The Mist (film)

The Mist (film)

Infobox Film
name = The Mist


caption = Theatrical poster
director = Frank Darabont
producer = Frank Darabont
Martin Shafer
Liz Glotzer
writer = Screenplay:
Frank Darabont
Novella:
Stephen King
starring = Thomas Jane
Laurie Holden
Nathan Gamble
Toby Jones
Marcia Gay Harden
Andre Braugher
music = Mark Isham
cinematography = Rohn Schmidt
editing = Hunter M. Via
distributor = Dimension Films
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
released = North America:
November 21, 2007
United Kingdom:
July 4, 2008
runtime = 125 min.
country = United States
awards =
language = English
budget = $18 million
gross = $53.1 million [cite web | url=http://web1.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=mist.htm | title=The Mist (2007) | publisher=Box Office Mojo | accessdate=2007-12-05 ]
amg_id = 1:376923
imdb_id = 0884328

"The Mist" (also known as "Stephen King's The Mist"), is a 2007 American horror film based on the 1980 novella "The Mist" by Stephen King. The film is written and directed by Frank Darabont, who had previously adapted Stephen King's work and had been interested in adapting "The Mist" for the big screen since the 1980s.

With an ensemble cast including Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden, Toby Jones and Andre Braugher, Darabont began filming "The Mist" in Shreveport, Louisiana in February 2007. The director revised the ending of the film to be darker than the novella's ending, a change to which Stephen King was amicable. Unique creature designs were also sought to differ from creatures in past films. "The Mist" was commercially released in the United States and Canada on November 21, 2007.

ynopsis

Following a violent thunderstorm, a small town community comes under vicious attack from creatures prowling in a thick and unnatural mist. Local rumors point to an experiment called “The Arrowhead Project” conducted at a nearby military base, but questions as to the origins of the deadly vapor are secondary to the group's overall chances for survival. Retreating to a local supermarket, the survivors face off against each other whilst attempting to take a united stand against an enemy they cannot even see. [cite web | url=http://www.fandango.com/movies/1/movieoverview.aspx?mid=108104& | title=The Mist | publisher=Fandango | accessdate=2007-11-20 ] [cite web | url=http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1809834165/info | title=Stephen King's The Mist (2007) | publisher=Yahoo | accessdate=2007-11-20 ]

Plot

After a massive thunderstorm, commercial artist David Drayton (Thomas Jane) and his wife Stephanie (Kelly Collins Lintz) witness the advance of an unusual mist from across the lake bordering their property. More immediately concerned with cleaning up in the aftermath of the storm, David and neighbor Brent Norton (Andre Braugher), along with David's five-year-old son Billy (Nathan Gamble), go to the local grocery store which, like the rest of the community, was left without power. While at the store, an increasing amount of police activity in the streets draws the attention of the patrons, culminating with Dan Miller (Jeffrey DeMunn) running to the store with a bloody nose warning of something dangerous in the oncoming mist. Seeing the mist roll over the parking lot and hearing the scream of a man who ventures outside, the store patrons heed Miller's advice and seal themselves within the store, which is soon violently shaken, as if by an earthquake. With visibility reduced to near-zero outside and uncertainty surrounding the fate of the man heard screaming before, a siege mentality takes hold. Unable to convince anyone to escort her back home to her children whom she left alone, a mother of two (Melissa McBride) departs into the mist by herself.

As confusion sets in, the deeply religious Mrs. Carmody (Marcia Gay Harden) suspects the onset of Armageddon as others search for a different answer. While trying to find a blanket for his son, David hears something pushing against the door of the loading dock. He is unable to convince local mechanics Myron (David Jensen) and Jim (William Sadler) of what he witnessed, and they, and bag-boy Norm (Chris Owen), open the loading-bay door in an attempt to repair the ailing generator. A set of otherworldly tentacles lined with claws grip Norm, dragging him away before the loading-bay door is closed again. Now aware of the deadly properties of the mist and the danger it poses to everyone in the store, David and assistant manager Ollie Weeks (Toby Jones) try, and fail, to convince Norton and other skeptical patrons not to go outside. They tie a clothesline around the waist of a man who agrees to retrieve a shotgun from Cornell's (Buck Taylor) car, so that they can measure how far he is able to go. The clothesline goes taut, is pulled out, and when pulled back drags the man's severed lower body into view, convincing the rest of the store's patrons of the danger outside.

