David, there’s nothing out there. Nothing in the mist.
So The Mist was an okay movie. I thought it was doing really good and totally creepy until the end. The end was totally screwed up as the director had to go and change the story. What a loser!
So this is based on a story by Stephen King. And I know y’all know that a Horrorfest would not be complete without one. It is also not a complete rip-off of The Fog (the new or old film), as everyone thinks it is. There are quite a lot similarities, but they are extremely different in the motive and what the “monster” that is attacking is. In the different versions of The Fog, the creatures are it is supernatural, while in The Mist…well, you’ll see.
So the film starts the day after a huge thunderstorm has hit a little town (of course) in Maine (the usual). A thick, unnatural mist starts to descend on the town, and at first they don’t realize that something far more sinister is lurking within it.
So, that day David Drayton (Thomas Jane), a graphic artist, decides to go to the local grocery store to buy supplies, bringing his eight-year-old son, Billy (Nathan Gamble), and his neighbor, Brent Norton (Andre Braugher) along. You know, just a normal average day.
So while they are at the store, another storm comes and hits the the town. This time it severely engulfs the area in a thick mist. (Whenever I bike to work early in the morning I always think about this movie and The Fog.)
They do notice something very strange. It seems as if there is a plethora of military roaming about the area.
When they get to the supermarket, they find it packed with people stocking up. A military policeman, goes after the soldiers in the supermarket, telling them to pack it up as their leave is over and they need to head out. Everything is normal until a local townsperson runs into the store covered in blood.
He begins screaming that there is something out there in the mist, killing and attacking people. People go to look out the windows to see what is out there, but the mist is so thick that they are unable to spot anything.
Several people rush, out and everyone hears their screams…then nothing.
The decide to seal the doors in order to keep “everything” out. One woman is worried about her children and decides to risk trying to go home. She asks for someone to accompany her, but no one volunteers.
She leaves and we never see her again.
So as you can guess, just like Night of the Living Dead, this film becomes more of a survivor story/deconstruction of humanity than an actual monster movie. You have a group of people trying to survive in a confinied area and while some rise to the challenge, others do not. This film has all the usual Stephen King clichés, like an deeply religious psychotic person who wants to kill/punish all who tries to control every one.
It couldn’t be a Stephen King film without it.
At one point the group tries to go check on their clogged generator. A couple men go to open the loading dock door to see what the issue is when large tentacles come reaching out and kill them.
This is just the beginning in monster attacks, as they face giant insect, pterodactyl -like creatures, and many more.
In a raid for medicine vis-à-vis The Day After Tomorrow, they run into the military supervisor from earlier hanging from a gigantic spider web. He tells them to question the men in the store for the true backstory of the mist.
In the end it turns out that military are to blame as they opened a portal to another world.
Eventually the section of the group that is run by the psychotic women, has increased that it outnumbers the other group lead by David. As she tries to get Billy to be a sacrificed, David’s team decides to leave, risking the unknown.
They are able to score a car and the group drive as far as the SUV will take them. They take stock of their options and decide it is better to end their lives, rather than be torn apart by whatever the things are. David shoots everybody in the car, including his son. Right before he turns the gun on himself, a military tank comes charging through proclaiming that they have defeated the monsters.
Yes. Yes. He has just killed his child and everyone when he didn’t need to.
Now I could forgive everything else. The stupid plotholes, the crazy clichés, the other dimension monsters, ANYTHING; but that ending? Really? Really? It’s just dumb.
Did you guys have to that? It is so horrible! First of all as he murdered his child when he didn’t need to. And secondly, it is extremely anti-climatic! I mean come on, it would have been so much better if they just had them driving off, no one knowing what will happen to them or whether they will survive. You know, like how it ended in the book?!
So I strongly contemplated whether or not I wanted to include this in my Horrorfest. It isn’t really a horror film but more of a mystery thriller, even better defined as a film-noir. I really wanted to include it but, since it wasn’t a real “horror film” I wasn’t sure if I should. But then I had a moment of clarity.
This is my blog. I can do whatever I want!
So I decided I would.
So this actually started out as a play and then was turned into a novel. Otto Preminger saw it as the perfect thing to turn into a film. It is known to be one of the best Film-Noir films along with one of the best mystery-thriller films of all time. AFI ranked it #4 on their list of the 10 greatest mystery films.
This film is also famous for Gene Tierney’s portrayal of Laura. This helped give her title of “Film-Noir Queen”.
