Sep 29, 2023

The Word Of The Day Is Expiation

My second to last Tunnel Vision Tuesday of the season was what I believe to be the greatest horror movie of the 21st century so far; the Frank Darabont adaptation of a 1980 Stephen King novella of the same name: The Mist.

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The Mist premiered in theaters on November 21st 2007, so it is on the more recent side of films on the calendar this season at the Mahoning.  I didn't go to see it in theaters during its original run, and I think that might have been because I was mistaking it for the 2005 remake of The Fog, which I heard was terrible.  I finally watched it for the first time just a few years ago after I heard it mentioned in a WhatCulture video.  I can't say for sure which one, but thankfully, they didn't spoil the ending.

This scene gets to me every time I watch this movie.  This is Melissa McBride, who is best known as Carol from The Walking Dead.  Her character doesn't have a name in The Mist, but she's one of the shoppers who are in the store when the mist envelops the store.  At this point in the story, the characters are not aware that there are monsters out there.  They just have a vague sense of danger; that this cloud could be toxic, or that there's "something out there in the mist".  Everyone, including Ms. McBride's character, is afraid to leave the store, but she is insistent that she has to go because her two very young children are home alone and she needs to get back to them.  However, she doesn't want to go alone and she asks the crowd if someone will go with her.  At one point, she pleads with tears in her eyes asking "won't somebody here see a lady home?".  When no one offers to do so, even when she asks individual people in the store directly, she tells them all to go to hell and walks out the front door and into the mist to head for home.

I've thought about this scene a lot since I first saw this movie and I can confidently say that I would have helped her home, and it's not because I'm some kind of fearless overconfident badass.  In fact, it's just the opposite.  The idea of being trapped in a grocery store with a bunch of random strangers who are out of their mind with fear is far more terrifying to me than helping one person walk home through the unknown.  I don't believe in monsters, and the concerns about the air being toxic wouldn't have stopped me either.  Hell, I drove to Philly and back a few months ago through toxic air conditions from the Canadian Wildfires, and that was just to see a ballgame that ended up being cancelled anyway.  The only two things that would have given me a reason to hesitate offering to help is the fear that I'd either fall and break my neck without being able to see where I was going, or that a car driving through the mist would run me over, but if I looked up and saw this lady crying, I would have said "screw it" and grab a couple of mops from the store to act as walking sticks before marching out the door to help her get home to her kids.

Now, if I knew there were monsters from another dimension out there, I'd be singing a different tune, but the people in the store didn't know that at this point in the story, so I'd either have gotten her home safely or become monster food... probably after falling and breaking my neck and getting run over by a car.  I'm clumsy even in full visibility, so... yeah.  Still better than being trapped with Mrs. Carmody.

Not only would I rank this as the greatest horror movie of the 21st century, but I'd also say that this movie has one of the greatest endings of all time, of any film from any era or genre.  I'm not going to spoil it here just in case somebody who hasn't seen this movie stumbled across my post and is inspired to watch it for the first time.  If this is you, prepare yourself... that's all I'm going to say.

The second movie that I got to see on the lot this week was at a Patreon screening last night.  The hints that were given in the weeks leading up to this show had me thinking that could be The Legend Of Boggy Creek, but the movie that we watched ended up being even more dull than Boggy Creek, and that's quite an accomplishment.

I mean no disrespect to folks out there who enjoy this sort of thing, but if given the choice between watching a fake documentary about a bunch of random guys searching through the woods for Bigfoot or spending an equal amount of time doing particularly unpleasant household chores, I'd pick the chores without a moment's hesitation.  The time would feel like it's going by faster and I could at least listen to some music.