It’s encouraging to see The Weinstein Company marketing Frank Darabont’s The Mist with such gusto. Though this material offers its own challenges, they’ve at least learned from the mistakes of Grindhouse in that the TV spots are plentiful (at least during the weekend football games) and unambiguous: they’re selling the monster movie first, and the human drama second. And, for my money, this exclusive-to-IGN trailer captures the tone of the film better than all previous attempts. (Click on "Trailer #3.)
I think this is absolutely the correct approach, if only because pitching The Mist as a Playhouse 90/The Twilight Zone homage to a bunch of rabid football fans won’t exactly pack ‘em in (though one day…). That said, Darabont’s film compares favorably to those venerable inspirations, and may very well surprise audiences with its acute social commentary and thorough ruthlessness (this fucker earns its R-rating early, and keeps on pressing until the final scene). This is a different kind of Stephen King adaptation from Darabont, and I like where his head’s at; The Mist is the work of a seriously pissed off filmmaker.
You’ll get your chance to check out this remarkable motion picture starting November 21st, and I’d caution you to steer clear of reviews until you’ve seen it for yourself. Just know that this is easily Darabont’s best work since The Shawhank Redemption. And if you found Shawhank too sentimental, this will almost certainly turn you around on him.