The Mist

Our second tribute episode this year is a two-fer: Frances Sternhagen and Andre Braugher both left us in the last few months, and they left us two fantastic performances in an utterly chilling Frank Darabont horror film, adapted from a Stephen King novella. Brilliant performances abound in this tale of a supermarket full of customers who fight for survival in the midst of a mysterious mist inhabited by otherworldly creatures.

Man, did we ever enjoy chatting about this movie! The only “mistery” is why it took us nearly 400 episodes to get around to it!

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The Mist (2007)

Episode 378, 2 Guys and a Chainsaw

Todd: Hello, and welcome to another episode of Two Guys and a Chainsaw. I’m Todd.

Craig: And I’m Craig.

Todd: Well, we promised last week that we would be doing another tribute episode, and we will fulfill that promise right now. In fact, this episode is a tribute to two people. Number one, Frances Sternhagen. The actress, really well known for Cheers, but she’s been in a lot of other movies.

Uh, she was in Misery, she was Virginia, she was the wife of that, um, sheriff 

Craig: or whatever. Hilarious. She was like, they were old and she was super horny for him. I love that. 

Todd: Oh, it was so funny. She’s been all over television ever since, uh, like the 50s and 60s. Um, she was in Doc Hollywood. 

Craig: She was Bunny McDougal on Sex and the City.

Oh, really? Which is great. Yeah, she’s fantastic. You know, I never saw that. That’s not worth it. Don’t worry. Don’t waste your 

Todd: time.

Well, anyway, uh, she’s a pretty recognizable face, I think, uh, and it’s always nice to see her. And the movie that we’re doing today is The Mist. This movie is directed by Frank Darabond, and he originally, well, he basically got to start directing Stephen King movies. 

Craig: Yeah, and he’s great. He has made some of the best Stephen King adaptations from, from some of the, like, least likely source material.

Well, I mean, this one, this one’s very much horror, but The Shawshank Redemption, which is a fantastic movie. It’s my favorite movie ever. It’s so great. It’s a great, great movie. That’s not horror at all. The Green Mile has supernatural elements to it, but it’s really more of a drama. Also, a beautiful movie.

I cry at that movie every time I watch it. It’s great. Oh, that movie is so nice. This movie, The Mist. is watching this. I was thinking it feels like it’s been so long since we’ve done a legitimately really good movie on the show now. I know that we did the Exorcist fairly recently and that’s that’s amazing and a classic.

But before and after that, we’ve really been reviewing some turds and watching this. I’m like, Oh my God, this is such a great movie. Yeah. Movie. It’s so good. 

Todd: I had forgotten how good of a movie this was. I had seen it, you know, back, I think in 2007. And I remembered the ending being really bleak. And, watching it this time, I had forgotten just how bleak that freaking ending was.

And how compelling the human drama in the story is. It’s really cool because Frank Darabond really originally wanted to start off his career directing a horror movie. I think we’ve talked about how he was a co writer on one of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies. I think it was Dream Warriors. He did some script doctoring on that one and um, maybe credited, maybe uncredited.

Uh, he has been We’re a writer behind the scenes of a number of movies before he reached out to Stephen King and he directed a he got permission from Stephen King to do a short. I think it was the woman in the chair or the woman in black or the woman. What was it called? And he was a Stephen King short and he made a short short story and he made a short out of it.

And King was so impressed with the project that it actually inspired him to start this program where he would. Give the movie rates out to budding and hopeful young filmmakers for his material for like a dollar a 

Craig: buck Yeah, I remember hearing that story. It’s so cool. It’s fantastic. I know it is so cool.

Stephen King doesn’t need money King is set. He’s good. I know it’s amazing that he you know Takes advantage of that and gives aspiring filmmakers, storytellers, whatever, opportunities. Such a cool f ing guy, that guy. Well, 

Todd: you could say he’s almost single handedly responsible for Frank Darabond’s career.

He originally wanted to do this one, that was the first one, the second movie he optioned, but he ended up going with more of a drama instead, and he ended up doing The Shawshank Redemption, which was a huge hit, is a fantastic movie. I think one of the best movies ever of all time. It’s great. Oh yeah. I can’t say enough great things about it.

He went back, he went to do the Green Mile, and then he came back around to do The Mist, and he wanted to dial things back a little bit. The horror movies that he’s loved, they were built, they were made cheaply, and quick, you know, with a crew, kind of Roger Corman style, and he wanted to do that same thing.

So he only has a budget of 3. 8 million on this movie. Jeez. He shot it in a very, very short period of time, and he used a lot of actors that he’d already worked with in those previous movies. It’s, it’s like a who’s who of Shawshank Redemption and Green Mile in this. 

Craig: And, uh, The Walking Dead, which he went on to do later, and a lot of these folks.

But yeah, I mean, it’s a, it’s a huge cast. It’s, it’s hard for me to believe that this movie was shot on a low budget because it looks expensive. It is so well made. Like I suppose some of the digital effects kind of show their age a little bit, a little bit, but not so much. I mean, we still today in 2023 see.

worse digital effects than this, it doesn’t look cheap. It looks great. It is brilliantly acted. It’s just such a good movie. Like there is a, a fairly expansive group of characters, but they all seem like real people and people that you potentially might know, and they’re all so well acted and the setting.

and scope of the story are so small. Like, it basically all takes place in this one grocery store, and the story is ultimately very simple, but it’s so compelling on a human level. Like, that’s the drama and the meat of the story, are the human interactions. Ultimately, the scariest parts of the story Come from the human side, you know, like there are monsters, literal monsters outside, But what’s even scarier than that is what’s going on with the people inside.

It is so compelling 

Todd: It’s so interesting. I think of the mist and I think of like a fogginess and I don’t know I I was just like poetically thinking it’s such an aptly titled movie It’s such a great metaphor for what’s happening to these people like their brains just get fogged And it just leads them in all these different directions to turn against each other.

