The 365 Best Films of the 2000s

Heroes of the Zeroes: Stephen King’s The Mist

Heroes of the Zeroes is Nick Rogers’ daily, alphabetical look back at the 365 best films of 2000-2009.

“Stephen King’s The Mist”
Rated R

The Weinstein Company already rolled for snake eyes and got bitten by releasing a disturbing, desolate adaptation of a Stephen King novella at Thanksgiving in 2007. No wonder Harvey and Bob balked at writer-director Frank Darabont’s preferred vision to issue his monster movie in black-and-white.

Some might brush off black-and-white as an oddity of perception: It’s not how our eyes see the world, so it can be perceived as detracting from realism. Also, it’s often equated with being old — technologically disadvantaged or of a less-exciting time.

Seek out one of the decade’s most unsung horror powerhouses on Blu-ray or DVD and learn just how this aesthetic choice made an already-good movie great. Stark black contrasts loaned greater claustrophobic force to the fragility of civilization in a tale about creatures that trap small-town denizens in a grocery, where ideology grows as deadly as the beasts.

Here, black-and-white draws the eye more to a face’s construction than its features — wrinkles and crags into which tears fall and sweat beads glisten before the last glimmer of candlelight blows out. Tension heightens, and black-and-white eliminates the wormy, pasty look of lower-rent colorized digital effects.

No matter what colors you choose, prepare to be first knocked cold and then gut-kicked with a steel-toed boot for good measure by its ending. Created by Darabont and approved by King, it’s one of the most affecting, haunting and strangely sensible the genre has ever seen. The glee of gratuitous vengeance rarely came at such a disastrously human premium.

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5 Responses to “Heroes of the Zeroes: Stephen King’s The Mist”

  1. […] Cut / Kingdom of Heaven: Director’s Cut King Kong (2005) The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters Stephen King’s The Mist Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Kiss of the Dragon Kissing Jessica Stein Knocked Up Kung Fu Hustle Kung Fu Panda […]

  2. […] film is a blend of several sources: “Dawn of the Dead,” “Shaun of the Dead,” “The Mist,” and “The Office.” Fortunately, it is not a mere knockoff of each, but a work that stands unto […]

  3. Dustin says:

    This really was an awesome movie. I loved it, not so much for it’s semi-famous ending but for the dread that saturates the whole movie.

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nick Rogers and The Film Yap, The Film Yap. The Film Yap said: That's not what the MP said in the pharmacy before the spiders came out of his skin. Stephen King's The Mist […]