been irreversibly dissipated and we are going to fall before a failed science fiction product (almost series B) full of incredible elements, but no. It is then that the mist mutates into a drama about people trapped and subjected to a extreme experience. The threat from outside is less terrible than Inner monsters of each character. Those looking for the typical monster or catastrophe horror film will likely be disappointed. The fog has some scenes (the one from the pharmacy) that reminded me of Aliens from James Cameron or Arachnophobia, but the scenes where you don’t really see the threat (the rope scene) work best, what is not seen is always scarier.
The treatment of the characters is what turns this film into a rather unusual horror movie. The roles that each one is taking in society and how it is organized and evolves make the film almost a sociological essay. I found the character of the religious fanaticIt is an example of how fear makes us primitive. By the way, Marcia Gay Harden Y Toby Jones they embroider their fanatic and dependent characters respectively. It could be interpreted that the film performs a metaphor of the American people (and the rest of the world) after 9/11 or in front of covid-19: an external threat can make citizens desire lose liberties in search of greater security. Like the characters in the film, fear can come to control our lives and radicalize our convictions. I also don’t think it’s coincidental that King set his novel in a supermarket, a clear metaphor of capitalism.

Darabont is a good director, ensures that children are not as repellent as they usually are in this type of movie, nor is it clear who or how the characters are going to perish. But, swimming in the waters of terror and psychological drama, things do not quite come together. I think he would have earned points if he hadn’t shown the threat so obviously. The movie would have worked much better. Of course: I can not fail to highlight the brutal outcome, one of the most shocking in recent decades. That final scene with the song “The host of Seraphim” from Dead Can Dance, is certainly bleak.

The mist (The mist, 2007)

2020-04-08

6.5 Final Note

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