It’s, it’s like a Lord of the Flies type situation. Yeah, yes. Walking dead. Basically the whole series is based on this thing where the zombies are the least of your worries. And that’s what happens here in this small little grocery store that this small town people find themselves stuck in while this mist engulfs the town and it turns out there are creatures in the mist.

And I read that Stephen King conceived the idea for the story while he was shopping in a grocery store with his son. And he just imagined a prehistoric, like, um, pterodactyl flying over to the meat department and knocking over cans of pineapple and stuff like that on the way. And he’d amused himself by the time he got to the checkout counter to write this story.

But like you said, it’s really not about the monsters. It’s about what monsters people can be when they’re put in a difficult situation and they can’t work together. Right. But 

Craig: that’s, that’s the other thing that I loved about this story is that it feels so true to life. Like if something like this happens, something unexplainable outside of your.

idea of what is possible than what happens. And I believe 100 percent that this is exactly how it would go down that, you know, there would be people who questioned the reality of what’s going on and people turning on one another. Uh, I, I, I just, it’s, it’s so easy, I don’t know, maybe that’s because we’ve recently been through a pandemic and in America we’ve been through some really, really divided political times.

And, and that The politics have just leaked into our everyday existence. You know, politics used to be kind of something separate that, like, if you just didn’t want to talk about it, like, we don’t have to have conflicts over politics, let’s just not talk about it. And now it feels like it’s just leaked into every aspect of our life, and there’s so much Discord and and anger and and that is what happens here and you tie in religion to it It’s 

Todd: wild, you know I I’m starting it this later time in my life and with all my experience and and you know being inundated with these apocalyptic movies with these nightmare scenarios and it’s always about It’s typical kind of Lord of the Flies where things break down and people can’t work together that have started to question that a little bit.

I’ve started to think, you know, are we just kind of creating this sort of self fulfilling prophecy? Do we make art that portrays humans like this that just gives us no hope for ourselves? And therefore, we’re just deeply convinced that we can never work together in a situation like this? And then that’s just going to inform how we Act in situations like this because we’ve already had this preconceived notion that’s perhaps been instilled there over time Simply by the stories we’re telling each other and not necessarily is it true to our nature, you know?

And one thing that I liked about this movie is that there are people that work together Yeah, right. There are people who come together just because and when there’s nothing in it for them I mean, obviously what’s in it for them is survival. But what I mean is like It’s not just this Chaos, where everybody’s fending for themselves and nobody gets along.

There are factions sort of setting up. They’re not necessarily trying to oppose each other, they’re just coming into natural conflict. Some people switch sides when they hear a more compelling argument. Like you said, it all feels very real. But it also feels a little hopeful at times. The Walking Dead!

Feels hopeless. I stopped watching that movie after, I think, four seasons because it was just making me angry and hating life and hating the world. This movie doesn’t do that to me because I feel like there’s a more uplifting message in the way that these people interact with each other and the things that happen.

Even though, ultimately, it has a very bleak ending. Shockingly bleak ending that Darabond wrote specifically for the movie. It’s different from Stephen King’s 

Craig: story. Yeah, there are a couple of differences. Have you read it? 

Todd: I did, a long time ago though, 

Craig: man. Yeah, it’s been a long time for me too. I remember, I remember some of the key differences, especially the ending.

But Yeah, you say that you’re skeptical like would the is it a self fulfilling prophecy these stories that we tell I don’t think so I think that conflict is inherent to humanity and You’re right that in this movie there is hope but that’s because the movie tells us who the good guys are The people, the people who are the quote unquote bad guys, they don’t think they’re the bad guys, they think they’re right, and I think that’s inherent to humanity too.

We, whatever side we’re on, we think we’re right. Of 

Todd: course. Despite that, there’s some very basic, indisputable things, like, hey, a monster’s coming at me, uh, am I gonna run, am I gonna push someone in front of me, am I going to, you know, deliberately trip someone else up so that they get to the monster, the monster gets to them before they get to me, am I gonna run toward the monster, even though I’m well out of his reach to try to save somebody else, when we’re kind of put in those sorts of situations, I think that a lot of stories tell us, no, everyone’s gonna say, fuck you, whereas, You know, I feel like that’s not necessarily how we are and how we act.

Craig: No, no. And, and there are people, and I, I love that, like there, there’s a group of people that, I don’t want to say bond, but they, they come together and, and they are our, And I love them all like, and they’re, they’re a diverse group, you know, there’s young people and old people, but they just are like minded and, and work together.

And I’m rooting for all of them. And then of course, there’s the opposing faction that’s, that’s led by a religious. I am not a deeply religious person, religion is a part of my life. I attend church weekly. I don’t want it to come across that I just think that all people who believe in God or have religious faith are lunatics.

I don’t think that at all. If, if I did think that I would have to count myself in their number, but this is a zealot. How do you say that word? Is it zealot or zealot? Zealot. Zealot. Zealot, yeah. And she’s literally crazy. Played by Marsha Gay Harding. This woman should have won awards for this role. She is fan tastic.

She really is. I’ve seen her in many things, and she is a great actress. She plays drama. brilliantly, but she can also be hilariously funny. She, she just has such a wide range, but she is so villainous in this movie. I’m more frightened of her and her power of influence. Then I am of the monsters that are outside.

Yeah. Oh God. It’s so scary, but I assume this is going to be one of those movies that we have so much to say about it because we love it so much that if we tried to get into the plot, it’s just, it’s not going to work. So like the general plot is the main character is this guy named David Drayton. He’s an artist.

He does like book covers or film posters. We know that from the establishing shot. 

