Blood Splattered Adaptations: The Mist (Channel Awesome Cut)

This week The Horror Guru compares the Stephen King penned novella The Mist with Frank Darabont’s big screen adaptation in this newly remastered cut of a Blood Splattered Adaptations classic.

About TheHorrorGuru

In Blood Splattered Cinema the Horror Guru reviews the bloodiest, wildest and weirdest horror cinema has to offer.

62 comments

  1. MAINE! *takes a shot* Best one of the Steven King adaptaions. Any possibility on a BSA of Silver Bullet/Cycle of the Werewolf?

    Oh, Guru. How did you like the Horrorclix team I made for you on the Triad of Terror thread?

    • Always a possibility for a Silver Bullet episode. I can’t make any promises on how soon that will be, though. BSA unfortunately takes a lot more time and are less fun to produce than Cinema episodes, so I really have to be in the mood to make ’em. Which is why I haven’t made one in a while, unfortunately. XD

      The Horrorclix team you assembled is bad ass! I do love me some succubi. =P

      • As long as Silver Bullet is in the future and in any format, I’m good. This, The Shining, and Silver Bullet are my favorites from the Steven King Horror adaptaions.

        Your team has a dual stragey. Either bogging your opponent down with the Succubus’ leader ability, or the Devil Imp tarpit (which is nastier). Even did a Steven King themed Horrorclix team once, trying out a couple minis I haven’t used yet, and won. Don’t forget to show Jackula his team. Hopefully at some point we can all sit down and play a couple of games.

  2. I only own a handful of movies but this happens to be one of them.

    Nortan might be nicer in the movie (I haven’t read the book) but he was still a jerk. Also: “You think I’m gonna be fooled by a bit a cow blood you splash around?” How the FUCK does he think they rounded up that much cows blood at a grocery store on such short notice? (Also did no one hear all the screaming?)

    That ending…damn… Everyone likes a happy ending (or at least ambiguous if they can’t have happy) but sometimes…it just can’t be that way in life.

  3. That ending to film is certainly a powerful one, but I can see why people would hate it; heck, I can even agree with them to an extent. The hero has lost all hope, commits the ultimate act of sacrifice, and discovers that it was a mistake; if he had hung on just a little while longer, they could have all survived. While horror as a genre really should drag us through the depths of darkness, there is still this sense among us that the hero should find his redemption, and here, he doesn’t at all. Sure, he himself survives, but at a horrendous cost to himself; he comes through and now has to face an existence in many ways even worse.

    Like I said, a powerful ending to be sure. But I think there’s something deep in us all that feels our hero deserved a break.

    Then again, is isn’t unlike the ending of Night of the Living Dead, where our hero survives the zombie apocalypse only to be shot by the police.

    • I can totally see that. =)

      Excellent observation on the comparison between this and Night of the Living Dead – That was another one of the movies Darabont was paying tribute to with the Black and White cut. That was possibly intentional. =)

    • I actually grew up listening to the audio play version of “The Mist.” It was a full adaptation of the book done as a fully acted radio play, using the then new Binaural 3D sound systems commonplace on youtube today. It was always fun to listen to. My sister gave me the Christmas gift of going to see this film opening week, and I loved it. (The reason I’m replying to you coming up, don’t worry.) After all the fear the film version of Carmody put on the audience, when she was finally killed audience in the theater got a small chuckle when someone said “Finally someone shut her up.” It was one more out of relief than genuine hilarity. (No that moment came with the fist-pumpingly awesome flamethrower scene in the drugstore).

      I’m not a real horror movie buff, but I love this film, and as a side note, the song used throughout both this review and a few times in the movie itself, during most of the ending (“Host of the Seraphim” by Dead Can Dance) works extremely well here, so much so that once I plopped an mp3 of the song into Fallout 3, and it came up, and wow… It turned the game bleaker than ever, with the twisted, destroyed remains of civilization all around you.

      Anyway to get to the point, here’s something I always thought with this. I always thought this ending held a bit more to it than just what you see. Yes on the one hand you can see it as them acting too soon and mistaking the sounds for monsters, but remember, the sound of machinery only starts to clear up AFTER the deed is done and David left to face his fate. Here’s a random question for you, given the circumstances, that it clears after Billy is dead… what if Carmody was right about the sacrifice? I’ve always seen this other side of the coin on this one, although most likely not intentional, but it’s there.