The patrons prepare to defend themselves by making torches. New creatures appear from the mist at nightfall; enormous flying insects perch on the store windows, and pterodactyl-like animals with two pairs of wings pluck them off, eventually breaking one of the windows and allowing the creatures in. Two people die in the ensuing attack, and another is badly burned. During the attack, one of the insects lands on Mrs. Carmody, then flies away instead of delivering a fatal sting. Viewing this as validation of her beliefs, Carmody begins quickly gaining followers among the distraught patrons in the belief that the world is ending and a human sacrifice is needed to save them from the wrath of God. After Amanda Dumfries (Laurie Holden), who has been looking after Billy, discovers a friend who committed suicide by overdose, Billy makes his father promise that he will not let the monsters catch him. Aware of the growing danger Carmody poses to the group, David turns to thoughts of escape. To test the idea of safely reaching his car, he and a group of volunteers try to retrieve medical supplies for the burn victim from the pharmacy next door, but are attacked by spider-like creatures which claim the lives of two of the volunteers. Seeing the failed expedition, Carmody's following grows stronger, with a visibly shaken Jim becoming one of her most vocal followers.

Billy, who had begged his father not to go out and leave him behind, makes him promise that from now on they will stay together. With the discovery that two soldiers from the Arrowhead Project committed suicide during the expedition's absence, the remaining soldier, Wayne Jessup (Samuel Witwer), reveals that the project, an attempt to look into dimensions, was the origin of the mist. At Carmody's command, her enraged followers stab the young soldier several times in the stomach and throw him outside, where he is quickly killed by an enormous, mantis-like creature. Preparing to leave, David and his group are intercepted by Mrs. Carmody, who demands that Billy and Amanda are to be sacrificed. As the crowd advances to grab Billy and Amanda, Ollie Weeks shoots Carmody dead. The group then proceeds out the front door. Ollie, Myron, and Cornell are killed in the ensuing escape and Bud Brown (Robert Treveiler) runs back to the store in panic, but Amanda, David, Billy, Dan and Irene (Frances Sternhagen) make it safely to the car.

Driving through the mist, David returns home to find his wife has fallen victim to the spider-like creatures. Heartbroken, he drives the group south, witnessing the destruction left in the wake of the mist and encountering a tentacled beast towering hundreds of feet high. Eventually, they run out of gas without finding any other survivors. While Billy is sleeping, the four adults accept their fate, deciding that there is no point in going any further. With four bullets left in the gun and five people in the car, David shoots Amanda, Dan, Irene, and his son, Billy, to spare them a more violent death by the creatures. Sobbing, he attempts to shoot himself with the now-empty gun before exiting the vehicle to let the creatures in the mist take him. He hears what sounds like a creature moving toward him, but instead turns out to be a tank, followed by a long column of other military vehicles and disembarked soldiers in NBC suits. As the mist parts, several trucks filled with survivors pass David, among them the mother whom nobody from the store would escort and her two children. David realizes in horror that he had been driving away from help the whole time and falls to his knees screaming whilst two soldiers watch in confusion.