Todd: Yeah, where he’s painting, I believe, like a book cover of, uh, one of the Dark Tower novels, isn’t he? Yeah, 

Craig: like the Gunslinger or something. Yeah, there are several Stephen King references there. One of them is like Georgie in his raincoat with a red balloon.

One of them is, um, John Carpenter’s The Thing. All of this artwork is made by the same guy, who’s a real guy who really made the artwork for The Thing poster. But anyway, he’s got a wife and kid, a big storm rolls in and like, messes up, like trees fall down and mess up their house and stuff, and he’s got a conflict with his neighbor, and that’s the other guy, Norton.

Brett Norton. You know, we had planned this, uh, as a tribute for 

Todd: Yeah, 

Craig: and then when we were research, when I was researching for this, I realized that this gentleman just passed away last month. And, and I don’t know him as well, but I remember reading when he had passed because he was on the show Brooklyn Nine Nine, which, uh, is kind of a cult.

for some people. Um, and everything that I read just went on and on about what a great guy he was. I had forgotten that he was in this and I had forgotten that he passed away. He’s got this great like base voice and he plays a Jerk in this movie, and I also forgot that in this movie he disappears halfway through it like for a reason But for some reason I I felt like I remembered that he came back or that we found out what happened to him And we don’t like he just leaves and then you never see him again.

Yeah But, but David and his son and this guy, Norton, go into town because they need supplies because the storm has like knocked out the electricity and stuff. And the, the, the store, it’s, it’s a, it’s like a rural grocery store. Not like Walmart, but like, I don’t remember, they said what it was called. Like the food mart.

The food, 

Todd: uh, house. The food house. What a generic, crazy name. 

Craig: Yeah, but it’s really busy. Like, everybody’s there. This just happened to me in my hometown. We just had a, a great big, uh, snowstorm. And I went to the grocery store to, like, get some supplies and things, and it was crazy crowded. Like, you would think that people, it was the apocalypse.

So this really does happen. I don’t know if it happens in cities, but it definitely happens in small towns. Like the, the, the store is bustling, and then they see, like, a bunch of cop cars and fire trucks go by, and then, like, the emergency sirens, like, Tornado sirens is what I know them as go on and all of a sudden this huge thick mist rolls in and Then they are just in this thick mist and I don’t even like people are scared.

Nobody knows what to do This one mom is like I have to go home. My kids are home by themselves Won’t anybody help me? She’s like isn’t there any gentleman here who will walk me home? But they’re all so scared, they don’t know what’s going on, and from that moment, I just felt like, obviously, this is a really bizarre scenario, and it only becomes even more bizarre when, like, prehistoric sized bugs, and, and giant monsters with giant tentacles that can kill you start showing up.

That makes it even more bizarre, but it felt cool. This scenario felt real and that’s what I love about Stephen King, you know, he just had that idea in a grocery store and I have read other things about his inspirations for his work and he just has random ideas like what if what if and then he realizes them and I Think that that’s maybe why his work is so popular is Because I don’t know What would you do if giant bugs started attacking the grocery store?

It’s crazy. I don’t know specifically what you want to talk about. There are so many compelling things because this store is full of people and they all seem real, and you really kind of get invested in the humanity of everybody. Yeah. 

Todd: You really do. Even the so called, you know, sinister characters, uh, it’s just, you know, they just have a different outlook on life, really.

Right. We’re more aware of that now than ever. You know, they’re, they’re just, everybody’s nervous, everybody’s scared, and everybody looks at life through a particular lens, and that affects how they’re going to respond, and whether they’re gonna think other people are being helpful, or whether they’re gonna be full of crap.

You know, for example, The main character, uh, David, goes to the back room. Uh, what was he doing? I can’t 

remember 

Craig: what he was doing back there. He’s, he’s trying to find a, a, a blanket for his kid. That’s right. Because his kid is scared, yeah. 

Todd: And then he notices that the generator is like, it’s like, the exhaust is coming back in.

It’s like starting to fill up the room with smoke and stuff. So he turns it off, which of course cuts the lights. Uh, and then he’s tripping his way back out and brings the other characters back there to kind of help. Well, one kid wants to go outside to unblock the clogged vent. By this point, they’ve seen him.

Diva monster 

Craig: or something. What’s, what’s the guy’s name? What’s the main guy’s name? David. Yeah. When he turned the generator off, it got very quiet and he heard something outside. And, and like, it seemed like something was pressing up. Against that the garage, you know, loading dock door or whatever. And so when they’re like the kid who’s just like a bag boy, he’s young, says, you know, to turn the generator on and get the door open just enough.

And I’ll go out there and, uh, I’ll go out there and unclog it. And, and David’s like, no, no, no, no, no. But everybody else just thinks he’s. dumb. They think that he’s a pussy. Like, what are you, what are you scared of? And it’s almost as though they’ve got something to prove. And one of my favorite characters is one of the grocery store workers.

I think his name is Ollie, the short guy. He’s played by Toby Jones, uh, who I, I didn’t see this movie, but he played Truman Capote. Remember that time when there were like two Truman Capote movies out? I do remember. He played a Truman Capote in a movie. He’s really good in this. He’s very unassuming, but he is very level headed.

It’s such a great juxtaposition because he seems so unassuming, like nobody would ever look to him to be the hero, but he’s totally level headed and is so helpful. People are basically good, decent, oh my god, David, we’re a civilized society. Sure, as long as the machines are working and you can dial 911, but you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, you scare the shit out of them.

No more rules. You’ll see how primitive they get. They scare people badly enough. You can get them to do anything. They’ll turn to whoever promises a solution. Or whatever. Ollie, please, back me up here. I wish I could. As a species, we’re fundamentally insane. But more than two of us in a room, we pick sides and start dreaming up reasons to kill one another.

