Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"The Mist" ...a Review with Spoilers





This is the movie that caused my wife to declare she will not watch any more of my horror movies with me ever again. That is not because it is scary. She doesn’t generally scare anyway. Let’s just say it is the feel-bad movie of its decade; and we saw “Children of Men.”


Premise: man and son head to the store after a major storm to stock up on supplies before they are all sold out. While there a mist covers the town and there are things in the mist that kill people so no one can leave.

In this sort of story you don’t really have to fear the monsters. It is easy enough to shut them out and stay away from them. What you fear is society, the people in the store with you. You can’t easily get away from them and you never know what a group of people under stress will do.


One thing you can count on is for someone who thinks they are better than everyone else and also the only person to have direct access to God to try and take control of the situation, which is exactly what we get here. That is the nature of a religious (not spiritual) worldview. Our zealot in this case is a woman who hates everyone else. She thinks she is the only good person in town and that everyone is a terrible sinner (excepting her of course.) She conveniently only knows her Old Testament and Revelation and convinces the people that everything is as a result of God’s judgment and that they need to sacrifice people to appease him. Decidedly not Christian, then.

That whole bit is tolerable for people who can see that Hollywood’s understandable attacks on crazy religious ideas don’t translate into automatic attacks on true Christianity. What comes at the end though is torture.

Spoilers

Father and son and a handful of others escape the store and discover mom dead back home. They then drive through the mist until their gas runs out. Rather than face a terrible death at the hand of the monsters they see everywhere, Father mercy-kills his son and everyone in the car but does not have enough bullets for himself.

Now, here is the true lesson of this film, and you don’t have to subject yourself to watching to learn this. Take it from me. There is no darkness so dark that there is no more hope. It is pure hubris to assume that we can foresee a future so dark where death is preferable. That is truly God’s territory.

You saw it coming. No one watching this film is surprised by the ending once we reach this point. Not five minutes after killing his son, the cavalry rides in.

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