The Mist

On Monday, I spent most of the day driving around Austin digging through a few of its Half-Price Bookses, wishing I had an excuse to drop by the Alamo Drafthouse, failing to find any new Hawaiian / hipster button shirts for work, and just generally enjoying the rhythm of the town. Even over-trafficked as it is these days, if you don’t get on 35 you at least get to look at all the Austin people and landmarks while you’re stuck in your car not going anywhere. In addition to all that, though, everything was covered by a dense layer of fog all day. I mean, not the kind where the visibility is measured in feet, but probably the kind where it’s measured in hundreds of feet. When you add up all of these factors, it becomes clear that my viewing of the latest Stephen King adaptation, The Mist, was not so much a decision as it was inescapable fate.

Before the movie, though, I have to write another love letter to my favorite movie theater. I mean, sure, other places serve food. But do other places serve you food with names like Maximum Overdog? (See, ’cause it’s a hot dog with fancy chili on top, and it’s named after a different Stephen King movie! And this is only one example; there are multiple movie title puns spanning multiple genres. You can use theme as a deciding factor in your menu choices!) And if there’s another theater that not only shows a loop of hysterical trailers for old movies from the ’60s and ’70s that nobody has ever heard of, carefully selected to match whatever movie is coming on, but also finds old interview footage related to the filmmakers or writers or possibly stars of that movie, I have never heard of this theater. When it’s the Alamo, you show up early, and it’s only fractionally for the chance at good seats. Time after time, they provide the best theater experience going, and my soul dies a tiny bit when I remember that people who live north of Austin can’t just decide to go there at whim. Especially when I remember that those people include me.

Anyway, though, then I watched the movie. While out shopping after a big storm, people are surprised to see a heavy mist rolling in, reducing visibility to just a few feet. And just ahead of it, other people are running toward their cars in terror, while one man makes for the supermarket, shouting, “There’s something in the mist, and it killed [some local guy]!” As you can see, this is the kind of premise that can pretty much go anywhere. The places that it does go include an invasion of scary poisonous and/or flesh-rending monsters, government conspiracies, and religious fanaticism for starters. Mostly, though, it demonstrates over and over again the horror that comes to pass when a group of normal people collectively has more fear than they have hope. This is not much of an ‘up’ message, I admit, but it’s portrayed with incredible effectiveness, and that’s a pretty cool thing to see a movie do.

2 thoughts on “The Mist

  1. Pingback: The Beach House (2019) | Shards of Delirium

  2. Pingback: Still Wakes the Deep | Shards of Delirium

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