Why do you think we invented politics and religion? He says something like, this is only to be expected. What’s happening to us is unexplainable, and what’s happening here is a problem has been put in front of them that they can do something about, and there won’t be any stopping them. And he’s right.

Like, you know, these guys are scared, but this is a problem. That they think that they can fix, um, and it gives them some feeling of control. Well, anyway, they open up the door and they’re laughing. They’re like, see, nothing to be scared of. And then these enormous tentacles come under and grab the kid. And it’s great.

Todd: It is great. This is a fantastic action scene as are all the action scenes in here. And I have to say, I love two things about this. Number one, that effect. With the mist just lingering there, but not really coming into the room, was insane. And I was trying to figure out, did they do that with CGI? Because this was earlier in CGI.

They did, and it’s all practical. It had something to do with temperature and air pressure and stuff. And then, that design of those tentacles coming in freaked me out. Like, not only are these tentacles kind of flat, they can almost open up almost like a pedal would open up wide. Yeah. And then there are spines, spines on the outside of it.

And then within the pedal there are more spines that open up. It’s like, they’re like 

Craig: lamp rays. Oh my god. Like they, they’re those, like those things that like attach onto sharks. Yeah. , you know, like just a big mouth like, but mouth, it’s not really a mouth. No, it does seem like whatever this creature is it like sniffs around and eats things with its tentacles and it Rips part of that kid off like it rips flesh off his leg It rips a big chunk off of his chest and it eventually just pulls him out and and he’s gone And and then they tell Some people, they don’t want to get everybody scared, but they do tell some people, and people just don’t believe them.

Todd: At some point, I think it gets a little weird, because, um, the, the, the actor, the Andre Broggers, uh, role that we’re also tributing today, Brenton Norton, he really has a chip on his shoulder, and Yeah, he’s a jerk. He’s a jerk and he is just utterly convinced that everybody else is out to make a fool out of him and he’s got this sort of racist subtext that, that comes through, he accuses David of being racist, and they’re like, no, really, and it doesn’t matter that there are six guys standing in front of him saying, no, really, it’s true.

He’s not even willing to go back there and look. Right. I thought, really? I don’t know. 

Craig: And when they do, they take this, the store manager, the store manager doesn’t believe them either. And they take him back there because they chopped off a part of one of the tentacles and they show the store manager and, but then they like poke at it and then it dissolves and disappears, which is weird.

That’s kind of an odd storytelling choice. But he then believes, and he goes out and says, To the, to everybody, uh, I think we may have a sizable problem. Or something like that. 

Todd: Understatement of the year. 

Craig: It was hilarious. One of the things, I tried, so I had to buy this movie. It’s not streaming on any of the services that I pay for.

I, I couldn’t find it streaming for free anyway. Anywhere, but it was on sale at the time of this recording. I have no idea when this will come out. It was on sale on Vudu for five dollars. But I wanted to see the director’s cut. There is a director’s cut, and I don’t think that it’s It’s much different than the theatrical cut, except for that it’s in black and white.

Frank Darabont wanted to film this movie in black and white and the studio said no. And I get it. Yeah. I understand why they said no. It’s not, if it’s in black and white, it’s not going to make as much money. I get it, but I would really like to see this movie in black and white because it feels, it doesn’t feel like an old movie, but it’s in the same vein as those old B movies.

Like, you know, the giant bees or the giant rats or whatever. It feels like something that my dad would have gone to see for a nickel. On a Saturday afternoon in style. I mean, obviously it’s modern and it looks modern. There’s more that they can do with special effects and the cinematography is beautiful, but it still has the feel of those old B movies.

And I think it’d be really fun to see in black and white. 

Todd: Yeah. And a lot of that was deliberate. I know that Dear Bond, when they were designing the production, they didn’t want the movie to feel like a period piece, but they didn’t, they didn’t really want to set it in a particular time, so they mixed up the car models to be like older car models, like for the police.

They have characters with flip phones in there, but then they have like people wearing other kind of clothing, and he just kind of deliberately muddled that a little bit. I also was surprised because I did not remember this, that the movie is shot in the documentary style and the first time somebody walks into that supermarket and there’s a zoom on them, I was like, Oh, that was stark.

And it’s funny because up until the point they come into the supermarket, it’s all very normal, standard movie style shooting. And then suddenly it becomes very documentary style. And I read that he. I guess he directed an episode of The Shield, which was a TV series in the 90s, right? Cop, 

Craig: yeah. 

Todd: Cop series, yeah.

Yeah, and he basically took the crew from them while they were on like an eight week hiatus to shoot this movie in that style because they were really good at running and gunning it and giving it that. That cop movie documentary type style. And then, you know, the other thing I was expecting to see again, I remembered it so differently from when we watched it as I remembered it as being kind of one of those slicker looking, uh, early two thousands kind of movies, but it’s not.

No. And again, deliberate choice by him. He was going to shoot a digital, and when they did the test, he thought it looked too pretty. And so, he shot it on film, and it shows, and the lighting is sometimes flat, you know, sometimes it’s, it’s, it’s just, it doesn’t have that where, you know, the, the halo effect around everybody and all that, like you got for these bigger theatrical movies around this time period.

And especially lodged in that time period with all the movies around it, I think it probably set itself apart. With those choices and they were good choices. It really gets you down in it and really makes you feel like it’s something that’s actually happening. I loved those choices. I thought it was great.

And you’re right. I would love to see it in black and white. It would probably just complete 

Craig: the picture. Yeah, I think so too. So now, okay, so they know that there’s something out there. Uh, and Ali, the voice of reason throughout the whole movie is like, what if something gets in here and somebody is like, well, we closed the door and he’s like, the whole front of the store is plate glass.

