The Mist (2007)

The Mist (2007) — The second in my Halloween Stephen King Double Feature, The Mist is a movie that’s scary not for the reasons the trailers might lead you to believe.  Yeah there’s freaky giants insects, pterodactyl-like things, giant tentacles attached to who-knows-what, and giant crab-scorpion-whatever things.  And they are freaky.  Especially the skull-faced spiders [although as an arachnophobic, I find the skull-faces less scary than real 8-eyed spider faces, but if they had real 8-eyed spider faces I flat out could not have watched this movie].  So that’s the creatures.  Plus there’s the fact that when the entire town is blanketed by a thick mist, you can’t really see what’s out there.  So that’s eerie.  But that’s not what makes this movie scary.  What makes this movie scary are the people.  One of the characters flat-out says that if you put more than two people in a room, they’ll start taking sides against each other.  The scariest thing in this movie is Mrs. Carmody, played by Marcia Gay Harden.  Now some Christians might be offended by the fire-and-brimstone portrayal but the character isn’t meant to demonize the pious but rather the Fred Phelps-like extremists who try to use religion as a tool of hate.  My own thoughts on theology are summed up by a biker character who stands up to Carmody [shortly before his own unseen demise]: “I believe in God too, I just don’t think He’s the asshole you make Him out to be.”  Of course she starts out the movie as a lone nut.  No one takes her seriously.  But as the people trapped in the supermarket get more and more terrified by the creatures and the unknown dangers lurking outside more and more people start joining her bandwagon until she has a full-blown cult under her control.  When people are scared they’ll throw in with anyone promising solutions and in this movie that is scarier than any of the monsters.

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