A friend of mine talked me into going to see Stephen King's The Mist the other day. It was fitting because, while the plains states were suffering through a few days of ice storms, here in Arkansas there was this thick, dense fog that never lifted, even during the day. Very eerie and bizarre to me.

When I want something to read purely for enjoyment, I will most likely choose a Stephen King book. I own them all, and have read most of them several times, and there are a few I'll read about once a year. I enjoy the way he brings his characters to life by giving you what the character is thinking. In a way, you could say you know a Stephen King imaginary character better than you know any real person because you are witness to their thought processes. The plots stretch the mettle of the characters, and their thinking. Most of the time, I am disappointed by movies of Stephen King novels since the visual lends itself far more to the story than characterizations. But, I was not disappointed by The Mist. Not at all.

There are several premises in this movie that go along with what I've been talking about here. In one chunk of entertainment, you are given quite a bit to evaluate of yourself - without the crisis to test just how well you really know yourself.

Fear of the unknown. This is within us all to one degree or another, and not unusual by any means. But, what if what is unknown is within yourself as much as it is in the mist?

Paranoia. This tends to crop up more in those who focus all their energies on their idealized self rather than their real self. Their self-demands are often unrealistic and unattainable, and the thoughts behind them go something like, "I should be the most intelligent", "I should succeed" and "I should be even better because of the color of my skin." Anything, no matter how innocent or minor, can register as a threat, insult or degradation to that person.

Out of touch with reality vs broken reality. Any person involved in a combat situation, a natural disaster, or the victim of a rape or mugging will know this struggle first hand. How you stack up to yourself here goes hand in hand with....

Sheep or shepherd. Fear is a powerful thing. It can keep you alive. But, you are lost if you let fear rule. It eliminates reason, and lays you open to become the sheep of a charismatic maniac or, if you're lucky, you are led to safety by a true leader. This also goes hand in hand with...

Religion vs faith. Those charismatic maniacs are fundamentalist zealots with an idealized self more incredible, more fantastic, more unrealistic than any of Stephen King's "monsters".

Rock and a hard space. I talked about this in my Balance post. There are various levels of these kinds of decisions throughout the movie, and if you put yourself in the characters' shoes, would you choose the same way?

There is more, much more, in Stephen King's The Mist. This is a good place to start. Once you see the movie, come back here and share your thoughts.


  1. Ahhh....here it is! Yes..."The Mist" was the one and only time I can honestly say that a movie of a SK story was actually better than the story. Whoever the producer was is genius! Those of you that have to have a happy ending wont like it, but if you like a fast paced, intelliegnt movie with lots of social comment see "The Mist" The man hungry monstors in the fog are just an adrenaline pumping bonus. Karen G

  2. I agree with you, Karen. It is a very well done movie with everything coming together to create a believable, frightening situation. The whole thing hits home hard with the surprise ending!

    Thanks for reading and posting.