Thursday, August 30, 2007

Frank Darabont's Adaptation of Stephen King's "The Mist"

How you like that Drew Struzan poster? Nice, huh?

Frank Darabont loves him some Stephen King. He's only directed three movies and two of them he adapted from Stephen King material. To those of you who didn't know, I'm happy to be the one to tell you: Frank's back with a new Stephen King adaptation.

This time it's straight horror with an early Stephen King novella called "The Mist". A lot of King fans consider this story one of King's best so if Darabont hits one out of the park, then we'll have not only another classic horror film, but another excellent King adaptation to help offset all of the really terrible adaptations folks have produced in the past. (Hearts in Atlantis, Needful Things, and anything Mick Garris has touched are all good examples).

The story's about a guy named David Drayton who happens to be in a grocery store with his son the moment a thick fog rolls into town. It isn't long before Drayton and the people inside the grocery store with him discover the mist is not a weather-related phenomenon, and that there are things inside of it. Really bad things.

Anyway, the first trailer for the film came out today.

"The Mist" isn't an epic like the other two Darabont/King films -- no grand helicopter shots to be seen in this trailer -- and the action is all close-up and the atmosphere is claustrophobic. When the You-Are-There approach works, it can make a film almost unbearably suspenseful, but if it doesn't work, if, for example, the acting isn't quite there, then the mistakes are magnified, and the not-quite-right moments seem tragically obvious; all that can kill a movie. I'm a little worried from the trailer that Darabont's lightning-fast shooting schedule might not have allowed him sufficient time to work with all those actors, but then again I don't want to prejudge too much on the basis of a trailer. Thomas Jane and Andre Braugher (not to mention Darabont regulars like William Sadler and Jeffrey DeMunn) look great, but Marcia Gay Harden's evil Bible-thumper worries me a little -- like maybe she wasn't quite up to making this character work. Anyway, like I said, not a lot to go on here. I'm still hyped to see it. Darabont hasn't made a bad King film yet, so the odds are in this movie's favor.


harwell said...

Wow. That poster's way better than the trailer. In fact, I'm going to go ahead and say that, knowing nothing of the King story, that if this trailer was for a movie NOT directed by Frank Darabont there's no way in hell I'd want to see it.

For starters, dude the's not good. I'm sure it will be better when it's on the big screen, but at the moment it reminds me of land of the lost style dinosaurs. Second, yeah what's with Marcia Gay Harden? Normally I love her, but the trailer doesn't paint a flattering picture. Remember that one Bible thumper lady in Edward Scissorhands? That's who I thought of. I'll go ahead and assume that there's another level to her character than what they show here, otherwise why get an Oscar winner for that role? Third, Andre Braugher's totally dead isn't he? Surely the first victim won't be the sole black guy in the entire cast, will it?? Please say no. I don't mind a spoiler here, since it would be a pleasant spoiler if I'm wrong. Lastly, wouldn't you say that this is more of a fog than a mist? It looks pretty freaking dense. I'd estimate visibility at about roughly minus thirteen. That's not mist is it? That's fog, damnit.

I'll give Darabont the benefit of the doubt but excitement level for this one went straight down the crapper with that trailer.

Peter said...

I agree with Shawn completely.
nobody says "mist" cept weirdos from Maine.
This is obviously a story about how quickly humans/americans will turn on each other in a grocery store when there is a threatening 3rd party.
These movies used to be about the cold war. But now I guess its about terrorism.
I like the music they stole for the trailer though.

Craig Moorhead said...

If the trailer stopped after the shot of the rope going into the sky... well... it'd be a better trailer. Once the bugs show up, meh.

I'd pay to watch Andre Braugher watch a guy read the phone book, though. Why isn't he the hero of the movie?

And after The Green Mile, I don't have much love just for Darabont.

But because I watched the remake of 'The Fog', I don't really have a leg to stand on. I'll be seeing this, too.

But if nothing else, at least there a great new movie poster in the world.

blankfist said...

Marcia Gay Harden... snicker. Gay... Harden... Larry Craig.

Yeah, not so big on this one. I think we're all in agreeance that the one-sheet looks fantastic, but this movie just looks like Maximum Overdrive meets The Fog. Seen it. Wasn't that great the first time around, and if those big bugs and CGI tentacles are any indicator, I'd say this one is going to be a colossal let down. Boo.

I think your adament hope for this 'to-be-turd' is of the same ilk as my adament denial about the third Spider-Man movie. It's going to be yet another bad Stephen King movie. Hey, at least we have Misery!

noahkey said...

This is the problem I have with King:

It's always 2/3 great set-up, execution and complex characters with a lot of personal shit at stake.

And then come the bugs. Or Dinosaurs. Or a giant spider.

Goddammit, the man absolutely sucks at endings.


Craig Moorhead said...

True story: a headline on a Washington newspaper here last week:

"Craig on Arrest: 'I Am Not Gay'".


Anonymous said...

Stephen King is cool.

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