It’s And it is. And so they start setting up dog food bags and fertilizer bags to try to create a barrier in front. But it is. I mean, it’s like an old school grocery store. No, okay, I mean the whole, it’s, it’s floor to ceiling glass, and there’s also human drama going on. Mrs. Carmody, who is the religious zealot that we were talking about before, she’s saying that it’s, it’s the wrath of God, and it’s, you know, because we’re sinners, and there’s no defense against the will of God.

There’s no court of appeals in hell. There’s no defense here either. Not even with all the fertilizer in the world. Not even if you stack it as high as you can. It’s still just bags of shit, isn’t it? Open your eyes. Let the scales fall away. This has all been written. Revelations, chapter 15. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God.

And from his power, and no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed. Well, what are you saying? What are you proposing? That we all prepare to meet our maker. And I don’t want to breeze over that too much, because at first, she’s just The Town Loon. And they all kind of understand 

Todd: that.

Yeah, they literally say it. One of the guys says, Hey, for any of you outsiders, just so you know, she’s known as being a little unhinged. Yeah, 

Craig: it’s some biker guy who, Frank Darabont wanted that character to be Stephen King, but Stephen King wouldn’t do it. Some biker guys like, uh, yeah, obviously like so they all know that he’s and she’s nuts, but as things get more dire People turn to her because I believe this people want something to turn to they want hope they want an explanation Yeah, right, and if she can provide that if and she does It’s, it’s very frightening.

Todd: It’s very frightening because it’s almost a little microcosm of what you see happening over a longer period of time, you know, out in public. This leads me to the character of Jim, who’s played by William Sadler. Uh huh. Oh yeah, also in Shawshank, uh, he was in Tales from the Crypt, Demon Knight, Die Hard 2, he’s very recognizable.

Um, I love this guy, I love it whenever I see a character. He does tend to play these kinds of characters, but not always. 

Craig: He played David in the, uh, audio play of The Mist. 

Todd: Oh, interesting. Well, he played Death in one of the Bill and Ted movies as well. Yeah, one of the later ones. Yeah. He’s a good actor. He’s fantastic.

Uh, and he has a very, uh, distinct look. And I love, I love to see his transition here. Because at first he’s standoffish. And he’s one of the guys who is teasing David and almost Now, 

Craig: I know, I know, you’re a big shot artist with connections in New York and Hollywood and all like that, but that don’t make you better than anybody else, not in my book.

Hey, I didn’t say that. Nor do I like being talked down to or called stupid by a guy who went to college just because he’s got the jitters. Fellas, it doesn’t even matter about the generator, the food will keep without it. Kid! I’m gonna start the motor, you raise the door, and you yell out when you got enough room.

Yeah. Okay, good. Wait! You guys gonna let this kid risk his life over a generator? It doesn’t even matter? Would you just shut the f up already? Norm! Listen, Mr. Drayton, I tell you what. The next time you got something to say, you count your teeth. Because I’m sick to death of your bullshit. 

Todd: Alright? And he pushes maybe harder than any of the rest of them to let this kid go outside in the back when he wants to when all those tentacles come in.

And his feeling of guilt from that totally breaks this man down. And so you can see how later on he changes sides. He is very attracted to what this woman is saying. I guess it’s going to help him assuage his guilt. You know, cosmically and morally to follow her direction. And it was a very believable change, but it was also very maddening to see.

Craig: Right. Yeah, it is. He’s a great character. There are so many great characters. There’s a really cute cashier girl who we don’t get to know very well at all. But. Still, I was compelled by her. Like, I’m, I’m just compelled by all of the, the people. Frances Sternhagen is Mrs. Reppler. She’s an old lady schoolteacher.

I’m an old man schoolteacher, so I understand, like, you know everybody, because you had them in class, or you had their kids in class, and everybody knows you, you know? Mrs. Reppler. You haven’t met Amanda Dumtree. She’s new in town as of this semester. Teaches third grade and the special ed kids now that Mosher’s retired.

She’s wonderful. The kids love her. And, uh, David’s an artist. He does movie posters and such. Oh, and me? Lord, I’m Babbling away like some old biddy at a tea party. My nerves are jangled, I guess. And she’s great. She’s fantastic. Um, there’s a guy named Dan, uh, who’s an old man, who’s the first one, when the mist rolls in, he comes running in and he’s bl he’s got blood on his shirt.

He says, something in the mist took John Lee. I could hear him screaming. There are just so many, uh, great characters, and you care about them all, but eventually what happens is Well, nighttime comes, and they are kind of barricaded up, but they also have lanterns in the windows, I assume, so that they can see out, but what it does is it draws these things, and it first draws things that look kind of like House flies or hornets because they have stingers, but they’re the size of a medium sized dog.

That, that scares them, but it’s more fascinating than frightening until even bigger, like you said, pterodactyl like things start Attacking those smaller things, like they’re eating them, like they’re picking them off. But, they do eventually break the glass and get in. Um, and it’s sca I mean, it’s scary, it’s monsters!

You know, when they start At first it doesn’t really seem like they’re there to attack the humans, but it’s like, oh, well, there’s people here, so. We can attack them too. It’s like they almost get 

Todd: discovered, right? And so it’s like now they’re swinging in. I thought that was terrifying because once that glass is broken, you’re open to the world now.

And that’s what happens. And it is an intense scene, uh, once the, uh, the flies start coming in. And then the 

Craig: So much stuff happens. The bigger creatures come in. Well, the cute girl gets stung. In the neck, by one of the smaller things, and then she has a re like her whole head and face swell up and she dies.

And then, they’re also trying, they’re like soaking mops in lighter fluid, uh, to use as torches, as weapons. But one guy, like, dips his mop in the lighter fluid and lights it on fire, and then trips on the bucket, and sets himself And, and a big part of the store on fire. Oh God. And this like, there’s chaos going on all around, people trying to fight and one guy is just fully engulfed in flames and, and running around.