Cast

*Thomas Jane as David Drayton: A commercial artist who is trapped in the market with his five-year-old son Billy.
*Marcia Gay Harden as Mrs. Carmody: A deeply disturbed overly-religious Christian fundamentalist woman who gains a cult following as store patrons break under psychological pressure. She is killed when Ollie shoots her in the stomach and head after she orders the sacrifice of David's son Billy.
*Laurie Holden as Amanda Dumfries: A young schoolteacher who keeps watch of Billy in the supermarket. She is shot to death by David when he tries to spare them from being eaten by the creatures in the mist.
*Nathan Gamble as Billy Drayton: The five-year-old son of David Drayton. He is shot and killed by his father who does so to try and spare him from being killed by the creatures in the mist.
*Toby Jones as Ollie Weeks: Assistant manager of the supermarket. He sides with David and attempts an escape but is killed by a giant crab like monster.
*Andre Braugher as Brent Norton: David's neighbor and a successful attorney whose skepticism leads him to venture away from the store, where he is devoured by the creatures in the mist along with the rest of his group.
*William Sadler as Jim Grondin: A local mechanic who becomes a follower of Mrs. Carmody after an expedition through the mist drove him insane.
*Jeffrey DeMunn as Dan Miller: A local man who sides with David and attempts to escape the market. He is shot to death by David when he tries to spare him from being attacked by the creatures in the mist.
*Frances Sternhagen as Irene: A third-grade elementary school teacher and a tough old woman, she also sides with David. She is shot to death by David along with the rest of the survivors when he attempts to spare them from being killed by the creatures in the mist.
*Alexa Davalos as Sally: A cashier at the market who has brief relations with Private Jessup. She is killed when one of the flying bug like creatures flies into the store and stings her, injecting her with an unknown toxin.
*Samuel Witwer as Private Jessup: A soldier trapped in the market. After Miss Carmody finds out the U.S. Army was the cause of the mist she has him sacrificed by having her followers throw him out of the store, where he is devoured by a giant mantis like creature.
*Chris Owen as Norm: A bag-boy. He is the first to be killed by the creatures when otherworldly tentacles latch on to him and drag him out of the store despite attempts to save him by the others. Norm is wearing a t-shirt from WKIT Radio in Bangor, Maine. One of three radio stations owned by author Stephen King.
*Robert Treveiler as Bud Brown: The manager of the supermarket. He attempts an escape along with David and the others but gets lost in the mist and is forced to return to the store.
*David Jensen as Myron LeFluer: A local mechanic who sides with David and tries to escape the market, he sprains his ankle on the way out of the store and is killed by spider like creatures when he is separated from the others.

Production

Development

Director Frank Darabont first read Stephen King's 1980 novella "The Mist" in the "Dark Forces" anthology,cite news | author=Stax | url=http://movies.ign.com/articles/808/808923p1.html | title=SDCC 07: Chatting in The Mist | publisher=IGN | date=2007-07-28 | accessdate=2007-11-19 ] and originally expressed interest in directing a film adaptation for his directing debut. He instead filmed "The Shawshank Redemption", also based on another King novella.cite news | author=Michael Fleming | url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117952204.html?categoryid=13&cs=1 | title='Mist' envelops Dimension | publisher=Variety | date=2006-10-18 | accessdate=2007-05-17 ] In October 1994, after completing "The Shawshank Redemption", Darabont reiterated his interest in filming "The Mist". [cite news | author=Patrick Z. McGavin | url= | title=LONG LIVE THE KING | publisher=Chicago Tribune | date=1994-10-04 | accessdate=2007-05-17 ] Darabont did not immediately follow through, instead directing the 1999 film adaptation of Stephen King's "The Green Mile". [cite web | url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120689/ | title=The Green Mile (1999) | publisher=Internet Movie Database | accessdate=2007-05-17 ] Darabont eventually set up a first look deal for "The Mist" with Paramount Pictures, having been entrusted feature film rights by Stephen King. By December 2004, Darabont said that he had begun writing an adapted screenplay for "The Mist", [cite news | author= | url=http://www.comingsoon.net/news/topnews.php?id=7617 | title=Frank Darabont on Adapting "The Mist" | publisher=ComingSoon.net | date=2004-05-15 | accessdate=2007-05-17 ] and by October 2006, the project moved from Paramount to Dimension Films, with Darabont attached to direct and actor Thomas Jane in negotiations to join the cast.

Writing

Director Frank Darabont chose to film "The Mist" after filming the "straighter dramas" "The Shawshank Redemption" and "The Green Mile" because he "wanted to make a very direct, muscular kind of film". Darabont conceived of a new ending in translating the novella for the big screen. Author Stephen King praised Darabont's new ending, describing it as one that would be unsettling for studios. King said, "The ending is such a jolt—wham! It's frightening. But people who go to see a horror movie don't necessarily want to be sent out with a Pollyanna ending." [cite news | author=Anthony Breznican | url=http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/news/2007-06-20-stephen-king-movies_N.htm | title=Stephen King adapts to Hollywood | publisher=USA Today | date=2007-06-20 | accessdate=2007-11-19 ]

Darabont described "The Mist" as quaint in its elements of monsters and fear of the unknown compared to the contemporary popularity of films with torture porn. The director saw "The Mist" as a throwback to Paddy Chayefsky and William Shakespeare, explaining, "It's people at each other." He highlighted the element of fear in the film in how it compelled people to behave differently. Darabont said, "How primitive do people get? It's "Lord of the Flies" that happens to have some cool monsters in it." He also drew parallels to "The Twilight Zone" episode "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street" and the 1944 film "Lifeboat".

