Monday, December 24, 2007

It's (Stephen) King Time

Well, filmmakers like Orson Welles and Lawrence Olivier had Shakespeare while Frank Darabont has got Stephen King, reteaming once again for The Mist. After finding success with the The Shawshank Redemption (’94) and The Green Mile (’99) (and bombing out with 2001’s non-King The Majestic) the director has gone back to his muse and filmed a 1980 King short story set in Maine (of course), with a wild-eyed mob of regular Joes and Janes (among them, Thomas Jane, Andre Braugher, Toby Jones, Frances Sternhagen, and Marcia Gay Harden) trapped in a supermarket as a mist (with, yup, supernatural forces) closes in. Darabont drops the big budget smoothness of his earlier adaptations in order to approximate a more in-yer-face guerilla style , but the move scores more as psychological thriller than a technical scare fest. It’s an unabashed B-movie, with an ending as cynical as all get out, a movie well worth staying with when it ends up on a cable on some late wintry evening.

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