Yeah. It’s an insane action scene. And it goes on for a while and it almost gets the kid and Ollie is shooting Ollie’s like a sharpshooter. , yeah. . And uh, you know, he’s shooting these things. It almost gets the little boy. Um, and then somehow they get it calmed down and they get the windows. Taped back up and things are quiet again for a while, but so much has gone on and we also find out there are a few military guys in there and somehow or other, I don’t remember how, we find out that this military base that’s a military base that’s Just outside of town has been doing this project where they’re exploring other dimensions.

And the guy says, you know, they thought maybe we could open a window to look in and see what’s going on in there, but I think that they opened it too far.

And that’s really the only explanation that we get and it’s really, it’s basically speculation. Like, he doesn’t really know, uh, it’s just kind of what he’s heard. But what we 

Todd: do get, and I do remember this bit, by the way, we are now only halfway through the movie. That is how much stuff happens, and I was just glued to the screen the whole time.

Oh, I know. A group of them managed to go out, pretty much all the little characters that we mentioned, except for the, the religious zealot woman, managed to get out, and they There’s like a pharmacy next door 

Craig: or something? Yeah, it’s right next door. Uh huh. They’re trying to get medicine for the burned guy because he is in terrible pain and is begging them to kill him.

Mm hmm. So they, so they go to try to get medicine for him. That’s 

Todd: right. And inside there, they find there are people hanging from the ceiling, basically cocooned. It’s strong, like, aliens vibes. Very much. To be, to be honest. Uh, and there’s They find out one of these guys who is dressed as a military policeman MP is half alive and he just starts like gurgling and saying, you know, it’s all our fault.

It’s all our fault. We we did this. And that’s what leads them to question the 

Craig: military guys. And then his whole body explodes and a million spiders come out of it. And then bigger spiders giant spiders that shoot It’s so ridiculous when you think 

Todd: about it. Acid spiderwebs and giant flies. It is 

Craig: ridiculous, but it’s fun.

And I also, I like that there don’t have to be any rules. These are interdimensional beings. They can do whatever they want. The other thing that I like about it is, like, there are creatures of all sizes. There are also, like, dinosaur sized creatures. Um, that we only get Glimpses of. Because everything is shrouded in the mist.

So, even when we see them, we’re really just kind of seeing the silhouette. But Whatever these things are and wherever they come from, it doesn’t seem like they are evil. Like they’re not like actively pursuing people, they just now happen to exist here and people can be prey. They’re doing what they do, yeah.

Right, I mean they’re just animals or bugs or whatever, they don’t have like a vendetta, they just have spilled into our reality and, and they’re existing with us now. And, and there are a lot, you know, there are other things, uh, after this. People are starting now to get on Ms. Carmody’s side. And she has several long, not super long, but lengthy monologues.

And, and she’s, she’s also just Bitch, like there’s one character that we haven’t even talked about yet. There’s this pretty young woman. She’s new in town She’s a new teacher in town. Her name is Amanda. She’s blonde She just doesn’t like her for some reason and calls her a slut and a whore for no reason now To be fair in the book Uh, Amanda and David are having an affair.

They even they have sex. In the book. Like, in the course of these events, while they are stuck in the grocery store, they have sex. And I’m glad that they removed Yeah, 

Todd: that’d be a little hard to shoehorn in there. 

Craig: And it’s, well, it’s, it’s very stereotypical Stephen King because Stephen King writes flawed characters.

His protagonists are most often flawed in some way. They’re not, they’re not perfect. Good guys. So that’s very much in, in keeping with him, but I’m glad they took it out of the movie, it’s just unnecessary, and it makes it easier to root for Thomas Jane plays David, and I, you know, I don’t know, Thomas Jane I’ve seen in several things, he was in Deep Blue Sea, I like that movie, he was, uh, The Punisher, 

Todd: yeah, I remember him from Boogie 

Craig: Nights, oh yeah, he was in Boogie Nights, he was good in that, but he’s a ruggedly handsome, Man, it makes it easier to root for him.

You know, he’s a dad. That’s his primary concern. So I don’t need a, I don’t need his character complicated more than that. Like, you know, he, he, he’s promising his kid that he’s gonna get him home to his mom, which doesn’t happen, and, uh, At one point the kid’s, the kid says, Dad, promise me that you won’t let The monsters get me ever and that is something I had forgotten.

I have seen this movie dozens of times But it has been a really long time since I’ve sat down and actually watched it start to finish And there were lots of little things that I forgot. That’s important When the kid says, promise you won’t let the monsters get me, ever, His dad keeps that promise. He does.

Ah! Oh, God. Um, but anyway, at this point, you know, more stuff happens. They, uh, the lady finds out that the military was behind it, and so the one remaining military guy who’s there, who is in no way responsible, you know. Yeah. His only connection is that he happens to be a part of the military. He’s also a local boy, but Mrs.

Carver, these whole mob turns on him and the butcher stabs him multiple times in the gut before they throw him out. To be eaten by one of those giant creatures, which happens 

Todd: right in front of them. It’s interesting because her reaction, the woman who’s been stirring this up the whole time, suddenly, for a moment, flits to horror.

Like, you can tell she’s shocked by the fact that this guy’s now being stabbed, and she riled him up, you know, what did she think was gonna eventually happen, but then she instantly switches and it’s almost like now she’s bloodthirsty. 

Craig: Oh yeah, she feels empowered by it. She 

Todd: feels empowered. It’s like she talks, starts talking about God demands sacrifices, 

Craig: expiation, like they’re chanting expiation.

It’s really scary and, and the ones, there’s like, I don’t know, eight people in David’s group. Who we are to believe are the rational people who not only don’t buy into her craziness, but they also recognize the danger of it and early on they, yeah, they decided, uh, Ollie, I think it’s Ollie. I don’t know.