So anyways, on to the film.
So it starts off with New York City police Detective Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews).
He is investigating the death of the beautiful, successful, advertising executive Laura Hunt. Laura was murdered by a shotgun blast to the face.
Det. McPherson starts investigating and finds himself with multiple murder suspects and motives.
1) Waldo Lybecker
Waldo (Clifton Webb) is a famous columnist and he was the one who actually discovered Laura. She tried to get him to advertise something for him, and faster than you could say Pygmalion, he takes her under his wing and tries to change her and “improve” her.
“Waldo Lydecker: She was quick to seize upon anything that would improve her mind or her appearance. Laura had innate breeding, but she deferred to my judgment and taste. I selected a more attractive hairdress for her. I taught her what clothes were more becoming to her. Through me, she met everyone: The famous and the infamous. Her youth and beauty, her poise and charm of manner captivated them all. She had warmth, vitality. She had authentic magnetism. Wherever we went, she stood out. Men admired her; women envied her. She became as famous as Waldo Lydecker’s walking stick and his white carnation.”
But it goes a little more than that. Waldo becomes obsessed with Laura.
Yep. He is in love with her and wants to be the only man. Every time some other guy came around he would find a way to criticize them and demean them. The two broke it off, but Laura was very upset with him.
Laura started dating another guy, Shelby Carpenter. No matter what Waldo said, Laura wouldn’t listen to him. In fact she decided to marry him.
Yep he was angry. Extremely upset about losing Laura to someone he thought was so unworthy? Angry enough to kill?
2) Shelby Carpenter
Shelby (played by Vincent Price) comes from great stock, has expensive tastes, and loves the high life. Only one problem, he has no money. None at all. Instead he has to use to his charms to court rich, older women and have them pay for his expenses. In fact he had found a real great giver in Ann Treadwell (Judith Anderson). That is until he met the very charismatic Laura. Not only is she the perfect cash cow to support him, but young and beautiful. Who could ask for anything more?
“Shelby Carpenter: I knew there was something on my mind. Ah yes, will you dine with me tomorrow night?
Laura Hunt: Yes.
Shelby Carpenter: No, it’s not that – it’s the next night. And what about three weeks from tonight? And all the nights in between?
Laura Hunt: Shelby, you talk as if I had no other engagements!
Shelby Carpenter: And two months from now? And the month after that?
Laura Hunt: What about next year?
Shelby Carpenter: Oh, that’s all settled. What about breakfast?
Laura Hunt: What about dancing?
Shelby Carpenter: What about lunch? Beautiful lunches, day after day after day?”
The two starting dating and she gave him a job, one of which he didn’t have to do too much work. The two become engaged and all is well.
Or is it?
It turns out that Laura wasn’t the only person Shelby was seeing. He was going around with a lot of poor models. Rumor has it that Laura found out and was not happy…could he have killed her? If she was about to leave him high and dry, he might have become incensed and murdered her?
3) Ann Treadwell
Ann Treadwell is the rich older aunt of Laura. She and Shelby had been in a relationship for a long time. She knew what he was, but that was what she wanted.
When he left her for Laura, she was furious that her niece stole him away. Furious enough to kill?
As Det. McPherson continues to delve into the clues and motives…he learns more and more about Laura. As he learns more and more he starts falling for Laura as well.
One night Det. McPherson is at Laura’s apartment looking at her painting and trying to figure out the mystery, along with Laura. Why does she draw him to her?
When suddenly somebody comes crashing through.
But if that’s Laura? Who is…?
Who is the dead body?
They find out that the murdered girl is one of the models, Diane Redfern. The same model that Shelby was involved with.
Yep this leads Mark with another suspect…Laura
4) Laura Hunt
So we’ve heard how Laura rose from nothing to being the top girl. She was beautiful, smart, classy, etc. All women envined her and all men wanted her.
But then the guy she loves and is supposed to marry is running around with a model!!! Cheating on her!!!!
She knew Diane was in love with Shelby, and she knew Shelby only cared about her money. She knew Shelby was taking models to her house and she could have gone after them and shot her for trying to mess with her man.
Or she could be so angry at Shelby for cheating on him that she prepared a way to take care of him.
Instead of killing him, she could have killed Diane to make it look like Shelby and make him pay!