In the novella, the character David Drayton - who is married - has a sexual relationship with Amanda Dumfries, who is also married. Darabont did not want to attempt conveying on screen the protagonist being involved in an extramarital affair. The characters in the film, portrayed by Thomas Jane and Laurie Holden respectively, instead share a more emotional relationship. Jane explained, "We kind of form a little family, sort of surrogate family where my son and I’m a father and she becomes the mother to the son. We become a little unit as we’re trying to get through this nightmare together." Holden compared the nightmare to what refugees experienced at the Louisiana Superdome during Hurricane Katrina.

Filming

In December 2006, Jane finalized negotiations with the studio to join the cast. [cite news | author= | url=http://movies.ign.com/articles/749/749742p1.html | title=The Punisher Enters The Mist | publisher=IGN | date=2006-12-06 | accessdate=2007-05-17 ] In January 2007, actors Andre Braugher and Laurie Holden joined Jane for the cast of "The Mist".cite news | author=Borys Kit | url=http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/search/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003538158 | title=Braugher, Holden float to 'Mist' | publisher=The Hollywood Reporter | date=2007-01-26 | accessdate=2007-05-17 ] Production began the following February at StageWorks of Louisiana, a sound stage and movie production facility in Shreveport, Louisiana. [cite news | author=Alexandyr Kent | url= | title='The Mist' creeping into Shreveport | publisher=The Times | date=2007-01-19 | accessdate=2007-05-17 ] Marcia Gay Harden and Toby Jones joined the cast later in the month. [cite news | author=Michael Fleming | url=http://www.ev.variety.com/article/VR1117959912.html?categoryid=2431&cs=1 | title=Actors will emerge from King's 'Mist' | publisher=Variety | date=2007-02-21 | accessdate=2007-05-17 ]
William Sadler, Jeffrey DeMunn, and Brian Libby, each of whom appeared in Darabont's previous Stephen King adaptations "The Shawshank Redemption" and "The Green Mile", were cast in supporting roles. Sadler had previously played Thomas Jane's role, David Drayton, in a 1986 audio book version of "The Mist". Darabont wanted to cast King in the supporting role that eventually went to Brian Libby, an offer King turned down. [http://www.movieweb.com/news/97/24397.php]

Darabont sought to pursue "a more fluid, ragged documentary kind of direction" with "The Mist", so he contacted the camera crew from the TV series "The Shield" to use their style in the film.cite news | author=Edward Douglas | url=http://www.shocktillyoudrop.com/news/comicconnews.php?id=903 | title=Comic-Con '07: Two Clips From "The Mist"! | publisher=ShockTillYouDrop.com | date=2007-07-27 | accessdate=2007-07-30 ] Darabont attempted to film "The Mist" digitally but found that it "wound up looking too beautiful". The director chose to film with 400 ASA from Fujifilm, which gave footage a grainy effect.

In the opening shot, David is drawing in his room. The drawing is based on Stephen King's Dark Tower series, and the drawing was actually painted by famous movie poster designer, Drew Struzan. Darabont also put in re-productions of his posters and illustrations for "The Thing" ("The Thing"'s director John Carpenter), "Pan's Labyrinth", "The Shawshank Redemption", and "The Green Mile", paying a tribute to him.

Darabont collaborated with the production designer to create a mix of eras to avoid appearing as a period piece but also not looking so contemporary. Cell phones were used by characters in "The Mist", but the military police in the film did not dress in modern attire. While MP also drove an old Jeep instead of a Humvee, other cars seen in the film are modern models.

Over a hundred extras from Shreveport, Louisiana were included in "The Mist". Unlike conventional application of extras in the background of a film, sixty of the hundred extras were interwoven with the film's ensemble cast. [cite news | author=Alexandyr Kent | url=http://www.shreveporttimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071118/LIVING/711150360/1004/LIVING | title=The core of a horror flick: 'The Mist' features dozens of local extras | publisher=The Times | date=2007-11-18 | accessdate=2007-11-20 ] Additional elements giving the film a local flavor include the prominence of local Louisiana brands such as Zapp's potato chips. Exterior shots of the house at the beginning were in Shreveport. Exterior shots of the supermarket were in Vivian, Louisiana.