      Also to close out, earlier I mentioned “The Mist in 3D Sound,” the guy who played David in that audio version actually is playing a character in the film, I believe it’s Myron but I’d have to go through the commentary again to find it since I can’t find a cast list. I know for sure it’s either him or Jim.

      • You know, I never thought about that. That’s an interesting take – the idea that Carmody was right all along, which is why salvation arrives immediately after he shoots his son in the head. That take really shows just how cruel her vision of God really is. =)

    • It was the closest thing to a perfect ending to a horror film. No tacked on purely happy ending. No pointless gore. No stupid jump scare. It was true horror, an element oddly missing from more “horror” movies. When I saw the ending the first time, I wanted to throw up. Even just revisiting it with this video, the same sense has returned.

      And, yes, I can understand why people wouldn’t like it; but this isn’t the type of film you’re supposed to “enjoy”. This isn’t a trill ride. That would be a triller. It’s not just supposed to be suspenseful. That would be a suspense. It’s a horrifying ending… to a horror film. I’m not saying those other elements can’t be in a horror film, but the one thing that supposed to be there most of time isn’t. And here it is… and people are not used to it. It’s outside of what is the comfort zone for many people, and that can be extremely off-putting. This is a movie that in the end emotionally tears you apart. It leads the audience into a state where a tragedy occurs. It stabs you right in the gut. And Darabont does the one thing greater writers do after stabbing their audience emotionally in the gut. He twists the knife.

      Plus, bonus points for “the world has been saved” actually making you feel WORSE. Sweet Jesus Christ!

  4. It could just be me remembering things wrong but you sound more restrained and analytical for this review. The parts where you ham it up sound appropriately personal, and I really like the delivery and tone overall. If this is how all Blood Splattered Adaptations are going to be I look forward to more.

    While I wasn’t as blown away by this movie and thought the final gut punch went overboard, it and The Descent kept me from breaking something over the Silent Hill movies. I didn’t think I’d miss fog and darkness so much, but that was before I started jogging.

    • Blood Splattered Adaptations episodes are essentially compare and contrast essays in video form. They’re light on humor and heavy on analysis, which is why they not only take so long to make but are also much less fun to produce.

      But every once in a while, when I get the itch or just need a break from my wackier videos, it’s nice to mix things up with one of these. =)

  5. How Thomas Jane managed to not get nominated for a single god damned award for THAT performance amazes me to this day.

  6. Meh! I like spiders.

  7. I hate, hate, HATE this ending. I will never forgive Frank Darabount for this ending ever. I was hoping that this video might help me in that aspect by getting me to understand why this ending has the profound meaning to those who love it, to see in it something I hadn’t before. But alas, HG merely states it made him tear up. But why? Why?

    On my end, here’s my problem with this ending: I can accept Thomas Jane doing what he does in the end, given what we know is most likely to happen in this brave new world. And had it ended with five shots, fade to black, it would’ve been bleak but acceptable. But oh no, we couldn’t just tap out there, could we. This had to become a bad joke, a cruel twist of fate on a character that we care about.

    It’s this last twist that infuriates me. This reminds me of the ending of an episode of Tales from the Crypt or The Twilight Zone, the kind of ending given to a character who hadn’t gotten his just deserts. This man just put a bullet in his young son, probably looking this boy in the eye as he pulled the trigger, saw his child’s life go limp and cold, and the only comfort he could give himself is that he was sparing this boy whom he loves beyond words the pain of being devoured. Only to find out help was just right there. It trivialized the whole goddamned movie, especially considering that apparently these Lovecraftian monsters are no match to modern weapons, which considering what we have seen prior I have a very hard time believing.

    Say what you will about the novella’s ending, but I prefer the ambiguity of that ending, especially considering that I think King made it clear that the hope at the end was so slim as to be near nonexistent, but considering what they went through in the store, they deserved to have that fighting chance. But like I said, I would’ve gone with the movie’s ending had they not pulled that final bullshit.

