The 2007 movie The Mist can be called one of the most famous films based on the works of Stephen King. He is so famous and so strongly associated in the minds of most people with the story “Fog”, on the basis of which he was created, that few people know about two more films that were filmed for the same book. So, in 1980, John Carpenter directed a film called “Fog”, and in 2005, just two years before the release of “Mist”, a remake of this film with the same name “Fog” appeared on wide screens. became Rupert Wainwright.
Actually, that is why the film by Frank Darabont, who took over this kind of baton, in the Russian box office, it was decided to head it as The Mist, and not “Fog”. In the original, the picture is called “The Mist”, like the story of Stephen King, while the creations of John Carpenter and Rupert Wainwright, on the contrary, are called “The Fog”.
Who is Frank Darabont?
At the time of filming The Mist, Frank Darabont already had an impressive track record: these are “The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Green Mile”, filmed after the same Stephen King, highly appreciated by many critics and viewers “Majestic” with Jim Carrey in the title role , as well as successful work as a screenwriter in the creation of such films as the third part of “A Nightmare on Elm Street”, “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein”, “Fan”, “Saving Private Ryan”, “Minority Report” and a number of others.
It will not be superfluous to also mention that later it was Frank Darabont who directed and wrote the first two seasons of the popular TV series “The Walking Dead”, refusing to work on its sequel. However, this happened a few years after the filming of The Mist.
So, as of the mid-2000s, this American director, screenwriter and producer of Hungarian origin had quite a lot of experience both in creating film projects in general, and in working with the works of Stephen King in particular. In fact, he already had some experience in the filming of horror films, although not so much. Given all this, it is quite possible to understand why Frank turned the story “The Fog” into such a movie.
Parallels and discrepancies with the story
Those who enthusiastically clapped the ending of the picture and exclaimed: “Bravo, Stephen King!” Will have to be a little disappointed. In King’s work, everything ends not so beautifully: the author closes the curtain when the main characters simply continue to look for a way out of the fog. There is no pathos, spectacular trolling and even an explanation of the origin of the fog and the strange creatures that live in it, in the book.
Yes, you read everything correctly: in his book, the King of Horrors does not even explain that everything that happened is the consequences of Project Arrow getting out of control. Characters stuck in the supermarket mention this project and suggest that it caused gene mutations, but not a word about breaking the line between realities. However, the very idea belongs to Stephen King. His assistant once blurted out that the author to some extent connected his story “Fog” with the world famous cycle “The Dark Tower”. The military, working on Strela, accidentally opened the door to another dimension. Accordingly, the monsters that appeared in “The Mist” are demonic creatures that live in the dark space between the worlds – Todeshe.
As for the ending, it was entirely thought out by Darabont and highly appreciated by Stephen King. The maestro agreed without objection that horror films do not always (more precisely, almost never) provide a good ending, and such a frightening, shocking end to the whole spectacle is what is needed for such a picture.
How will people who happen to be together in the face of a catastrophe behave?
Stephen King came up with his story during a trip to the supermarket: his imagination unexpectedly threw him a picture of creepy prehistoric creatures besieging the store. Part of the work was written on the same evening, but in general, the author spent only a few days on “Fog”. As for Frank Darabont, he was more interested not in the “monster”, but in the human component of this story. The director wanted to show how primitive, cruel, inhuman and stupid representatives of a civilized society can be, who are completely seized by fear.
Obviously, not a trace of civilization will remain. In this regard, the director often cites as an example the allegorical novel Lord of the Flies, in which the most terrible are the monsters sitting inside people. In fact, the story with Mgla turned out to be about the same: although unknown monsters crawl out of the fog that can destroy all of humanity (or, perhaps, are already close to achieving a similar goal), much more horror is caused by the behavior of a group of people, by chance united by a joint a refuge.
Mrs. Carmody as the embodiment of universal madness
The devout Mrs. Carmody, who probably caused negative emotions in everyone who ever watched this film, Frank Darabont paid special attention to. In Stephen King’s story, her character develops more spontaneously, not so much time is spent on him, and instead of frightening sermons and the addition of new followers, the reader is invited to follow the sexual relationship between David and Amanda, which the director refused in principle.
Mrs. Carmody’s behavior has little to do with religion and religiosity – rather, it is the apotheosis of the very horror that comes from within the people themselves. To us, sitting on the other side of the screen, her fanatical chatter seems complete nonsense. We understand that this is just the extravagance of an abnormal woman who is obsessed with religion and for some reason imagines herself the messiah. But there, inside this supermarket and this world, not everyone shares our point of view. Someone really believes, someone is afraid, someone is entertained by the idea of sacrificing other people, or, on the contrary, is afraid of the likelihood that in case of disobedience the majority will sacrifice themselves. Be that as it may, the number of supporters of Mrs. Carmody steadily increases as the number of adequate people rapidly decreases.
The giant fly that departed from her after reading the prayer was obviously just an accident, and the failure of her forays into the pharmacy predicted by her was a statement of the most likely outcome of such an event. But this, again, is understandable only to us, and not to the characters who find themselves inside this story. And, perhaps, the scene of the murder of Mrs. Carmody brings the audience incredible pleasure on the verge of ecstasy. It is difficult to find another scene of the murder of a person in which even the most ardent pacifists and humanists will rejoice in this sad incident.
It is safe to say that “Mist” is one of the most successful adaptations of Stephen King’s works, although, as you understand from the above, many of the characteristic nuances, features and plot twists in this film were brought not so much by King himself as by Frank Darabont. However, that’s why he is a director: perhaps not the most famous, but definitely very talented.