Monday, November 26, 2007

The Mist

Well, I have promised a certain reader that I would post about sex toys, but that will have to wait. A person can talk about sex toys any time. Movie reviews are rather time sensitive.

So we have not seen a movie in a while. My husband does not usually go for horror flicks, but I like them once in a while and was pleasantly surprised when he suggested that we go to see this one. The Mist is based on a Stephen King story, and while we both like the occasional Stephen King story, neither of us are really big fans.

The story is set in a small town on a lake. After a major storm cuts off the electricity, just about everyone in town heads for the grocery store. While the main character and his son are in the grocery store, someone rushes in and screams that there's something in the mist that "got Joe." The grocery store is then surrounded by a fog that no one can see through, so no one really knows what is out there, or when it might be safe to leave.

I liked it. The story is much like The Day of the Triffids, except that it takes place over less time. There is something in the mist, but the story is more about what the people do to each other than about the monster.

***********************SPOILER ALERT*************************

First we have a couple of neighbors who don't like each other. But they seem to bond a bit after the storm. They really don't like each other because of something we know little about that takes place before the story opens, but one of them loses his car because of the storm, and the other one feels bad for him and gives him a ride into town. They are civil to each other and talk during the ride. By the time they get to the grocery store, the are friendly enough that the father trusts his neighbor enough to watch his son for a bit. The son is impressed that they are not fighting anymore. The storm clouds have a silver lining.

But that lasts about ten minutes once the trouble starts. The neighbor is an out-of-towner, who seems to think that the locals have taken this opportunity to stage some elaborate joke and make him look foolish. In an attempt to force him to look at the evidence, he is "assaulted" and he then threatens to sue everyone.

Two others go to look at the evidence, which is a two foot long piece of a clawed tentacle that one of them cut off of the monster that ate a teenager who worked at the grocery store. Me, I wouldn't have wasted my time trying to force people to go an look at it. I would have just gone and got a turkey pan or something and picked up the thing and brought it out for everyone to look at. But I guess that wouldn't have done any good, cause one of the guys poked it with a stick, causing it to spasm and then turn to liquid and mostly disappear.

So then there's a lot of yelling about what should be done. And who is in charge? On a normal day, the manager of the store would be in charge of the store, but that doesn't quite make him qualified for this. The angry neighbor takes a group of mostly out-of-towners outside. They don't think that anything is in the mist, and they think that if they just walk outside a ways they can get help. Or maybe they can at least get cell phone reception and call for help that way.

A local guy goes out to the parking lot with them. He doesn't think that leaving is a good idea, but he thinks that they would all feel better if he got the rifle out of his buddy's truck. The local guy gets about a hundred and fifty yards before he gets eaten. Or, at least, he gets half eaten, and the people in the store drag his legs back to the door by a rope they had tied to the man's belt-loops.

So now we have something that "got Joe", a sack-boy who was dragged off and eaten by something with big tentacles, a bunch of missing people who are presumed dead, and a half-eaten local guy. There is no more arguing about whether or not something is out there, but still little agreement on what should be done about it.

Someone noticed that the front of the store is mostly glass, and they start stacking large bags of dog food and fertilizer and such in the hopes that it would help prevent something from breaking through the glass. Me, I would have started by duct taping whole panels of glass, not just little places here and there where the glass was cracked. But maybe because of the storm they had sold most of the duct tape and didn't have enough to do that.

Also, it didn't seem to occur to anyone to move people to the back room where there was less glass to worry about. True, there wasn't any light in the back room due to a problem with the generator, but I would have at least moved most of the people back there at night when they were trying to sleep in the dark anyway. But no one wanted to go back there, some giant bugs got in, followed by something eating the giant bugs. We then have one girl who dies after being stung by a giant bug, one guy who is partially eaten by whatever was hunting the bugs, and an almost dead guy who accidentally set himself on fire in the excitement. After that we have an old woman commit suicide. After that no one wants to go in the backroom because that's where they put the bodies.

There is one woman who insists that they are experiencing the stuff described in Revelations, and that God has sent these monsters to punish them for their evil ways. Me, I don't think that these are the same creatures as those described in the Bible, but I would have let her test her theory by letting her go outside and walk among the monsters. She would have been eaten, and that would have proven either that she wasn't a Christian or that she didn't know what she was talking about. And there is a moment in the film where a bug is crawling on her but does not sting her, so there's a chance that maybe she does know what she's talking about. But she won't shut up about it. She scares people. One old lady starts throwing cans of food at her and threatens to stone her if she doesn't shut up.

