Although The Mist is a brilliant take on a doomsday monster movie, director Frank Darabont politically drives the film to explore the central theme of taking humanity’s sanity and breaking it in extraordinary circumstances. A politically incisive script with a terrifying narrative, Frank Darabont's adaptation of the Stephen King’s horror novella is set in the coastal town of Castle Rock. A successful movie poster artist, David Drayton (Thomas Jane) and his 9-year-old son Billy (Nathan Gamble) go grocery shopping after a terrifyingly freakish storm hits the town. A heavy mysterious mist rolls over the New England town, trapping the townsfolk inside the local supermarket. To their horror they witness a breed of ferocious insects, ethereal monster and pterodactyl-like creatures that have a taste for human flesh in the thick white mist. The small band of citizens now must defend themselves and fight for their lives but as the strain for survival drags on The Mist takes the story away from the monsters outside to the monsters inside.
Frank Darabont is no stranger to adapting a Steven King novel to a film. From The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, The Mist is his third take on a King novel. A survival grocery store Sci-Fi, Thriller, Darabont uses all the conventions of an Armageddon movie by building the cliché tension of telephones not working, no idea what is going on and waiting for rescue. The only luxury they have is being locked in a supermarket filled with supplies, people they relatively know and fortifying market. However a constant feeling of unease of not knowing where or what this mist is, a brilliant scene of pure raw suspense presents itself when a volunteer decides to go outside with a rope wrapped around his waist. As the volunteer ventures out and disappears into the mist, Darabont stays fixed inside the store. The outcome of the volunteer can be left to your imagination or better yet watch the movie.
What makes Frank Darabont’s The Mist such a worthy apocalyptic, Sci-Fi, thriller monster film is the focus change from the monster to the humans. As soon as humanity loses its privileges to working machines and emergency services to rescue them, then our civilized society begins to turn against itself. As survivors hold up in the grocery store fractions begin to appear focused around their racial, class and religious ideology. One of the survivors in the store Mrs. Carmody (Marcia Gay Harden) fuels the delusion that the mist and the monster is God’s way of punishing the world. The mist outside becomes a metaphor of the clouds of judgment and she convinces a large fraction of survivors to follow her in human sacrifice. Darabont now shows the monsters outside are less of a threat then the ones inside.