Maybe it’s Dan. Um, somebody says, this is what people do. You know, we’re the only species who finds reasons. To kill one another and that plays very much it is you said before Lord of the Flies It’s very Lord of the Flies, but the this group of like eight of them mind you there’s still probably what 40 50 people Yeah, they’re in the store and most of them are on Miss Carmody’s side and These like eight of them Decide that they’re going to leave and Ollie secretly packs up bags of groceries and hides them and they’re going to leave at dawn and they wake up at dawn and they’re going to go and David goes to get the groceries and they’re gone.

And Miss Carmody is sitting there stealing food now going out now, Mrs. Carmody, please stand aside. You can’t go out. I won’t allow it, won’t allow it. It’s against God’s will. And this is the big showdown? Mm hmm. Oh my god. I thought it was Ugh. I remember the first time I saw it, it was so unexpected, and I was so scared.

Because she starts calling for sacrifice, and she says she wants the boy. Yeah. And all of these people are surrounding them. It’s hopeless. Yeah, they are, they are outnumbered and the people around them are armed with knives and other weapons. And, and the woman, she first calls for the boy and then she’s like, and grab the whore too.

And then she just starts saying, kill them all, kill them all. And it looks like they’re going to, until you hear a gunshot and you see her take it in the abdomen. And then the camera cuts to Ollie. And he shoots her again, right in the middle of the forehead. And then everybody’s stunned. Nobody knows what to do.

So, I think David just says, Thank you, Ollie. Yes. And he, no, Ollie says, I killed her. 

Todd: I shot her. Yeah, yeah. And he says, thank you, Ollie. Yeah. But 

Craig: he had to. Yeah. There was no other getting out of that. He No. He had to chop off The head of the snake and given time, maybe another one would sprout up in its place, but they don’t wait for that to happen.

They just, while everybody is still stunned by what is going on, they get out of there and they have to go out into the mist and they’re going to his car and some of them make it and some of them don’t like this is, yeah, you, we can’t do it justice. Dear listeners, surely you have seen this movie, but if you haven’t, if you haven’t, we cannot do it justice.

This is also harrowing. Like I was on the edge of my seat. It’s so suspenseful and, and, uh, it’s just so effective, but yeah, then they, so they go out. And, and when you get to the car, well, some of them do. Some of ’em do. Some of them get taken down. 

Todd: Five of ’em eventually get there. David is driving, um, the, the woman, uh, that you said, uh, the blonde.

Amanda? Yeah, Amanda. 

Craig: His son. The teacher. The old teacher. The old man. Ollie doesn’t make it. Ollie gets taken by one of the big dinosaur 

Todd: ones. Which is so unfair, right? Like, he’s the guy who saved the day, and he’s the first to get sucked up. It doesn’t really surprise 

Craig: me. And they watch everybody, like, they kind of watch everybody else get picked off.

And then, um, Ollie had the gun, and when he got Taken away. He dropped it and it landed on the hood of the car. And David goes for it. And everybody else is screaming like, no, get back in the car, get back, and a, a spider is coming, but he gets the gun. Um, and the spider kind of crawls over the top of the car, and they’re all just kind of sitting there stunned.

And Mrs. Reer, the teacher is like, are we going ? Mm-Hmm . And they just, they just drive away and they drive. Right in front of the store, and everybody else just watches them go. And I think The store manager had been one of the ones, wasn’t he one of the ones that tried to leave with them? But they got separated and I think he ended up back in the store I had never noticed that before but it hit me this time like he had been with them But hadn’t made it and had gotten back to the store and had to watch them go Oh, you’re right, which sucked and and so then they just drive away and He’s like well, I guess we’ll see how far We can get, and, and Amanda’s like, well, maybe we can get out of the mist.

Maybe we can get out of the mist! And they drive past David and his son’s house, and see his wife there in one of the spider cocoons. I had forgotten that too! 

Todd: That was horrible. And, and it’s cool because they’re going through the mist and you just see in the shadows kind of coming in and out of the mist, these wildly shaped creatures.

It looks like they’re driving through another dimension, you know, there’s this giant towering creature that just slowly walks just over them. And it’s just such a hellscape, you know, of, of despair. It’s 

Craig: hopeless. Yeah, it’s hopeless. And when, when she says, maybe we’ll make it out of the mist and then they drive and they drive for God knows how long, but eventually the car just runs out of gas.

And there they are. And I don’t know. I typically when I’m watching movies for the podcast, Listen through earbuds, and I’m glad I didn’t this because there’s a lot of ambient creature noise that I don’t think I’ve ever noticed before, like they can hear these creatures all around them and that this the ending people criticize the ending.

There are people who hate hate this ending because it is different. I think I’ll say first that in the novella they drive. And I think that they pick up something on the radio that leads them to another location. Like, they’re, they’re gonna go somewhere else where they believe other people are. And that’s, that’s where it ends.

It just ends. Uh, you don’t know what happens to them. There is no explanation for What is happening or if it is going to stop. It’s just over. This ending is very different. It sure 

Todd: is. Well, they just pull up and they stop and they’re just looking at each other and it doesn’t even need to be said. 

Craig: I know, but they do talk.

I like that the old lady says, well, nobody can say we didn’t try. And somebody else, I don’t know if it’s the old man or somebody says, nope, they can’t say that. Like we tried. But like you said, then there is a very effective and moving scene where they communicate without words. They come to an understanding without talking about anything.

Yeah. But he, he pulls out the gun. And there’s only four bullets, and there’s five of them, and he says that, four bullets, and Amanda says that there’s five of us, and he says, I’ll figure something out. God, like, it feels weird. To recap it, because it’s so powerful and emotional, that just, I, this feels like not doing it justice, but it, uh, they all kind of look at each other, um, and I think the old man kind of nods, and the camera at Cuts to an outside shot of the car, and you hear four gunshots and see, uh, you know, the sparks from the gun, and then it cuts back into the car, a tight close up on Thomas Chain, and he just wails.

