Play The Mist for Me

stephen king’s the mist hit dvd this week in a regular single disc and a two-disc collector’s edition. i would overwhelmingly recommend getting the latter as the second disc contains the entire film as frank darabont originally intended — in black and white.

i’ve seen the film both in color and black and white and i’d suggest watching the b/w version to both those new to the film and those that saw it in the theater. it’s a completely different experience without color. i personally never had a problem with the majority of the creature effects in the film, but those that did will find that the creatures are more convincing and altogether creepier in this version.

the color version of both dvds features a commentary from darabont that has largely changed my opinion on the controversial ending to the film. originally i liked the ending but had a few issues with it… now i’m almost completely in the “i love the ending” camp. he explains his rationale for it and reminds readers that there is a passage in the original book which points to this being the logical conclusion to the story. i won’t ruin the ending here, but feel free to spoil it in the comments section as i’d love to hear other people’s thoughts on it.

in any case… if you haven’t seen it, i’d suggest you pick it up or throw it in your netflix queue. if the latter, here’s a link to the 2nd disc with the black and white version on it. it doesn’t specify that it’s included there, but it is. unfortunately the commentary is only on the first disc… so commentary fans may want to queue both up.

6 Responses to Play The Mist for Me

  1. MikeWolf says:

    Right, I have not heard the commentary so I do not know the rational for the changed ending. That being said, I know how I reacted to it and it wasn’t good.
    There are sad endings.
    There are downer endings.
    But, only very rarely have I witness such a MEAN ending. After investing so much time with the main character it felt like the authors of the film just kicked me in the bazongas.
    One point that truly bothered me though is this: Mrs Carmody wanted the child as a sacrifice. The child does eventually get sacrificed. Everything is hunky dory? Does that make Mrs. Carmody right?
    If that is true then God is in his heaven, and I am in his hell.

  2. Corey says:

    actually… you just summarized a lot of what darabont had to say in the commentary.

    *spoiler warning*

    there is a line in the book where the main character says that they have 4 bullets and 5 people and that he’ll take care of himself if worse comes to worse. i had no issue with that occurring… i was bothered by the mist actually vanishing at the end and the military showing up.

    part of the logic was that, yes, carmody was correct in a way… a sacrifice was necessary for the mist to vanish. perhaps not in a religious sense, but in a storytelling sense.

    it’s not a typical hollywood happy ending… it’s the exact opposite. the only person it seems to end up well for is the woman who left the store all alone which, while not fair, is probably more realistic.

    king has said that if he’d thought of it, that’s how he would have ended the story. every once in a while film needs to come along that ends with a character who constantly tries to do the right thing, but nothing turns out the way it should. john carpenter’s the thing comes to mind, which is actually featured in the opening shot of the mist as one of the posters the main character is working on.

    as i said in an ealier post, i kind of like the ending when i think of it as a guy walking into the mist to face the scariest thing he could imagine… but what he finds is so much worse. which, if you think about it, is sort of what the story is about… it’s not really the monsters in the mist that are the most dangerous. it’s the friends, people and social establishments around you that you trust.

    i don’t know absolutely that there’s not an ending out there i would like better… but it’s more satisfying than the ending of the book in many ways, albeit much less hopeful.

  3. Mark says:

    I didn’t like the ending for two reasons:

    1. as Mikewolf said it was just mean-spirited and didn’t fit the overall tone that well IMO – if the Mist is about humans being their own worst enemies and nightmares, the implications contained in the ending are somewhat problematic.

    2. it was just badly done, the whole thing came across as laughable rather than shocking, with the survivors seemingly deciding to kill themselves without no real reason (not under attack, haven’t been out for too long to despair, etc.), only to have the army and the woman show up immediatedly afterwards. This makes the main characters look like idiots and also undermines the threat of the monsters – can’t be all that bad if the woman got away and all it takes is a couple of soldiers to clean up the area.

    A happy or an open ending would have been far better IMO.

  4. Corey says:

    both good points, mark. i might argue the bit about them having no reason for suicide… they were in a car with no gas and had nowhere to go. the only option would be to leave the car and seek shelter… which would more than likely end with them torn apart in various nasty ways. a bullet is probably preferable to being a spider nest or finding out what those tentacles were attached to.

    when i first read the book i always envisioned the mist enveloping the entire world and never dissipating… part of me still wishes the film had ended without showing the mist clearing.

  5. It’s time to bring out your lighters for the encore to “Pop Music and Horror Films.” As with part one, I’m basing my selection on songs that had a long shelf life before being used in film, but were either changed by being included in the film, or contr

  6. Bloody Mary says:

    Wow, I picked up the 2-disc version a while ago and haven’t cracked it open yet – I had no idea about the B/W version! Thanks for mentioning it – I’m gonna check it out….

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