A group of them decide to try to go next door to the pharmacy and get some supplies. The burned guy is going to die if he doesn't get medicine soon, and several other people are hurt. The make a list of things that they want and head out.

They get to the pharmacy okay, and they find most of what they were looking for. But they also find giant spiders. A dying military guy tells them that it is all their fault. Before he can say what that means, he dies and baby spiders start crawling out of him. The group heads back to the grocery store with the medicine, but they lose a couple of people to the spiders. And the medicine comes too late the save the burned man. And two of the three guys from the military base hang themselves.

Now most of the people are listening to the crazy religious lady. The remaining military guy tells of rumors at the base about a window that looks into a different world or another dimension. The religious lady talks more about pride going before a fall and God's judgement. Someone stabs the military guy and throws him outside to get eaten by monsters.

A bunch of people who were normal a few days ago just killed a guy for taking a job serving his country. And they're happy about it. Cause the crazy lady says that God won't let the monsters take anyone else that night.

About eight people have had enough of the crazy religious lady. The collect some supplies and plan to try to leave in the morning. Only the crazy lady catches them trying to leave, accuses them of stealing, and demands that the little boy be the next person sent out to the monsters.

I am not as into the Bible as I used to be, but still, I don't think that there's anything in the Bible to justify that. One of the people who still has a bit of sense shoots the crazy lady and threatens to kill anyone else who tries to stop them from leaving. The eight of them head for the car, but only five of them make it.

Driving very slowly with about a dozen headlights, they drive to the man's house to look for his wife. But the spiders have already gotten to her. They very slowly drive out of town. There's still more mist, and more monsters. Finally, the run out of gas.

At this point, I thought that maybe they had driving past the dangerous mist and were just in regular fog but didn't know it. I thought that they were all going to kill themselves and then the camera would pull back and show that they were in a safe place and if they'd just waited a little bit longer everything would have been okay. Not quite it. Cause they were still hearing the sounds of the monsters. Maybe even the sounds were getting louder.

My husband thought that maybe they had driven so far into the mist that they had ended up driving into that other world. That wasn't it either.

There are five of them, and they have a gun with four bullets. The four adults are all agreed that they would rather die in the car than deal with anymore monsters, and earlier the dad had promised his kid that he wouldn't let the monsters get him. So it is decided that he will shoot the boy and them, and then he will find some way of killing himself.

So after he's shot everyone he's crying and screaming. And he can't think of a way to kill himself, so he gets out of the car and waits for something to come and get him. And nothing comes. So he's starts yelling to get something's attention. The noises are coming closer. Something is coming down the road.

Only a tank rolls out of the mist. More military vehicles come. Survivors are being evacuated. We see that someone from the beginning of the movie lived.

The mist starts to evaporate, revealing more military people who are shooting the bugs and burning anything that doesn't belong here. There's still a lot of work to do and a lot of mess to clean up, but everything is going to be okay.

If they had just waited like five more minutes, they would have been rescued.


evil-e said...

I read the spoiler so I could save the trip and the 8.50 at the theater. I like King as well, but I am not a huge fan either.

The basic plot you so nicely outlined is the pretty common horror movie pattern. The people who dislike each other, the alpha group, the freaks, and so on. This movie seems eerily similar to Maximum Overdrive (another King movie based on a short story called Trucks)

dmarks said...

One favorite "scene" in the original story was where they were driving around at some point and a really REALlY huge but, much bigger than a brontosaur, walked by and over them, the feet barely missing the vehicle. I wonder if that was in the movie?

Evil-E: Come to think of it, you are right about the similarities between "Trucks" and "The Mist"

laughingattheslut said...

There was a scene where something very tall did walk by. And the ground shook. And I guess really that we shouldn't have been able to see it, cause it was so tall, and you can't see that far away in the mist. It rather did have the body of a brontosaur, but not the neck, and all around the body were tentacles. So I think that maybe this was supposed to whatever ate the teenager and possibly what "got Joe" early in the movie. That would also explain the "earthquake" scene in the grocery store. But the tentacles on the thing were not that long. So I have this mental picture of the thing lying on the ground behind the grocery store so that it could get the teenager out of the garage door in the back room. Only why would it be lying on the ground like that? And if it was, wouldn't there have been a second "earthquake" when it got up and walked away? Or was it still there taking a really long nap?