Does it seem too far-fetched? Well she wasn’t at the cabin when the cops looked that weekend. Her response “I was talking a walk.” She didn’t see the newspapers and come back saying she was alive? Or hear it on the radio? Her response: I don’t get a newspaper and my radio is broken.” Did anyone see you there? “Nobody”.
So this Horrorfest, I am going to be doing something a little different. We are going to have “Screamtastic Saturdays”. Every Saturday in October going to be on a different Scream movie. So let’s kick it off with:
What’s your favorite scary movie?
So I really loved this movie. I have to say that I was originally disappointed in Wes Craven as Nightmare on Elm Streettotally tanked. This film was by far, much better. One of the coolest things about this film is that it is a parody of horror films, while still being its own horror film.
So the beginning starts off with Drew Barrymore cooking popcorn and preparing for a fun night in watching scary movies with her boyfriend. Just like When A Stranger Calls, she receives a strange phone call and is at first into it, thinking it is just a joke.
However, it quickly turns serious as the caller threatens Casey that he is going to kill her and her boyfriend, Steve.
But she has a chance at being saved, all she has to do is answer who was the killer in Friday the 13th.
“Phone Voice: Name the killer in Friday the 13th.
Casey: Jason! Jason! Jason!
Phone Voice: I’m sorry. That’s the wrong answer!
Casey: No, it’s not. No it’s not. It was Jason.
Phone Voice: Afraid not. No way.
Casey: Listen, it was Jason! I saw that movie 20 g******* times!
Phone Voice: Then you should know that Jason’s mother, Mrs. Voorhees was the original killer. Jason didn’t show up until the sequel. I’m afraid that was a wrong answer.
Casey: [Weeping] You tricked me.
Phone Voice: Lucky for you there’s a bonus round, but poor Steve… I’m afraid he’s OUT!”
Steve is murdered and Casey runs throughout the house trying to get away from the killer. Of which she doesn’t make it out and finds herself victim #1.
And thus the body count begins…
So the killing of Drew Barrymore holds two significant things. One, she was one the most famous actress in the film, and was killed first. This was supposed to be a homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960), in which the most famous actress of the film, Janet Leigh, was only in the movie for a short while before she was killed. This was also supposed to be a parody of Craven’s film Nightmare on Elm Street, when the first character we meet, Tina (played by Amanda Wyss), is killed. Craven also had his character Casey wear white just like Tina in Nightmare on Elm Street.
The next day, the town Woodsboro is just ravaged by reporters who are eager to find out more about this murder, especially since it occurred almost exactly a year after their little town experienced a murder just as gruesome. The murder of Maureen Prescott by Cotton Weary.
Meanwhile, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) is trying to cope with everything that is going on.
As to be expected she is having a really hard time with the anniversary of her mother’s death. When she hears about the murders and sees the reporters crawling all over town and school, the memories of the past year come flooding back.
One of her other big issues is her boyfriend Billy Loomis.
Okay, I just have to go off on a tangent here: Billy is sooooooooooooo creepy looking. When I first saw this I was like he is toooootally the killer. I mean LOOK AT HIM! He has killer written alllll over him. Those eyes, they are super frightening. And the way he talks? He tells Sidney that he was watching Silence of the Lambs and that made him think of her and want to come over and get ”together”. What a freak!
(BTW it is another Psycho reference. Billy Loomis is a homage to Sam Loomis, Marion Crane’s boyfriend in Psycho; and Dr. Sam Loomis in Halloween.)
The two have been having issues since Sidney’s mom died. She was so traumatized by the event that she has isolated herself and found it hard to let anyone in again. Her best friend Tatum is cool with it as she understands Sidney needs time to grieve, but Billy has been having a hard time backtracking from third base to the benches. Ladies, let me just say that if any guy ever tries to pressure into having sex when you aren’t ready, junk punch him and run away. You don’t need that loser in your life.
To top off the already bad day, Sidney’s father has to go out of town, leaving Sidney all alone in a big house.
Yep, gonna make When a Stranger Calls references all night.
Sidney makes plans to meet up with Tatum and stay at her place, but falls asleep at home when Tatum is late picking her up. While Sidney is waiting she gets a phone call from the killer who starts harassing her. And she stupidly calls throughout the house trying to find him.
“Sidney Prescott: Can you see me right now? Ah, okay. [puts a finger in her nose] What am I doing? Huh? Huh? What am I doing? Hello? [takes finger out] Nice try, Randy. Tell Tatum to hurry up, okay? Bye now.
