Finally, THE MIST comes to the U.K. on a limited release beginning this Friday!

Looks like I was totally out of it during those November/December months. It would appear THE MIST didn't get a release at all over here in Britain and is finally but ever so quietly, only receiving a short run in U.K. cinema's beginning this Friday. My local multiplex is only showing the film at 8pm every night next week and then that would appear to be it. The movie deserves better. So much better. Here is my original view of one of the best American produced horror flicks in years!
Shame on me. Shame, shame, shame on me. I have a feeling I'm going to regret missing this movie in the theatre and I can't really explain why I did. Sure, things were busy for me in the last two months of 2007 but I could have really made the journey if I wanted to. I guess I was just a little scared when the reviews came back only so-so - more negative than positive. And after I hated 1408, I didn't think I could bare watching another King novel turned into a sour movie and with good acting talent no less. The hardly mind blowing special effects from the trailer also took me back to the adaptation of King's Dreamcatcher, which also just happened to star obvious King fan Thomas Jane and some cool co-stars (namely Jason Lee & Morgan Freeman) and whose final theatrical cut had to be one of the biggest disappointments in the history of Stephen King movies. Shame on me for missing this though. The Mist rules! It's the best film I didn't see in the theatre last year and the only one I've caught up with on DVD so far that I regretted missing out on. Something tells me you didn't see it too and folks I'm telling ya, don't let this one slip you by. In the great tradition of a B-movie creature feature, The Mist is disgusting, it will make you squeamish. There's scenes here that will make you feel physically sick and convince you that bugs and all things slimy SHOULD be the thing you fear most. They come in all shapes and sizes, all deadly, vicious and will just creep you the fuck out. I still haven't seen Cloverfield yet but I can't imagine the monster looking more terrifying than the one's here... but they will only work if you let yourself go with the CGI which is sometimes not great. If you don't let things like that bother you (don't worry, the CGI is not Van Helsing bad) then you will love this. I have never actually read The Mist, it's one of the few Stephen King novels I have yet to dip into but I'm certainly fond of the B-Movie genre this film was playing in. Films like Invasion of the Body Snatchers,The Beast from a Thousand Fathoms and to be most explicitThe Birds. This story in particular always felt to me like an extension of that great scene in Alfred Hitchcock's classic which had all the townsfolk confined in a diner, whilst the vicious birds of prey lay waiting outside. The story finds our 50's style all American lead protagonist, the artist David Dryton (Thomas Jane) and his scared son Billy (Nathan Gamble) stuck in a small, local supermarket whilst an unnatural looking mist surrounds the building. "There's something in the Mist" a terrified and bloody Dan Miller (Jeffrey DeMunn) screams as he runs to the store, a haunting line that is one of the best plot expositions I've ever seen on film. What is in The Mistexactly? Well it's maybe summed up best by one of my favourite characters in Masters of the Universe after a bloody fight with a beast, "You don't ever wanna know". Stuck in the supermarket are a glorious set of colourful characters including David's neighbour and legal man Brent Norton (Andre Braugher) who doesn't believe in the supernatural - the deeply religious and more creepy than the creatures themselves Mrs. Carmody (Marcia Gay Harden) who see's this as the coming of Armageddon - the mechanic who lets the fear of God get to him (William Sadler) - the assistant manager, usually the quiet "Sy the Photo Guy" type person (but without the hidden agenda of Williams' character from One Hour Photo) who is invisible most days but is remarkably an unlikely hero here played superbly by Toby Jones. There's a potential new love interest for our protagonist in the sensible and slightly calmer under pressure than most Amanda (Laurie Holden), three guys from the Army, some bikers, an elderly lady among others. What Darabont does so well here is that he casts recognisable and talented character actors who can serve two purposes here. They can not only transform into these characters convincingly and make them interesting for us to care about them and their fight against the monster but it also lulls us into a false sense of security where we don't know who the fuck is going to survive this thing. Any of them can be picked off at any moment or make that deadly false move that you can't help but aligning yourself with these characters and screaming at your set saying "No, don't do that... don't go in there... turn around... run!". You know, the cool horror stuff we don't usually get to have fun with these days. The Mist is a fabulous B-movie horror flick and it tries to be nothing more or nothing less. It really shows us the potential of what can happen when horror material is taken seriously. It€™s not a parody of the genre like Slither, it€™s a serious, honest and exciting creature feature that will terrify you €“ make you squeamish and entertain the hell out of you for two hours. Like the great original Twilight Zone episodes that this movie owes so much to, the film is not about the creature at all but the creatures inside us all. What we as a human race will do when faced with an unspeakable terror lurking on the outside. Do we band together, or do we fight and bicker with each other... killing us all until one of us is left and the creature outside now becomes obsolete. Sure we all live in civilised environments in the Western world but everything is fine and rosy when our livelihood or even our life itself is not in danger. Once it becomes a question of survival people will believe anything. Religion, the supernatural, even humanity but one thing is for sure we all change when the future looks gravely uncertain. Sharing very similar themes with Neil Marshall's 2005 horror movie The Descent... The Mist is the monster inside us which only rears it's ugly head when our future gets clouded with fog. Nothing signifies this more than the films unbelievable studio ending. How Darabont & King (it's different from the novel) got this past and greenlit from the studio I will never know but it's haunting, refreshing and the memory of it will stick you like no horror movie made this decade. It's fucked up... it's real. After watching The Mist, I'm 100% convinced that the great Frank Darabont should absolutely be the only director ever allowed to adapt a Stephen King novel. No-one (and many have tried) has been able to capture the true distinct voice of King quite like Darabont. The Shawshank Redemption and the brilliant slow burning masterpiece that was The Green Mile are not just two great movies or two great King movies - they are two of the best movies of the last decade. The Mist may not be quite up to the level of those two as far as cinematic weight goes but I'm telling ya, this is the greatest B movie horror for decades. This was the movie I think Spielberg wanted to make but didn't reach with his decent but often flat adaptation of War of the Worlds three years ago. I love the two references I got from The Dark Tower (the obvious reference at the beginning... and then the more subtle one later which King fans might recognise if I say Dida Chum, Dadda Chuck, etc.). If there was one guy who J.J. Abrams should hire to direct The Dark Tower, it's Frank Darabont. There is no other choice as far as I'm concerned. And shame on you for not seeing a King adaptation from a director whoseThe Shawshank Redemption is No. 2 on IMDB's greatest movies list. Shame on me too... but you can still do something about it!

Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.