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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘Mist’-ifying

    Mist-ifying

    It is pretty safe to say that 90 percent of horror movies are complete trash. From slasher flicks to zombie movies, most of them are rife with scantily clad teenagers, disfigured villains and an occasional demonic entity. No one expects anything out of horror movies other than entertainment – and even that is sometimes a stretch.

    Based on these characteristics, “”Stephen King’s The Mist”” is an absolute anomaly. Not only is it extremely terrifying and exceptional as a horror movie, but it is also a brilliantly crafted work of cinematic art.

    Directed by frequent King collaborator Frank Darabont (“”The Shawshank Redemption,”” “”The Green Mile””), “”The Mist”” tells the story of members of a small New England town trapped in a grocery store, trying to protect themselves from a mysterious mist containing murderous otherworldly creatures.

    “”The Mist””
    Rated R, 127 mins.
    Darkwood Productions
    Now playing @ The Loft
    3233 E. Speedway Blvd.
    4 stars!

    If the movie was just about the creatures in the mist, it would most likely be laughable – like some low-budget movie you would see on the SciFi channel. The mist is only a backdrop, a catalyst that sets off the more terrifying events that take place within the grocery store. When desperate to survive, mob mentality kicks in and it is revealed that the creatures in the mist are nothing compared to the horrible monstrosities found within the human characters.

    Without a doubt, the single most standout aspect of “”The Mist”” is the electrifying performance by Marcia Gay Harden as the slightly unhinged, Bible-preaching Mrs. Carmody. Unpleasant from the start, Mrs. Carmody only gets worse as the film progresses, believing the mist to be a plague sent by God to purge Earth of sinners. Harden embodies the role with absolute perfection, delivering Old Testament lines with such an aggravating air of entitlement that you want to reach through the screen and choke her until her beady little eyes pop out.

    Yet Harden’s is not the only memorable acting performance. Tom Jane (“”The Punisher””) plays the dynamic lead role, one of a father struggling to keep his cool for the sake of his young son. A reluctant leader, he finds himself forced to make a terrible decision, the sort of which has bleak outcomes no matter what choice is made. The anguish felt by Jane’s character is so raw, so real, that it is difficult not to cry along with him.

    In addition to the phenomenal storytelling and superb acting, “”The Mist”” is also successful in the visual department. From the changes in lighting to the animation of the creatures to the flawless transitioning between scenes, it is clear that the film is anything but a low-budget sci-fi movie. Rather, it is evident that Darabont took extreme care in planning out every shot, maximizing each one to its full potential.

    All in all, “”Stephen King’s The Mist”” is a riveting ride, as likely to make you cower in your seat with fear as it is to make you cry. Thematically disturbing, visually appetizing and emotionally stirring, it is one of the best films of the year.

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