Thursday, July 03, 2008
Movie Review: The Mist
We're in Texas for the next few days, visiting my brother and his family. East Texas is soooo different from the Texas I've visited before (Waco and El Paso). I'm amazed. But it is a LARGE state so I really shouldn't be surprised.
Before we left on our ardurous journey at the beginning of this week, the kids and I watched a horrible movie. I mean horrible! I hated it. I loathed it. It disturbed me to no end. But after a day or two of contemplating my feelings for the film I came to understand its message - at least it's message to me (in our relativistic, ME-culture-type-of-way).
The movie was The Mist. It's a Stephen King story about a small town located close to a military base. After an intense thunderstorm the night before a strange mist settles over the inhabitants. But there's something in the mist which attacks, mutilates and eats anyone in its way. A group of 50 or so citizens are trapped inside a grocery store. Chaos quickly ensues as the people divide themselves into two factions: factions are divided by 1) common sense and searching for rescue and 2) the religious fanatics.
The character who meets the ending the viewer was hoping for is disturbing. She's a bit of a loony "Christian". She claims what is happening is a result of God's wrath over mankind's disregard for his holiness. She quickly recruits more than half of the store over to her side and prophesizes that the mist needs a human sacrifice in order to leave them alone. Civilization begins its downfall, all lead by the lone "Christian".
The other group of folks want to leave the store, given their is no rescue in sight and they are growing more and more uneasy with what is being preached in their presence. Eventually they make it to their car, which quickly runs out of gas and the most disturbing scene is upon the movie-goer. You have about a 30-second understanding where the story will go and you begin a conversation with the characters, trying to convince them not to move in that direction. But it's inevitable. And all you can do is plead with them to stop, think, wait, hope. But no, they keep on the road you know they are bound for. And it happens. And what happens after "it" happens, you the, viewer, knew would happen. And all you can do is watch, in misery and despair.
It's a hard story to explain without giving away too much. But the final scene, as a mother, a parent, is SOOOO disturbing. Like I said earlier, I was maddened, but after two days of allowing my frustration to fester, ferment, and brew I came to an understanding of the message of the film: Without hope we are lost. We must hold on to hope, regardless of how hopeless all around us seems. If we give up hope...well we just can't because there is always hope that one minute from now, just around the bend, if you just sit it out and wait, holding on desperately to hope, situations and circumstances change. You don't know how they'll change. That's the sticky part. The pessimist says it'll be for the worst. But the one who holds hope up high, says it'll change for the better, for my rescue and salvation. We can't give up hope. Regardless of what we see, which we see through a glass darkly, the mist WILL clear and salvation will come.