Browsing Tag

The Mist

Posted on December 26, 2017

Apocalyptic Religions in The Mist

Guest Post

With the onslaught of Stephen King adaptations hitting movie screens and televisions this summer, headlined by It and Gerald’s Game, it’s easy to forget about the Spike television adaptation of The Mist. The Stephen King novel has already been adapted for the screen once, in Frank Darabont’s well-loved 2007 film. So why bother with a series? The answer isn’t all that clear, as the series stumbles around for ten episodes, never quite finding its footing. It departs wildly from the source material, reveals itself to be severely out of step with the national tone regarding sexual assault (especially given Harvey Weinstein’s uncomfortable presence as executive producer), and features far too many scenes of people standing around and talking. But as a scholar of the Bible, I found myself intrigued by the religious viewpoints on display, which make for an interesting contrast with the film version.

In both adaptations, a group of people are stranded as a mysterious mist envelops the surrounding area. The dangers of the mist are clear in the film; it harbors monstrous, carnivorous beasts. In the series, the danger is less clear, as the mist seems to call up memories, regrets, and various other nastiness which are more specific to the individual’s fears. In either case, the results of staying in the mist too long are not pretty.

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Posted on January 17, 2016

Biblical Reckoning in Frank Darabont’s The Mist

Elizabeth Erwin

Fraught with a claustrophobic tension that propels the audience into a continuous state of discomfort, Frank Darabont’s The Mist (2007) is a fascinating examination of the difference between faith and moral myopia. While many critics have commented upon the zealotry of Mrs. Carmody and its seeming indictment of religious fervor, the bulk of that analysis fails to consider Mrs. Carmody’s actions in relation to the larger narrative. I propose that The Mist is largely a conservative film—one that elevates faith and purity of heart above scientific reason and self-preservation. Those who adopt the former survive, while those who choose the latter face a biblical reckoning.

When a fog shrouding man-eating creatures descends upon a sleepy Maine town, an eclectic group of survivors are forced to take shelter together. Unlike the fog and the “Nothing” in The Fog (John Carpenter, 1980) and The NeverEnding Story (Wolfgang Petersen, 1984), the formlessness of the threat in The Mist is quickly associated with biblical prophecy. Not only does Mrs. Carmody state, “The end times have come; not in flames, but in mist,” but Private Jessup ultimately admits that the mist could be the result of the government trying to “see what’s on the other side.” By suggesting from two distinct perspectives—religion (Mrs. Carmody) and reasoned authority (the military-minded Jessup)—that the events unfolding are the result of God’s will, Darabont’s narrative becomes less about religion per se and more about faith.

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