    • Hahaha, yeah. Endings this bleak certainly aren’t for everyone. I dig ’em though when they’re pulled off this well. =)

    • I’ll say this: it’s the kind of ending that would make me say that the movie is brilliant. But it’s also the kind of ending that makes me never want to watch the movie again. No, I don’t believe that a horror movie should necessarily have a happy ending, but this whole scenario puts the character in a hell of his own making. And maybe that’s precisely the point: by losing hope entirely, the hero, in trying to commit a great act of mercy, commits a horrible atrocity, only to discover that he’s wrong. As I said above, we want to see the hero go through adversity but find some sort of redemption at the end; this guy only finds more horror. It’s heartbreaking to say the least.

    • I hate the ending, too, but not because it’s so bleak. Love bleak. The more horrible, the better. But the way it plays out just makes me go “Really? WHAT ARE THE FUCKING ODDS?”

      Yeah, I know, that’s the part of the movie that makes me go, “Nope, the timing is just a leeeeetle too perfectly horrible.” But giant bug monsters, totally plausible, I guess.

      I would’ve been fine with him killing them all, fade to black. I would’ve been fine with him killing them all, then getting an audience-only reveal that, hey, they’re getting shit under control, he killed ’em for nothing. But the way it played out in the movie seemed forced and contrived to me. Really, I felt it more manipulative than anything else.

  8. Okay, maybe it’s because of my anti-suicide religious upbringing (pastor kept saying that is never the option) and that I just grew up watching way too many shonen style cartoons and that I tend to be a stubborn jackass, but I can’t help but think if I was in that situation I would rather die fighting. Now who knows, speculation and the real deal are two different things, but I tend to be hopeful even in the more dire situations.

  9. One more thing. About Norton: the problem with making him an unlikeable bastard is that, while it should horrify us that we don’t care that he dies – or even worse, rejoice a little – the problem is that the unlikeable horror victim has become such a widespread trope, that having such characters seems to diminish the actual horror of the situation. These days, the obnoxious victims are so commonplace in horror movies that it seems almost expected that we’re supposed to want to see them die in horrific ways. This all certainly is a call for self-examination on our part, but I think there was wisdom in making him more likeable in the film.

  10. I watched this movie after a recommendation from Twin Perfect, and was NOT disappointed. The movie is perfect, and there is not a single thing I can think of that was executed improperly. A great adaptation, the way I see it, does not make you want to check the source material, and satisfies you completely. This one is a great adaptation.

    And allow me to share my source on the movie’s version of the protagonist. I understood that man. He is the one who refuses to wait. He is always while everyone else is reactive, or apathetic. If you watch the movie carefully, you will see he always comes up with some idea and is the first to act. The reason he did what he did in the end, is because he refused to wait and surrender to fate. He wanted, needed to take the course of things in his own hands. Even if it meant killing those close to him, and himself (he failed at that part). He would rather die than do nothing. And the final scene is his bitter lesson: be patient.

    He was never patient.

  11. Haha wow i always avoided this movie because mom said she could never actually finish the book because she found giant insects just too stupid and not all that scary to her, but I will definitely check out both book and movie now.

    Also that ending in the movie man… I actually said out loud “Wow a dick move movie” and laughed a little because I have a morbid sense of humor even though I was also really bothered by the ending at the same time. Personally I kind of prefer a somewhat more optimistic ending in horror movies, but that really is a heart wrenching ending. We’ll see when I get around to reading and watching them, but I might like the book’s ending more just because there is something really terrifying about what’s going to happen next and not knowing want is going on, but the idea of there being some hope of at least some good outcome is also nice.

    Over all really awesome review. I think this might be the best episodes out of your reviews I’ve seen as it focused less on jokes and more on the analyzing which is actually the most entertaining parts of your reviews for me.

    Keep up the good work!

  12. The narration bits sounded just like James in Silent Hill 2. If that was the intention, it worked out really well given the comparable elements of the games.

  13. I think the big reason why I really disliked this movie’s ending was the score. I just hated the wailing singing and felt it ruined everything. Like maybe if the movie didn’t have that loud, kinda obnoxious theme with the woman singing, I’d have been able to accept the ending better.

