‘The Mist’ Blu-ray Review
Stephen King Novel adaptations have been hitting the silver screen since the 70’s and here in 2008 we continue the trend, while it has slowed down since the 80’s and 90’s. If it wasn’t a full length film that was released, it was a TV mini-series based off of his novels. One of my favorite novels from his long backlog of releases never saw the silver screen till just a few years ago. That is until ‘The Mist’ was released in 2007 as a theatrical release. While the film didn’t do so well in the theater and critics were mixed, the fans were still happy that this film was finally being released. There was even a text based computer game released in the early 90’s based off of the ‘The Mist’.
While the ‘The Mist’ has a very simple story since it is based off of one of Stephen King’s short stories, I find it to be a rather strong message. What makes me a huge fan of this film is that King takes social communication to a level that many movies have tried and failed to another level. I can tie pieces of this back to ‘Night of the Living Dead’, where social communication was the downfall of the trapped people in the farm house. What we have here is local townsfolk that are in a grocery store and all of a sudden a mist starts to take over the town.
The townspeople are now trapped in the store with no way out, once they starting hearing weird animal like noises coming from the mist. Even worse is when they first see blood splatter on the doors of the store that frightens them. It sends them on a uproar in the store as to what they are going to do to survive. While things seem to be ok in the store with the different personalities, the communication breakdown starts building little by little. Things start to go sour in the store as fear sets in and it gets to a point where the group of survivors is split into two groups. We have David Drayton (Thomas Jane) one of the local survivors that believes they can overcome this predicament that they are in if they work together logically. Then there is Ms. Carmody (Marcia Gay Harden) who takes the other half of the group due to her religious tones and that this is nothing but Judgment day. We have a battle between two groups on survival with biblical elements thrown into the mix.
As the viewer sitting back, like in ‘Night of the Living Dead’, you start to build fear off of the actions of the survivors than what is right outside the locked doors. Don’t get me wrong; what is outside those doors isn’t pretty either. But this is about the breakdown of social commentary as I mentioned earlier and how a group of survivors on the brink of death act and relate to each other during a rollercoaster ride like this. I absolutely enjoyed this film, but that controversial ending left me in shock at the end. To say that I have seen a movie like this or even read a book with an ending this powerful I would be lying. It utterly left me with my jaw dropped to the floor. I am not too sure why the production team went with this ending, but it will leave you utterly speechless.
On Blu-ray, ‘The Mist’ is presented in two different flavors like the Special Edition DVD released this past spring. The first version of the film is the original film in color, the second version is the film produced in black & white. The color version of the film receives its own disc and looks fairly good on Blu-ray compared to the DVD version. There is some apparent grain throughout the film and there are some very nice details in the print. But the B&W version wins here as it receives its own disc and this film in B&W is much creepier than it was in color.
The sound is presented in a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. One area where Genius/Weinstein has excelled in on the high definition market is the sound as they had done with HD DVD before. The sound effects and soundfield are very bombastic, very clear, and the dialog portions of the film also sounded clear.