As the title of this article suggests I will be discussing the end of this film, so if you have any intention of watching it, which I would strongly advise against, you have been warned.
The Mist, for the most part, is a perfectly run of the mill horror film. After a large storm, mist begins to roll down from the hills where a military base is situated, and terror ensues after a creature hiding in the mist starts attacking people. There’s gore, a mad religious zealot claiming that this is God’s reckoning and a good old American hero trying to save his son. Nothing that we haven’t seen before.
However, to quote the poster from the final Hunger Games film ‘Nothing can prepare you for the end’. The film is directed by the same person who gave us The Shawshank Redemption, it’s even based on a Stephen King story, yet there is no redemption to be found here. No uplifting or hopeful ending to reinforce your faith in mankind; it’s just bleak and dark.
Our American hero has managed to get away with his son and three other survivors but they are unable to escape the mist, it seems to stretch forever and more monsters appear as they carry on down the road. It seems to be the end for them, the monsters will eventually come and a painful death will ensue. They decide, therefore, to take matters into their own hands, our protagonist takes a gun from the glovebox and as the camera pans away, four flashes of light come from the car. He has shot his son and the three others so gets out of the car to wait for the monsters to kill him.
Pretty dark stuff right? The film doesn’t end here. Moments later the army comes out of the mist, their saviours are here, just a bit too late. As our lead realises what he has done, he lets out a long, piercing scream. The film ends.
“This film made me lose all hope”
As film endings go this is about as dark as it gets and I’m certainly not saying that all films should have a happy ending, but this seems slightly excessive. The guy shoots his own son! That’s pretty awful; but then he gets saved, meaning he has to live with the knowledge of what he’s done for the rest of his life. It’s one soul crushing thing after the next, unless he proceeded to shoot a puppy it’s hard to imagine how it could get any worse.
This film made me lose all hope. Why did I have to see this? What kind of sick mind would inflict this on people? Some people may get sadistic pleasure from watching this film, but if you do, you may want to seek professional help. There is no joy to be had with this film, it should come with a warning that crushing despair will ensue.
Having had the deep misfortune of watching The Mist I feel like the director, Frank Darabont, owes me some emotional compensation. Apparently he felt the ending to the book was too ambiguous — well he solved that problem. There are no ambiguities here, just a man shooting his own son and three innocent people.
This article was written in part as a cathartic exercise, to release the anger I have towards this film but hopefully it can serve another purpose, to save those who have not seen it. To those unfortunates like me who have, maybe a support group should be set up, to help the healing process after the trauma that is The Mist.