  14. I love that movie and never understand why people don’t like it

  15. I’ve never read the novella but I, as someone who’s not the biggest horror fan generally, absolutely love this film. The best films, in my opinion, tell us something about humanity. The best horror films plumb the depths of the darkest aspects of humanity and bring them screaming into the light. The Mist presents the most frightening aspects of what people in large groups who are looking for answers to the unexplained are capable of. The fact that the most frightening character is a common type of person that most of us see in our everyday lives makes it all the more horrifying. For that alone I would recommend this movie to any friend that was looking for it.

  16. Will you do one of these videos for 1408? I really loved the movie.

    The ending to The Mist was my favorite thing about the movie.

  17. When I saw the ending, I made a joke about it. When the VERY end happened it came true!
    I thought a dark joke…and it came true and made the otherwise powerful ending very very silly.

    The extra bit really did take it too far. Oh well. It could’ve been alien butt worms.

  18. This was an awesome video, but I must say I think you missed one thing. The thing that made the ending truly terrifying in my book. The fact that Mrs. Carmody may have been right all along. It’s a little convenient that the mist disappears moments after the boy is killed, isn’t it?

    • A couple commenters have listed this possibility as well, and while I agree it is definitely a horrifying interpretation of the ending I can’t say it adds up for me the more I think about it. If Carmody was right all along, the Mist would have cleared with the first sacrifice.

  19. I prefer the novella’s ending. Darabont’s ending was bleak. Too bleak. The audience I saw it w/ had the same reaction I did; we laughed. It was so nihilistic, so dark that it stumbled into parody. Maybe if Darabont had left out Melissa McBride in the truck w/ the kid no one would help her find it wouldn’t have crossed that threshold (and the score wailing at us the entire time…lmao!). Either way, I can’t watch that scene and not laugh. I would have preferred them riding off into an uncertain future.

  20. I have to admit that I’ve only seen this movies once (and never read the novella), but it’s a movie that I will always remember specifically because of that ending. I will also admit that I absolutely hated the ending when I watched it. On reflection…I think I still hate it. It’s just so…cruel. Beyond cruel. It’s manipulative to such an incredible degree. That may be why it’s the perfect ending to this film, but I just can’t get behind it.

  21. The mist has really stuck with me. To the point where I don’t remember whether I read it first or watched it first. They were in very close proximity regardless.

    One of the added aspects to this movie/book for me is that I finished the book one evening, and woke up the next morning to walk to work in inpenetrable fog. i was a wreck the entire walk to work. it felt like an hour instead of ten minutes. *shudders*

    I don’t understand hating the ending. I mean, I understand wishing they’d made it and feeling the cruel nature of it. But hating it AS an ending? It’s clearly the perfect ending, horrible as it is.

  22. Gotta admit I loved the story way back when, when I was on a Steven King kick in high school, and finally seeing the movie version of it was great.

    Initially I thought that the ending was one of those “Screw You, The Hero Dies!” types of endings you saw often in the horror movies of the 70’s (particularly after the first “Omen” movie), but now I do think it was well done. T
    ragic, yes, but believable and not done just to show that you can kill the protagonists without any reason.

    Also, the whole story does come off as a bit ‘lovecraftian’ (spoken by someone who also had great times playing the “Call of Cthulhu” game with friends. the only rpg where you don’t brag about how much loot you got or monsters you killed, but how you slowly go insane before being devoured by some Eldritch Horror ^_^)

  23. I put off watching this film for the longest time after it came out. Not because I’d read the novella, but because I was never a huge fan of Stephen King (not that I disliked him or his works, but I was never a big horror fan or reader back then, unlike today).

    It wasn’t until about 2 years ago that I watched the film on a bored day at work, logging into my LoveFilm (an alternate form of NetFlix over here in England)… and my god! I was blown away by it!

    Like your final words, the film really hit me hard emotionally, not just for everything that happened but especially the ending… and just like you, it invokes that same reaction in me every time I watch it (which is at least twice a year, if not more). It has become one of my all-time favourite movies to watch.