Ghostface: IF YOU HANG UP ON ME, YOU’LL DIE JUST LIKE YOUR MOTHER! Do you want to die, Sidney? Your mother sure didn’t.
Sidney Prescott: F*** you, you cretin!”
Soon the killer comes in her house and she has to run away from him and try to get the police there before she is victim #3. Billy shows up, climbing through her window saving her; that is until Sidney sees that he has a cellphone and freaks out, having the police cart him away.
So there are a couple places that were filmed in Santa Rosa, CA. One was the bathroom scene in which Sidney is attacked, the other is Tatum’s house which is right across the street from the house used in Pollyanna (1960). It is also across the street from the house used in Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt (1943). The house in the opening scene was next door to the house used in Cujo (1983). As I lived in that area when I attended college, I’ve been there.
Sidney spends the night at Tatum’s house and the next day is completely crazy. Billy was released as they had nothing to hold him on. And they still are unable to find her father as he never checked into his hotel. Plus Gale Weathers, a reporter who has been harassing her for a over year, is back and won’t let up.
“Gale: There she is! Sidney, hi, what happened? Are you alright?
Tatum: She’s not answering any questions alright. Just leave us alone.
Sidney Prescott: No, no Tatum it’s OK. She’s just doing her job, right Gale?
Gale: That’s right.
Sidney Prescott: So how’s the book?
Gale: Oh it’ll be out later this year.
Sidney Prescott: Oh, I’ll look for it.
Gale: I’ll send you a copy.
[Sidney turns around a punches Gale in the face]”
Also at the school we have a little Wes Craven easter egg, as he plays the janitor and dresses in a Freddy Krueger sweater.
The principal (Henry Winkler) decides to suspend school until further notice as it is just too risky for the students. After they all have left, he finds himself joining the body count as well, victim #3.
The death of the principal was actually added to the film late into production. Bob Weinstein noticed there were 30 pgs in the script where no one was murdered and they decided that they needed another victim.
Billy’s friend Stu decides to throw a party and have all the kids in school come. I don’t understand why anyone’s parents would allow their kids to go out like that with A FREAKIN’ KILLER ON THE LOOSE. Come on people, Parent!!
At the party, the kids are chillin’, drinking beer, watching horror films, etc. Billy and Sidney go upstairs and talk, resulting in the two having sex.
Meanwhile downstairs Tatum goes off to the garage to get more beer and is attacked by the killer. This garage scene is the only weak link in the film. First of all when Tatum walks over to the garage door and it almost closes on her, that would never happen. My dad is a contractor and I remember when I was a kid I thought the garage would close on me too; however, they design garage doors specfically to not do that. In fact, they have a certain radius that if someone was to walk within that circle the door would stop. And come on she IS IN A FREAKIN’ GARAGE!!! Do you know how many weapons there are in that thing? She passes over a hoe, rake, and a shovel! You see all kinds of tools throughout their fight too. She could easly find something to attack him and win. Although I do have to give props to Wes for allowing Tatum to to put up such a great fight.
Back in the living room, Randy is giving a rundown on how to survive a horror film, (* are the rules that are given by the killer).
You will not survive if you have sex
You will not survive if you do drugs or drinks
You will not survive if you say “I’ll be right back.”
Everyone is a suspect
*You will not survive if you ask “Who’s there.”*
*You will not survive if you go out to investigate a strange noise*
While all this is going on, Gale and Tatum’s brother Officer Dewey, have been spying on the party. Gale has snuck a camera into the party, so that she can view everything from her van. She and Dewey both take a break though, “walking off” together where they come upon Sidney’s father’s abandoned car.
Everyone back at the party gets the news that the principal is dead and had been strung up on the football field. Almost everyone leaves; with just Randy, Sidney, Billy, Stu, and Gale’s cameraman Kenny (in the van) staying behind. The killer comes out and starts attacking.
One of the best scenes is the scene is when a drunk Randy is watching Halloween and telling Jamie Lee Curtis’ character to turn around while the killer is behind him (Randy). He constantly repeats, “Jamie, turn around. Turn around, Jamie!” as the killer is slowly creeping up behind him.
So Kenny and Dewey fall victim to his knife.
Victim #5 & 6
After Sidney and Billy are done having sex and have changed back into their clothes the killer charges in and stabs Billy (#7), while Sidney manages to run away and finds Tatum’s body.
