November 19, 2007

Spoilers in the Mist

Movie trailers are a unique thing. On the one hand, they are an excellent tool for communicating the basic gist of a movie, showing you the cinematic style of a movie, and giving you several compelling reasons why to watch that movie. for example, a trailer for a romantic comedy can tell you in 3 minutes or less who the main actors are, (which is key for romantic comedies), why these 2 people should never meet, or be in the same room, much less end up together, and then show you, with instrumental music swelling, that these two people have to be together forever, or the universe has no meaning or soul. In romantic comedies, the plot is not why you watch them. The plot is the same. The reason you watch them is to live your emotional life vicariously through those cartoonish characters. Well, that is, that's what my wife told me one time, uh, yeah.

But there are certain movies whose trailers should not explain the plot of the movie. At least not the whole plot. What if the trailer for Citizen Kane had shown a picture of Rosebud? What if the trailer for the Sixth Sense had the scene where the little boy says "I see dead people" and then he said "and you are one of them!" (I think is has been enough years for me to say that on the Internet.) Well, if you'd like to see a prime example of what NOT to put in a movie trailer, I encourage you to visit the website of The Mist by Stephen King.

Now, notice, the movie The Mist is by Stephen King. That tells you several things right there. Number one, the movie will be set in a small town, either in New England, or the deep south. Number two, any Christian characters will be made to look like complete fanatics, and at some point will want to see the blood of another character. Number three, something really creepy will be going on, but you won't know exactly what for a while into the movie. And that's kind of the point. It's called Suspense for a reason.

My favorite Stephen King suspense story is called The Long Walk. (My favorite Stephen King story of all is the Eye of the Dragon.) In the Long Walk, you start in the beginning of this big event and you don't know much about it. Little by little is revealed about this walk, until finally, the horrifying truth is revealed! Solent Green is PEOPLE! Wait, no, that's another story, but there is a big scary reveal like that. Now, if I told you what the secret was, you'd have no reason to read the story. It's very well written, it has some humor to it, but the point of the story would be ruined. That happens in one of the trailers.

Another thing about The Mist, and maybe this will make up for the reveal in the trailer, is that the director refers to this as a "low budget monster movie". It's on the website, under the videos section. He says a lot of directors start in low budget monster movies and try to work their way up to classy dramas, but he did it the other way around. So, if you like low budget monster movies - here you go.

I'm kind of sad that I know as much about this movie as I do. It had the potential of being very good, I think. The townspeople trapped in the biggest store in town surrounded by this mysterious mist, and people go out into the mist but never come back, and the few that made it in from the mist say there are horrible things out there. Then, as the hours pass, the townspeople turn against each other as fear strips away their humanity. See? sounds pretty cool, huh? watch the 3 trailers and you'll know why it's not cool anymore.

If you really want to go see this movie - please do not DO NOT watch the trailers, or talk to anyone at all about the movie. Just go see it before someone tells you that the Others are really the living, and the family that you are watching are the ghosts who are haunting the house.

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Anonymous said...

Are you sure it's not called suspense?

Anonymous said...

Stupidest ending ever!

One gun,4 bullets, five survivors, Army shows up right after they kill themselves to keep from getting eaten(except the main guy but including his son)

Don't waste your time!