Tuesday, November 13, 2007

New Stephen King Movie - The Mist

I am a HUGE Stephen King fan. I've been reading his novels for years. He is my all time favorite author. Does that make me shallow, a product of my generation, not a true lover of literature? Maybe yes to all, but hey, I know what I enjoy and Stephen King can tell a story. He doesn't do it in a pretentious manner, he doesn't try to impress with big words and flowery visuals, and he has the talent of being able to really relate to readers. His words find their way into a person's being and connect with some essential bit of humanity, usually a deep fear, and then he plays on that fear, that humanity, in an expert manner. Brilliant!

If I had to pick a favorite Stephen King book...well...I'm not sure I could choose. The Stand - a classic good versus evil story - is certainly among my top choices. The Green Mile, about a death row warden, made both a good book (serialized novel, actually)and a powerful movie. Who doesn't like Tom Hanks in just about anything he's done, right? Oh, and the short story, The Body, essentially a coming-of-age story, released as a movie, Stand by Me, is just plain good story-telling.

I will be the first to admit that it is rare for Stephen King's works to be as powerful on screen as in print. Part of their power comes from what one's own imagination conjures up, what is just below the surface, how the words play on a person's own fears. The screen version has to be more visual and less subtle. Still, sometimes it works, and with better special effects being created all the time, it is always tempting to see what the next Stephen King movie will be like.

The latest, The Mist by Stephen King, opens on November 21st. It looks dark, frightening, and truthfully, now that I have children, disturbing to watch. The fears, the things that go bump in the night, are more real as a parent. Still, like a train wreck, the story calls, and I am tempted to see what this one will be like.

The synopsis reveals this to be about a man and his son trapped in a grocery store with many other people as a mysterious mist envelops their town. Of course, this is not a pleasant fog, it is a deep mist with evil things lurking in it. The interesting aspect to the story though, the humanity element, is the question of which is more frightening, the things in the mist or the humans that are taking sides, panicking and revealing themselves to be more monstrous than anyone had imagined.

The Mist was originally a short story in a compilation called Skeleton Crew. Like a bad dream that haunts, I vaguely remember reading it many, many years ago. I'm sure it was disturbing. I'm sure the movie will be, too. That doesn't mean it won't be good. It means Stephen King, and those that brought this story to life, are doing their jobs, helping us face our fears and consider our priorities.

You can check out scenes ane more at: http://www.themist-movie.com/


patti_cake said...

Ooh I do want to see The Mist!

My favorite Stephen King story? That's easy. Salems Lot. LOVE IT.

nikk said...

If you loved The Stand, in your spare time (yeah - I laughed as I typed that) read Swan Song by Robert R McCammon. It's similar, and my favorite book EVER.

Dakota said...

Patti_Cake - Oh, yeah - Salem's Lot! Good one for certain!

Nikk - Swan Song - already read it on your recommendation. It was excellent.

Lynilu said...

I'm not a Stephen King fan because I don't like or plan to ever scare the bejeebers outta myself on purpose!! However, he is one of the best writers I know of. Therefore, I can dispel all those negative descriptions you put out there on yourself. But you are nutz to enjoy such things!! LOL!!

I read about everything else that is on the bookshelf. A favorite author at this time is Mitch Albom. I will read anything of his and wish he would write a new book at least every year! His books are so thought-provoking. As for movies, you names two of my favorites, The Green Mile and Stand By Me. Another that I've watched several times is An Unfinished Life (R. Redford, M. Freeman, J. Lopez). And I'm still a sucker for Rainman.

Dakota said...

Lynilu - I wrote a long and witty response, but the computer ate it. So, most important part - RAINMAN - YES! Dustin Hoffman was brilliant in that movie.

Lynilu said...

Well, I want the long answer! Reconstruct it, already!!! LOL! Just kidding, of course!