The go-to site for what makes life worth living in and around Petersfield, Hampshire, and some other stuff too. For flaneurs, bon vivants, indeed boulevardiers of every complexion - why go anywhere else?

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Lost in the supermarket: 'The Mist'

Terrific adaptation of Stephen King's novella by Frank Darabont, director of other King works The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption. Synopsis: after a violent storm, a mysterious mist rolls over a small New England town, trapping a representative sample of the local populace in the supermarket. Very bad stuff ensues.

I've always maintained that King is the anti-Spielberg (showing the horror, rather than the wonder, that lies beneath beneath the surface of small-town America) and 'The Mist' is somewhat like the anti-ET - the small but significant difference being that the beastie from god-knows-where in this one would rip your liver out or flay you alive long before you had any cute ideas about sticking him on the front of your bike and riding off to Little League.

It's highly derivative in parts (look out for steals from/ tributes to Jaws, Alien, The Birds and many others) but executed with such chutzpah that these merely add to the entertainment. Plenty of gruesome effects, but used with taste and discretion, and an uncompromisingly brutal ending (in the emotional rather than visceral sense). All very much hide-behind-the-sofa suspense rather than the stuff of nightmares though. Recommended for strong stomachs of thirteen years or so upwards, particularly recommended for those who think Dr Who is the ne plus ultra of this kind of material. Excellent family viewing, in fact...

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