As she continues running she runs in the path of Gale who was fleeing the killer in her van. Gale swerves to miss Sidney and crashes, getting knocked out. Sidney goes back to the house, taking the gun from the dying Dewey. She runs into Randy and Stu and is unsure who is the killer. She then runs into a wounded Billy and gives him the gun. Billy immediately shoots Randy (#8) and stands up.
Yep, Billy isn’t injured at all. In fact, it was all a ploy he is the real killer.
Billy: Corn Syrup, just like in the real movies.
Yep, the whole time Billy and Stu have been the killers. From Sidney’s mom (the real first victim) to everyone else.
“Sidney Prescott: Why? Why did you kill my mother?
Billy: Why? WHY! You hear that Stu? I think she wants a motive. Well I don’t really believe in motives Sid, I mean did Norman Bates have a motive?
Billy: Did we ever find out why Hannibal Lecter like to eat people? DON’T THINK SO! See it’s a lot more scarier when there’s no motive, Sid. We did your Mom a favor, Sid. That woman was a slut-bag whore who flashed her s*** all over town like she was Sharon Stone or somethin’.
Stu: Yeah, we put her out of her misery, ’cause let’s face Sidney, your mother was no Sharon Stone,hmm?
Billy: Is that motive enough for you? How about this? Your slut mother was f****** my father and she’s the reason my mom moved out and abandoned me. [Sid looks astonished] How’s that for a motive? Maternal abandonment causes serious deviant behaviour. It certainly f***** you up. It made you have sex with a psychopath.”
Yep, and not only that, but the two planned the whole thing out so that her father would take the blame, making it look like he had a mental breakdown on the anniversary of his wife’s death and started killing people. They kidnapped her father and brought him out of hiding for their final act. Billy and Stu planned that original attack on Sidney (when Billy was arrested) to make any second arrest look false and questionable.
Of course their plan will not be complete until they make themselves look like victims. Stu stabs Billy, and Billy stabs Stu. While the two are monologing and arguing they have seemed to forget one important thing.
Sidney and her father have disappeared.
Stu: Oh, s***.
Billy: [They go into the kitchen to find Sidney and Mr. Prescott gone] Where are they? Where are they?
Stu: I don’t know, Billy, but I’m hurtin’, man!
Yep, just like they say in Dial M for Murder, you can never plan the perfect murder. What sounds good on paper can never transfer to real life, because in real life there are just too many things that can go wrong.
“Margot Mary Wendice: Do you really believe in the perfect murder?
Mark Halliday: Mmm, yes, absolutely. On paper, that is. And I think I could, uh, plan one better than most people; but I doubt if I could carry it out.
Tony Wendice: Oh? Why not?
Mark Halliday: Well, because in stories things usually turn out the way the author wants them to; and in real life they don’t… always.”
So here Stu and Billy find themselves completely off script, and unsure…
[the phone rings]
Stu: Should I let the machine get it?
Billy: [answers it] Hello?
Sidney Prescott: Are you alone in the house?
Billy: B****! You b****, where the f*** are you?
Sidney Prescott: Not so fast, we’re going to play a little game. It’s called: Guess who just called the police and reported your sorry motherf******* a**! [Stu is slowly collapsing to the floor] Billy: Find her, you dips***! Get up! Stu: I can’t, Billy. You already cut me too deep. I think I’m dying here, man! Billy: [Billy gives Stu the phone] Talk to her. Talk to her. Stu: Hello? Sidney Prescott: Ah, Stu, Stu, Stu… What’s your motive? Billy’s got one. The police are on their way. What are you going to tell them? Stu: Peer pressure. I’m far too sensitive. Billy:[Billy takes the phone back] I’m going to rip you up, b****, just like your f****** mother! Sidney Prescott: You’ve gotta find me first, you pansy-a** momma’s boy!”
Now the game of cat and mouse has changed with the hunted becoming the hunters.
In the end Gale, Sidney, Dewey, Mr. Prescott, and Randy survive (only 5 victims).
So that was Scream one of the best horror-parodies ever made.
This film really brought back the slasher genre, as after this slasher remakes and slasher film numbers escalated. It also brought up the debate on whether or not violence in movies affected people and caused them to become more violent? The most important thing is that this film increased was the use of caller ID and made such phone harassment much harder to do. Although not for me.
The other thing I realized in this film is that I am soooooo Randy.
I also realized that just like in The Cable Guy, I’m only a few steps away from the crazy.
Well, that’s Scream. Tune in next Saturday for Scream 2.