The Mist (2007) – Netflix Pick of the Week

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the-mist-5217e3e9d563bThe Mist is Frank Darabont’s third Stephen King adaptation (after the illustrious The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile) and, unlike his reaction to a certain film by Mr Kubrick, King couldn’t have been happier with the director’s changes to his source material. Fans of The Walking Dead should love this movie, both for its similarly apocalyptic atmosphere and its strong cast of TWD regulars.

After a destructive thunderstorm, David and his son are in the local store when an opaque fog descends on their idyllic lakeside town. Confined within the partially glass walls of the supermarket, the small-town customers must rally together or die at the hands of whatever is hidden in the mysterious mist.

the-mistWhere The Mist exceeds expectations is in its depiction of social politics amongst an irrational group of panicked humans, how fear takes hold and survival instinct turns good people into cold-hearted maniacs. The trapped individuals quickly begin to form alliances along religious and class divides as the terror takes hold, becoming an exaggerated microcosm of society. Methodically weaving human emotion into the drawn-out suspense of dangerous containment, it’s no surprise that Darabont was to lead The Walking Dead’s first series after this film.

Released in 2007, the CGI that gives The Mist its terrifying beasts hasn’t aged gracefully. However this isn’t such a problem, as Darabont himself says: “The story is less about the monsters outside than about the monsters inside, the people you’re stuck with, your friends and neighbors breaking under the strain.” Excellent casting, characters, and performances (particularly Marcia Gay Holden as the most hate-able character in recent memory) make this an essential watch for horror fans and casual viewers alike.

Written by James Excell
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The Mist is available to stream on Netflix in the UK & USA.

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