Music

Frank Darabont chose to use music to minimal effect in "The Mist" in order to capture the "heavier feel" of the darker ending that he had written to replace the one from the novella. The director explained, "Sometimes movie music feels false. I’ve always felt that silent can be scarier than loud, a whisper more frightening than a bang, and we wanted to create a balance. We kept music to a minimum to keep that verité, documentary feel." Darabont chose to overlay the song "The Host of Seraphim" by the band Dead Can Dance, a spiritual piece characterized by wailing and chanting. As a fan of Dead Can Dance, Darabont thought that the song played "as a requiem Mass for the human race." [cite news | author=David Frese | url=http://www.kansascity.com/entertainment/story/362931.html | title=Frank Darabont dares to alter a Stephen King classic: ‘The Mist’ | publisher=Kansas City Star | date=2007-11-17 | accessdate=2007-11-20 ] The original score was composed by Academy Award-nominated composer Mark Isham.

Effects

accessdate=2007-11-19 ]

Release

Theatrical

"The Mist" was screened at the film festival ShowEast on October 18, 2007, at which director Frank Darabont received the Kodak Award for Excellence in Filmmaking for his previous works "The Shawshank Redemption" and "The Green Mile". [cite news | author=Carl DiOrio | url=http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3i0c86abe9c72f2e6ecf7edcca50e3a30e | title=ShowEast to close high on Darabont | publisher=The Hollywood Reporter | date=2007-10-16 | accessdate=2007-11-20 ] The film was commercially released in the United States and Canada on November 21 2007. [cite web | url=http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=mist.htm | title=The Mist (2007) | publisher=Box Office Mojo | accessdate=2007-11-20 ] Over the opening weekend in the United States and Canada, "The Mist" grossed $8,931,973. As of July 8 2008, the film has grossed $25,593,755 in the United States and Canada and $27,560,960 in other territories for a worldwide total of $53,154,715. [cite web | url=http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=mist.htm | title=The Mist (2007) | publisher=Box Office Mojo | accessdate=2007-12-05 ]

DVD

"The Mist" was released on DVD on March 25, 2008. The single-disc includes an audio commentary by writer/director Frank Darabont, eight deleted scenes with optional commentary, and "A Conversation With Stephen King and Frank Darabont" featurette. The two-disc edition includes an exclusive black-and-white presentation of the film (as well as the color version), and five featurettes ("When Darkness Came: The Making of The Mist", "Taming the Beast: Shooting Scene 35", "Monsters Among Us: A Look at the Creature FX", "The Horror of It All: The Visual FX of The Mist", and "Drew Struzan: Appreciation of an Artist").

Reception

On the film review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes, "The Mist" received a 71% approval rating, based on 129 reviews, with an average rating of 6.5/10. [cite web|url=http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/mist/|title=Stephen King's The Mist|publisher=Rotten Tomatoes|accessdate=2008-03-30] However, it only received a 57% approval rating from the 28 "Cream of the Crop" reviews. [cite web|url=http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/mist/?critic=creamcrop|title=Stephen King's The Mist (Cream of the Crop)|publisher=Rotten Tomatoes|accessdate=2008-03-26] On the website Metacritic, the film has received a metascore of 58 out of 100 based on 28 reviews. [cite web|url=http://www.metacritic.com/film/titles/mist2007 | title=Mist, The (2007): Reviews|publisher=Metacritic|accessdate=2008-03-26]

References

External links

* [http://www.themist-movie.com/ Official site and trailers]
* [http://www.flickcritique.com/science-fiction/the-mist/ The Mist short movie review]
*imdb title|id=0884328|title=The Mist
*rotten-tomatoes|id=mist|title=The Mist
*metacritic film|id=mist2007|title=The Mist
*mojo title|id=mist|title=The Mist
*amg movie|id=1:376923|title=The Mist
* [http://www.cinemetrics.lv/movie.php?movie_ID=1383 Cinemetrical data]


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