    In regards to your review, you did an excellent job running through it… but I think what I’ll most take away from watching this will be what you said about Ms Carmody being somewhat Lovecraftian in her ways. It’s honestly not something I had considered as I always just saw her as a fanatical Christian zealot… but in the way you told it, it actually make a lot more sense (to me, anyway).

  24. well how awsome that horror gurur is on channel awsome congrats man!

  25. Yeah, I would’ve loved this movie… but that ending. That ending really makes this movie a love-hate situation, doesn’t it? And yes, I despise the ending. I can take endings where the hero fails or dies, but this ending was, IMHO, a bridge too far. You want a perfect ending? King’s original ending was the perfect one. The ambiguity allows the reader to make of matters as they will, to apply their own ideas of optimism or pessimism to the fate of the characters. Here, it’s rammed down our throat – a terrible sense of brutal irony that is less horrific and more slit-your-wrist depressing. It makes me not want to watch the film again, which is a feeling you absolutely want to avoid in your stories unless you’re out to make a point. But what point do they want to make here? Life sucks? And I honestly don’t care if King liked it – he already did a better ending, even if he doesn’t realize it.

    Good review, Mr. Guru. I just can’t agree with the final conclusion.

  26. Another excellent show

  27. Very detailed episode – I really like the format with literal reading of the book passages.
    Good idea, good execution!
    That being said, I disagree with every other thing you said! 😀

    I actually thought that CGI effects were dodgy, even at the time of it release – but maybe they look better in black and white?

    As for black and white version, I don’t know if it really could be better, at least from the artistic perspective.
    As we know, many black & white films purposely use shadows and all kinds of tricks to make an ultimate experience (like Citizen Kane, for example), but since The Mist was filmed as a coloured movie first and foremost, then making it artificially black & white doesn’t really add to it, at least aesthetically.

    As for the ending, I’m one of those people who despise it.
    Not the last part – the scene when Thomas Jane is the only survivor, and sees a group of soldiers and refugees, is an excellent scene… or at least, it WOULD BE an excellent scene, if there wasn’t the part before it.
    The whole film is about SURVIVAL.
    Our heroes are trying to survive against monsters and humans.
    During the course of film, they do everything in order to survive.
    The ending with Thomas Jane shooting them is a complete ”Fu*k you!” to the previous hour and a half.
    Knowing those characters, the ONLY sensible solution was to go out, and try their luck, like they did before.

    You know what would make a better scene?
    If Thomas Jane crashed his car because he drifted off on the wheel, thereby killing everyone but himself.
    He would then see the soldiers, the refugees, and the ending would play on the same.
    It would have been an ultimate BLEAK ENDING.
    Instead, we got a buch of brave people, who, in the end, turned to cowards, and murdered themselves, WITHOUT EVEN ATTEMPTING to survive.

  28. One more thing – I’ve noticed that there are no apostrophes in your book quotes.
    Is that intentionally done by you, or by Stephen King?
    English is not my native language, so I don’t know if ‘apostrophe-cutting’ is a common thing in US.

  29. I actually HATED this films ending with all my heart when I first saw it when it came to TV, of course, that may have to do with me being 13, maybe 14, at the time (I’m from 1995) I mean seriously I saw this film because I caught it randomly and even tho I played horror videogames since allways this was pretty much one of my first horror FILMS (the only other horror film I can remember seeing as a little kid was the grudge remake… that can’t be called horror really), and videogames pretty much always end up with the hero winning, fuck, even films, so this ending came as a gigantic punch right in the stomach. SPECIALLY with the tanks, that scene even now looks too much like a parody of all those films where the american army saves the day, flag and all, they arrived just a little too late this time.

    Yet right now I pretty much LOVE it, exactly for the same reason I loathed it in the first place. I hated it because it was the first trully horrific ending a horror film had shown me and that felt bad in every way, getting to the point of the hero loosing absolutelly everything and asking to die right before “saving” him. It’s pure genious, a really, really cruel genious. I kinda wish more films had the guts to go all the way like this one does, to just wreck the audience emotionally… I also kinda wished I had seen this film for the first time when I was more adult, because little children should not see this.

  30. I love when Nostalgia Critic/Doug Walker is reviewing loads of Stephen King’s film/movie adaptations and he’s perfect sense of humour so awesome!

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