Monday, December 3, 2007

Pist (it's a pun you see)

To the dumb ass lady sitting next to me while watching The Mist,

Dear Ma'am,

We've never met and hey, you look nice enough but oh lord I hate you. I hate you more than anyone in this theatre and that's saying a lot. I hate you more then the guy snoring loudly in front of me. I hate you more than the guy talking loudly to his girlfriend. I hate you more than the guy explaining each plot point of the movie to his companion (or I don't know its dark, maybe he's by himself and just likes verbalizing plot points). I hate you more then the guy who brought his four year old daughter to a rated R horror movie. Ugh I am never coming to the AMC on 42nd Street again (and this time I mean it-unless the movie isn't playing anywhere else). Why, you may ask do I hate you more than all these offenders? Because not but ten minutes into the movie you unleash this little nugget "This movie is dumb."

Ohhhhhhhhh lordy. Look ma'am, you are certainly entitled to having an opinion for Christ's sake try to have an informed one. Like oh I don't know, have some criteria for why it's stupid. I think I've pieced together your reasons because you loudly kept exclaiming your feelings to your companion.

Like when after a particularly bad thunderstorm forces feuding neighbors Tom Jane (along with his son played by Nathan Gamble) and Andre Braugher to purchase supplies at the local supermarket and a deranged man comes bloody and screaming into the place shouting "Something in the Mist!" you scoffed "So stupid." Damn it bitch you just plopped down 10 bucks to see a movie called the Mist. What the fuck did you think this movie was going to be about. Its Stephen King, a man raised on HP Lovecraft and EC comics, you're bound to get a horror cliche or two in there. You need to set-up a story god damn it!

The stakes began to escalate the shoppers and employees realized they were trapped in the supermarket with the titular haze surrounding them and things got more troublesome for our band when one market employee was viciously attacked and then dragged out of the storage shed by some sort of tentacled beastie. As the tentacle began ripping up the stock boy you said "Why does it gotta be gross" and again ma'am I must insist you check your ticket stub. What the fuck movie do you think we're watching? You capped off the scene by calling it...yep "stupid" but if it was so dumb and fake looking why did you gasp time and again and squeal like a stuck pig as more and more tentacles emerged? (You also freaked out at each subsequent monster scene-there are many) Its a horror movie, if you're scared its working perfectly (and I should add about 90% of this movie has no score). It's a testament to director Frank Darabont's massive skills that he doesn't need shrieking violins to cue you into the fact that you should be frightened.

Oh and the never ending litany as the movie tried to layer itself by having factions form in the supermarket. People like Braugher who wanted to get out of there (labeled as, you guessed it), pragmatists like Jane and the delightful Toby Jones who wanted to hold on and learn more about what was being dealt with before deciding on a course of action and then there was Marcia Gay Harden's Mrs. Carmody. Carmody is a religious fanatic who believes the mist is a sign of the end times by god. As her bible quotations and predictions begin to match up with the horrific events she develops a following among many of the customers. Its a wonderful performance that renders her a truly hiss-able villain. But oh NO! Not for you ma'am. You kept informing your friend and all within ear shot that you "hate his bitch, she's so annoying, this movie is so..." Yes, you're SUPPOSED TO HATE HER! You're supposed to see her hypocrisy and wickedness and be made uncomfortable by her. But oh no, you like so many other movie-goers have decided that uncomfortable equals bad. Which is why Matthew McConaughey keeps lying his way into relationships with Kate Hudson and Eddie Murphy keeps wearing fat suits. Harden has certainly been brilliant before in films like Miller's Crossing and Pollock, but I would imagine you miss are more familiar with her for her work in Welcome to Mooseport and American Dreamz. Oh really, you have that last one on DVD?

You kept thinking the movie was stupid but you kept empathizing with the characters as he film grew increasingly bleak ("Ahhh, don't go in there stupid", "Ahhh, don't kill her" "God I woulda capped that bitch an hour ago"). It takes a talented director to really make you feel about characters in a horror movie. They're usually just grist for the "saw" mill. Yes, ma'am that was a joke about Saw. Oh you've seen all of them? Great.

Also, I couldn't help but notice you got particularly mad abut all those various factions and reactions to the mist itself and the creatures it spawned. Listen ma'am, I applaud the movie for having characters with differing perspectives and personalities. It makes the supermarket work as an intriguing microcosm for America itself and the terrifying over-turning of science for faith-based explanations. This movie creates more scares from dread about human behavior and the unknown rather than just its monsters. No, ma'am I'm not gay I don't see what that has to...? No ma'am I said microcosm, a microscope lets you see very small things under a slide.
And then at the film's end, when Darabont flips the whole movie with a terribly grim conclusion you commented "(Gasp) that's a horrible t'ing!" YES! Precisely, its supposed to BE horrible. Its a horror movie, we're SUPPOSED to be horrified by it. They aren't just made to make us jump out of our seats for an hour plus. And The Mist is a very good one too. Maybe Jane isn't always up for the acting the films calls on him to do and the film's low budget hampers the tentacle scene in some shots, but damnit its a very good, very uncompromising horror film made by a man who knows how to shoot. So you know what...


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