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REVIEW ; THE MIST (15,110mins) Horror ****

July 6, 2008

By GAVIN ALLEN

WRITER-director Frank Darabont has made his best film with Stephen King’s source material-The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile.

Once again he has delved back into King’s twisted imagination- this time a1980novella-for a skin-crawling thriller about a small town under siege from bloodthirsty creatures.

In the after math of a devastating storm, the sleepy community of Bridgton, Maine, is submerged in thick, choking mist that refuses to dissipate.

Illustrator David (Thomas Jane) and his eight-year-old son Billy(Nathan Gamble) seek refuge in the local supermarket which quickly fills with familiar faces from the town.

When one of the shop workers is killed by a tentacled beast from the swirling mist, the townsfolk face a battle for survival against a plague of monsters-is it the end?

The Mist may lack the emotional wallop of Darabont’s previous Oscar-nominated work, but this is the most openly “horror” work of King’s he has tackled and it’s very scary. That’s largely because some of the human characters are so well drawn that the fears sets them at odds with each other and brings out the darkest areas of the human condition.

In an ensemble of fine actors, Jane makes a fine lead, an appealing yet flawed and resilient hero, while there has to be a not able mention for Marcia Gay Harden as Mrs. Carmody, genuinely terrifying as a brimstone-spouting curmudgeon in one of the film’s most shocking sequences that I won’t spoil for you here.

While some of the visual effects aren’t sufficiently polished, Darabont is a classy director who knows how to use the mist itself to disguise their in adequacies, but he also manages to give the creatures free rein in hand-held shooting style that makes Cloverfield look like The Munsters.

Some of the supporting characters area little thinly sketched but the down beat finale pretty much takes the breath a way and leaves you on a very impressed-if seriously depressed -note.

This is one of the best horror movies of recent years.

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(c) 2008 South Wales Echo. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.