Essays · Movies

31 Days Of Horror: The Mist

By  · Published on October 12th, 2010

When the calendar page turns to October, we Rejects have only one thought: horror. To celebrate this grandest and darkest of months, we’ll cover one excellent horror film a day for the entirety of the month. That’s 31 Days of Horror and 31 Films perfect for viewing on a dark, chilly, October night. If you, like us, love horror and Halloween, give us a Hell Yeah and keep coming every day this month for a new dose of adrenaline.

Synopsis: A small lakeside town in Maine sees their world turn inside out when a strange fog moves into the area. As if the lack of visibility wasn’t nightmare enough, the mysterious mist also appears to be filled with… creatures straight out of hell. A small group of survivors consisting of friends, neighbors, and acquaintances alike holes up in the local supermarket where they discover not all the threats are locked outside. The best and worst of humanity face off against mankind’s greatest threat and one father’s worst nightmare.

Killer Scene: If you’ve seen the film then you know damn well the true killer scene is the film’s finale. But I have zero interest in ruining it for anyone who has yet to give this flick a chance, so instead I’ll be highlighting something more traditional (and less spoilery). Shortly after a handful of the folks have come face to tentacle with one of the creatures outside they try and fail to convince everyone else of what they saw. A small group of naysayers head out into the mist, and one of them agrees to tie a 300-foot piece of twine around his waist. The line feeds out as the group heads into the parking lot, but soon the twine is screaming out at a Jaws-like pace… five men try to hold on but they’re dragged towards the outside by whatever has taken hold of the guy outside… the rope even pulls up towards the sky as if the mysterious creature is flying away with his body… or at least the upper half of it.


Violence: Most of the town is disappeared off screen, but several of them are manhandled and slaughtered by creatures and other humans alike right in front of our eyes. The first couple die out of sight but we hear their screams. And soon the blood begins to spill… the bag-boy is ripped up and taken by a spiny tentacle, Jane beats up a hickish William Sadler, a bible-thumper gets slapped, a saucy teen is pierced by a blood-sucking skeeter hawk, a guy has his spine ripped out by a mini-pterodactyl, a man is burned to death by his own clumsiness, arachnids take out a couple more hapless humans, a religious mob stabs and then feeds a soldier to the beasts, Truman Capote kills the crazy bitch with a double tap to the gut and head before getting offed by a nightmarish behemoth, a few guys are torn up in the parking lot by spiders and flying nasties, and a few others are killed by gunfire.

Sex: Those of you familiar with Thomas Jane’s work on HBO’s Hung will be disappointed, but he fails to drop trough here even once. Thankfully, he does take off his shirt. But sadly, none of the town’s fine lasses follow his example and instead stay fully clothed.

Scares: The scares here come in two varieties. There are a handful of jump scares as the creatures begin to work their way into the store, and the action scenes involve monster mayhem we rarely see from Hollywood these days. The second kind of scare here is the more effective of the two… what happens when mob mentality fueled by religious fervor begins to take control?

Final Thoughts: In the thousands of King adaptations that have been produced over the years few are capable of (or even interested in) affecting the viewer in a truly emotional way. Of those that do manage this feat they most often fall outside of the horror genre. Stand By Me, The Shawshank Redemption, and others come to mind, but when it comes to his horror films there have really only been a few… Pet Sematary was covered in last year’s 31 Days of Horror which leaves us with this modern classic. Director Frank Darabont stays fairly close to King’s original tale, but he does rewrite and actually improve the story’s ending into a dark and powerful conclusion that haunts (and depresses) the soul long after the credits roll. But the film is far more than just a fantastic ending. It’s an exciting and dramatic creature-feature that mixes chills, thrills, and gore with some seriously frightening social commentary. Mobs are dangerous. Religious mobs are deadly. And all the monsters in the world will pale beside the evil that men and women do to each other.

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Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.