Do you remember when Covid-19 first hit back in January of 2020? It was such a crazy time as Americans. Not because of the virus itself but because of how terribly stupid people reacted to it. To this day I can’t determine why there was such a particular need for toilet paper. At first I had no clue that it was going on. I don’t like watching the news or even television so I found out when going shopping with my wife at our local grocery store. We saw all these people acting frantic with stacks and stacks of toilet paper in their carts. The entire store was in turmoil as if the American grid was being shut down and there wasn’t going to be any way to wipe your ass from here on out! When we turned down the fourteenth aisle, every single shelf was bare to the bone. I saw a store employee and he looked just as shocked as I did. What the fuck were people going to do with that much toilet paper anyways? Did I miss something? Who started this bull shit toilet paper spree?
You see, the fear took people over. The fear of not having a clean ass! You know what that’s like and I know I sure do. There’s been numerous times that I’ve been on the shitter and at the end of everything, I look over to the paper roll to find a blank cylinder! It still haunts me today. But obviously I’m not alone because people are so afraid of not having toilet paper that they went bonkers! The entire run on toilet paper is a perfect example of the dark side to human instinct. It’s in human instinct that we see the true horrors of who we are as people.
Speaking of true horrors of human instinct, let’s talk about 2007’s The Mist!
The Mist is a 2007 horror film directed by Frank Darabont and stars Thomas Jane, Laurie Holden, Marcia Harden and Andre Braugher. The film is an adaptation of Stephen Kings short story and is hailed as one of the most accurate translations of any King novel… which is debatable because The Green Mile is pretty damn on par in my opinion. The movie received mostly positive reviews and there was a short tv series made in 2017.
After a brutal storm hits a local artists home, he and his son head downtown for provisions. But a thick fog rolls into town leaving him and a group of townspeople stuck in the store. As time passes, the misty curtain that has taken over the land does not reside and soon creatures begin to appear within its murkiness. But within the store factions split into two. One lead by a Bible-thumping extremist claiming everything are signs to the end of days. The groups clash and true terror ensues.
You know what conversations are very interesting? The ones that talk about a persons basic instincts. For instance, what would you do if a tidal wave was headed for your coastal shores or what would you do if someone broke into your home? What would you do if the electrical grid shut down? Most of us probably inflate our answers to appeal to our egos. But none of us truly know how we would react in any situation. You may think of yourself as a pretty level headed person. Always trying to think clearly and making the right decisions. Maybe you have faith in God and believe your entire well being is in his hands. But you’re never truly sure of how you would react. This is why I like The Mist. It explores the instincts of hope and fear. The ability to be rational or irrational in the event of horrific shit going down.
Here we have our main character David stuck with a group of survivors in a grocery store. They’re surrounded by a thick white mist that makes it impossible to see the world around them. Plus, there’s something in the mist that is dangerous. So right off the back everyone is paranoid and afraid for their lives and rightly so. A few people have died horrific deaths and everyone has seen the scary monsters. They know something bad is happening. There is no room for doubt. But the true horror resides in the reactions of the survivors. Where David and a few people are cool, calm and collective. There is an out numbering force of folks that throw aside all logic and thinking. They’re lead by the worst extremist named Mrs. Carmody who thinks everything going on is some sort of end of days prophecy. What starts off as a basic monster movie turns into a horror film that keeps the monsters as a framework for the true horror.
Sure the monsters are scary but they’re nothing as scary as a group of extremists going bonkers and taking cult like authority. To be honest, seeing a person getting devoured by a giant crab monster is not as horrific as a group of people wanting to sacrifice a small child to the Lord. With monsters, you know what you get. They’re supposed to eat people. They’re doing what monsters from another dimension are meant to do. Their approach is pretty simple, just stay out of their way. But people aren’t supposed to kill each other and how do you stay out of a crazy ladies way when she’s hellbent on sacrificing your son!? Bitch is like a turd that won’t flush! The Mist has this great blend of seeing horror on this kind of angle. Everything that actually shocks you in this movie is all from people acting like morons!
But that is why I love this movie. The entire film is a shining example of keeping hope in the worst calamity. But doing it in one of the most challenging ways imaginable. To this day I don’t think I have seen an ending like this one. When our group of “rational thinkers” escape the store and away from the fanatics, they too succumb to fear! Warning, this is a spoiler!
David is in the car with his son, Amanda, Dan and Irene. They’ve been driving through the mist for a while and the car comes to a stop because it ran out of gas. But they’re all afraid of the monsters outside. All David has is a revolver with four rounds left in it. These people who were once the most sane people in a group of psychopaths make the decision on suicide! So David pops each one off! Yea, the guy kills his own son! He’s left there with no more bullets and four dead people in his car. So he steps out into the mist to give himself to a monster. But guess what! The ass hole could have waited about five more minutes because the army comes rolling in. The mist goes away and everything goes back to normal. So David is standing there like an ass because he just wasted four people for no good damn reason!
The ending alone is one of the best reasons to watch this movie. But even up to that point, the film is a pretty intense flick that builds up great tension. One of my favorite things in horror is inescapability and you really get that two-fold in this film. David can’t go outside the store because there are terrifying monsters out there. But he can’t stay in the store because there’s terrifying people in there! It’s a brilliant film that plays this tug of war with where the true horror comes from. The monsters are awesome and are both terrifying and mysterious at the same time. You want to run from them but not before taking a good look at what you’re seeing. I like the idea that they’re actually just animals, most likely living in their natural state. Their threat is only a matter of coincidence.
I love the tone and I love the atmosphere of this movie. It still speaks volumes to today’s culture where people are living in fear of things like Covid-19, terrorists, global warming and whatever other thing you can think of. How we instinctively react can be a scary thing and can have dire consequences for us in the future. I don’t think we’ll ever experience something like The Mist or anything on that extreme level but it leaves us to question how we’d react in any crisis? This is why I love 2007 The Mist and why it’s my day twenty five selection for my Horror Movie Marathon!
Thanks For Reading!
If you’d like to read other day twenty five posts from past marathons then check these little babies out below.
Also, catch up with the entire marathon!