Viewed – 06 October 2015 Netflix
Dru Struzan is an artist for Hollywood movie posters who lives in a small American town. One morning he wakes up to the aftermath of what appears to have been a hurricane and subsequently heads off to the local supermarket for supplies. Once there with his young son, he meets up with various locales, just as a strange mist descends on the town.
Now I jest, as it’s actually Thomas Jane and not the famed movie poster genius whose work is curiously portrayed in the opening scene. Jane leads a d-list cast who you’ll most likely recognize from various TV shows. Some will also be familiar to fans of The Walking Dead, no big shock as the movie is directed by Frank Darabont (The Green Mile) who helped launch that popular show. This is a similar group who we get to know as they get to know one another, whilst holed up in a supermarket; a setting not that far removed from famed zombie classic Dawn Of The Dead. However, this isn’t about zombies but ‘things’ lurking in the mist. So we get stupid people going outside and meeting a grizzly end, whilst everyone squabbles, a religious loon gets people worked up, and generally they’ve all got to figure out a way to survive. An always fun concept no doubt, but let down by only passable acting and fairly limp characterization. Thomas Jane as the lead is rather wooden, especially when he has to deliver earnest and emotional lines, where he just fails to convince. Some of the other cast fair better – but this clearly wasn’t the focus here (but should have been). Thankfully we do get some nail biting and freaky encounters that although horror-lite, still pack a punch. Darabont’s direction, working from a fairly run-of-the-mill Stephen King story is well done thankfully, and he brings what feels like a hand-held camera style that helped crank up the claustrophobic tension.
With a reliance on clichés and stereotypes (yes, there’s a hill-billy whose a bit of a dick), however and some instances of very ropey CGI, the potential here mostly fell short. The ending also felt like a last ditch attempt to throw a curve ball – but fails. That being said, for typical monster movie thrills, I still managed to have some fun with this regardless of shortcomings.
Verdict: 2.5 /5