And it’s, he’s really good in this moment. And you think, that’s the most awful thing that could happen. But it’s not. Ha 

Todd: ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. He steps out of the car, sort of in a like, take me now moment. You know, it’s all he can do.

And suddenly, the mist starts clearing away. And cars are coming by, the military guys are there, the people with the hazmat suits, they’re fire blasting things, a truck goes by, and we didn’t mention this woman earlier, but Carol from The Walking Dead is in this, Melissa McBride. Yeah, I 

Craig: mentioned her. Oh, you did.

She was the, she was the buzz cut mom who begged somebody. To help her get home. What I didn’t say was nobody did help her, but eventually she just left and you assumed that she was dead. But no, she and her kids are fine. 

Todd: They just go by and kind of stare at him as they go by on the truck. And there he is on his knees, wailing as well.

Everything is Been cleared away, and it’s done. Oh my god, how horrifying is this? And, I remember when I first saw it, that was a gut punch. This hurt me even more this time. You know, his own child? Yeah, 

Craig: it’s terrible. It is, like, I can’t think offhand of a more bleak ending of any story. It’s terrible. It is absolutely terrible.

And he now is going to have to live with that forever. Yeah. And it’s awful. And that’s, uh, people criticize the ending and they criticize it for differing from, you know, Stephen King’s original ending. Stephen King loves the ending. Yeah. Says he wishes that that’s how he would have ended it. It is suggested in the story, uh, the dad thinks about it.

He thinks in the worst case scenario, what would I have to do? I’ve only got four bullets or whatever. Um, but It doesn’t come to fruition. And, uh, Darabont brings it to fruition. In fact, he only agreed to do the movie if they promised they wouldn’t make him change the ending. Oh, yeah. 

Todd: He fought for it. He was offered way more money earlier on.

Craig: And they didn’t. And that’s, it’s surprising. Because it’s a very surprising ending for a studio movie. It really is. But I think it’s excellent. I think it’s, it’s brilliant. I don’t, I think that The movie would still be enjoyable, but I don’t think people would have talked about it as much. I don’t think it would have been as memorable if it weren’t for that really bleak ending.

And I think it’s very much in keeping with the tone of the rest of the movie. I think it’s a very fitting, albeit upsetting, Way to end the story once this 

Todd: movie was done. I just was in I was down I was down for the rest of the day. It’s very depressing. I needed to watch some kitchen nightmares or something to like cheer me up But but it is fitting I completely agree I will defend this ending it is highly appropriate and as I think Darabont himself said I’m not sure People go to horror movies wanting a nice, clean, pat ending.

Right? And we certainly didn’t get it here. And we don’t, do we? Like, we, how many movies do we watch that, uh, fittingly end on a, on a downer? It was 

Craig: great. That’s the thing. Like, as depressing as it is, it’s, it’s just such a good movie. It works. The, the story is fantastic. The, the, the acting is great. The cinematography is great.

The pacing is excellent. Like, I was on the edge of my seat. It’s long. It’s, it’s over two hours. It’s like two hours and eight minutes or something. Doesn’t feel long at all. It’s compelling all the way through. Marsha Gay Harden. It is. is the scariest thing in the movie. I think that she is brilliant. I think that her performance is amazing.

You know, these, these two actors, I’m particularly fond of Frances Sternhagen. Like you said, if the name isn’t familiar to you, and it’s really not all that familiar to me, but her face is. You’ve seen her. She’s been around forever. She’s lovely. She’s played a variety of characters. All of them that I can recall, uh, I’ve enjoyed.

I I said Sex and the City isn’t worth it. It’s really not. It hasn’t aged well, but her character was hilarious. She was this rich, waspy, older woman. Very, very funny. And then, uh, Andre Braugher, who played Brent Norton. You’ll recognize his voice. He is a beautiful, manly voice. 

Todd: Brooklyn 

Craig: Nine Nine. Yeah, that’s the thing, like, I’m not as familiar with him because I didn’t watch that show and I didn’t watch the other crime procedural that he was a lead in, but he’s been around.

He’s an award winning actor. He has Emmys and stuff, you know, he’s, and I know that he has a lot of fans and he just It’s passed recently and he wasn’t 

Todd: that old. No, he was 61. Lung cancer, sadly. 

Craig: Yeah. They are just among a very strong cast. Oh god, yeah. An incredibly strong cast. Yeah, it’s, it’s I can’t say enough.

I love this movie. I love this movie! It could have 

Todd: gone wrong in so many ways. It could have gotten cheesy. It could have gone silly. And it doesn’t. You’re right. I think, of course the writing. But the cast. without these fantastic actors really doing what they do. And of course, the direction of Darabont, who really seems to get human drama.

Yeah, very very well. Oh, it’s it’s a it’s crazy that it’s taken us this long to get to it. I 

Craig: know it’s really bizarre But I’m glad that we finally did you know, we have been doing this for so long I’ve said this before but most of the movies that we love we’ve done and some How this one has just kind of fallen between the cracks until now, but I’m really glad that we got around to it.

It’s a great movie. I couldn’t recommend it more 

Todd: highly. Yeah. Go see it. If you haven’t, please. Well, thank you so much for listening to our episode. If you enjoyed it, please share it with a friend, like us on Facebook, on Twitter, subscribe to us on our YouTube channel. Check out our newsletter that we’re putting out every week.

You can find it all at Chainsaw Horror dot com. Send us a voice message, uh, just click talk to us on there, and you can just use your computer, just your web browser is all you need to send a quick little 30 second or 60 second voice message to us that we, uh, may play later on the air. Until next time, I’m Todd. And I’m Craig. With Two Guys and a Chainsaw.


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