mist posterI was recently going through my blu ray collection and pulled out something I hadn’t watched in a few years, but had been thinking about watching due to the latest series of The Walking Dead.  It was Frank Darabont’s film, The Mist. Released in 2007, and based on a Stephen King novella (like Darabont’s classic The Shawshank Redemption) it tells the story of a group of people who become trapped in a convenience store by the said Mist and something that is lurking inside it.   What follows is a brilliantly tense character piece with added CGI monsters.

What I love about the film is the way that the group of people in the store start to become a microcosm of society with little groups breaking out in conflict with each other.  Being a fan of The Walking Dead, its funny watching this film now as you can see the building blocks that would later become the Zombie classic.  The ordinary people in a hellish situation, that has been so brilliantly represented in the TV series, is clearly seen here but whereas the TV series has 12 episodes to do it, Darabont manages to show the social breakdown in just 2 hours.

As well as the director connection, there are also a few familiar faces amongst the cast, Laurie Holden, Melissa McBride and Jeffrey DeMunn all alumni of the Walking Dead. Thomas Jane (The Punisher, Hung) plays the lead David Drayton who is trapped in the store with his son, but the real star of the film is Marcia Gay Haden as local religious nut Mrs. Carmody, who soon starts whipping up a religious frenzy amongst the survivors, by preaching that the apocalypse has arrived. The rest of the cast is full of quality actors such as Toby Jones and William Sadler, there’s even the Sherminator.  I also spotted on the credits the name of Greg Nicotero who is the special effects genius behind The Walking Dead and even directed a few episodes.

There is more I could tell you about the story but like many great films the least you know the better and this film goes in directions you would never expect.

I know I have mentioned the Walking Dead a lot, but I think that if you are a fan of the series and haven’t seen this film, you should check it out, not just because it is directed by Frank Darabont and features some of the cast, but because it is a great film.  On a side note, if you get the blu ray of the film, it comes with not only the colour version of the film but the black and white version which is the way Darabont originally wanted the film released.

(It is available on Netflix)