On Screen: “The Mist”


OH, THE HORROR | “The Mist” – Hands down, worst movie ever

Usually I just apologize to my wife Lee Ann after picking a bad movie (that seems to happen a lot), but I think “The Mist” is going to cost me a trip to the jewelry store.


No question that I need to make amends. We saw “The Mist” this weekend, me having convinced her to watch Frank Darabont’s latest treatment of a Stephen King novella because of a few good reviews I read on the Metacritic website. I love a scary movie, and Darabont’s two previous treatments of King works – “The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Green Mile” – are among my favorites. Lee Ann wanted to see “August Rush,” but I convinced her with Darabont adapting King’s story and also calling the shots behind the camera, it had to be good.

Trust me, it wasn’t.

There are different degrees of bad movies. Some bad movies are just forgettable…you wouldn’t have cause to ever think about them again, but if you hear about them, you remember how awful they were. Then there are movies so bad you can’t help but remember what a disastrous experience it was. They’re memorably bad.

Then there’s “The Mist.”

To say it was the worst movie I’ve ever sat through would be pulling punches. I knew about five minutes into it that “The Mist” was something special. With five minutes left in the film, we had already decided it was one of the worst films ever made and had spent the latter half quietly discussing how a movie this bad ever got made. It was bordering on criminal.

But the last five minutes of this movie created a new degree of “bad.” This new level of bad is a multitude of degrees below what I’d previously considered “bad.” The nice girl in the box office told us she’d heard complaints about the ending, but I wasn’t too worried because as I’ve written about King before on this blog, he has a talent for good story-telling but a tendency toward weak endings.

I hadn’t read “The Mist,” so I don’t know how the novella ended…but it doesn’t matter. Darabont actually re-wrote a new ending for the film. I read afterward that King said this about the ending: “[Director] Frank [Darabont] wrote a new ending that I loved. It is the most shocking ending ever and there should be a law passed stating that anybody who reveals the last five minutes of this film should be hung from their neck until dead.”

After the film ended, I almost felt like hanging myself. It was that horrible. “Shocking” doesn’t describe it. Words don’t exist that describe it. “Criminal,” maybe…

I won’t waste time with spoilers here. There’s no other way to put it than if you see this movie, you’ll regret it in ways you won’t be able to desribe.

Normally I check out movie reviews on the website www.pluggedinonline.com, but in our haste Saturday I didn’t see what that site had to say about “The Mist.” Needless to say I went to it afterward (you can read that review, and find out about the spoilers and the awful ending here) and was ashamed that I saw the film.

Lee Ann was mad afterward. Angry mad. I can’t recall that ever happening before…usually she humors me and is just bemused.

But having given away two hours of my life watching this idiocy, and taken two hours of hers, and then reading more about “The Mist” after it was over, I don’t blame her.

“That’s the last time,” she said, “you’re ever picking the movie.”

I’m fine with that.

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