The Mist

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
The Mist Movie Poster Image
Fear reigns in so-so Stephen King monster flick.
  • R
  • 2007
  • 119 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 11 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 37 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive messages

Characters have a range of responses to the mist/monsters, including nobility, selfishness, fear, and courageousness. Teachers and parents are brave, a militantly religious woman rouses the crowd to blame and attack others.

Violence

Lots of bloody violence, most committed by monsters against humans (the reptilian, buggy, dinosaur-like baddies are fond of ripping victims' guts out and faces off). Man with bloody face describes scary encounter, causing a young boy to cry and go into shock. Several scenes show parents holding frightened children. Young man is dragged out a door, screaming and fearful, bloodied and wounded during the process. Man on fire later appears badly burned. Man is cut in half, his bloody legs and entrails left behind. Monster spiders wrap victims in webs; one body breaks open to let loose cascades of creepy baby spiders. Man stabs another repeatedly. Suicide victims (hanging). Woman urges crowd to deliver a horrified victim to the monsters. Woman bitten by a giant bug swells up horrifically before she dies. Weapons wielded by humans -- against each other and the monsters -- include axe, gun, and fire (torches and aerosol can). A couple of alarming shooting scenes resulting in bloody injuries, splatter, and upsetting deaths.

Sex

Brief cleavage shot. Brief kissing between designated cute young couple, in close-up.

Language

Includes several uses of "f--k" (some with "mother"), lots of "s--t"s and fewer instances of "ass," "hell," "bitch" (with "son of a"), and anatomically inspired expletives ("c--ksucker," "p---y").

Consumerism

Assorted products visible in the grocery store, including Budweiser beer and Snyder's pretzels, as well as generic cans and paper.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

Soldier smokes a cigarette, indicating his worry. Addled mechanics drink beer and get visibly drunk.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this Stephen King-inspired horror film features monsters (who proceed to rip up bodies), unseen threats, and bloody injuries and deaths. People use axes and guns against the monsters and also hurt each other (shooting, hitting, stabbing). There's intense suspense that could make younger kids very anxious, as well as several suicides -- and the final scene is especially upsetting. One scene shows cigarette smoking, and a few characters get visibly drunk. Language includes multiple uses of "f--k," plus other profanity.

User Reviews

Adult Written byImaRealist November 11, 2009

Great for kids 14+ up, make sure to point out the morals

This was a great film, I see that many of the reviews on this say that the ending was terrible, i would have to disagree. In the end a old couple a man and his...
Educator Written byTHEBEST56 December 6, 2008
Teen, 13 years old Written byJ-dog21 April 19, 2009

Cheesy but in a fun way!

the special effects in the movie were cheesy but its a very fun movie for teens to watch with friends
Teen, 14 years old Written bySecretAgentPalin May 27, 2011

A unique, and chilling creature feature.

Although it's quite far-fetched, The Mist is a movie that won't allow you to take your eyes off of the screen. The people in the grocery store fear th...

What's the story?

THE MIST begins with a conflict between neighbors in Castle Rock, Maine. Following a raucous storm, neighbors David (Thomas Jane) and (Andre Braugher), who share a troubled past, agree to head into town together for supplies. At the store, they face more immediate danger, and their tenuous alliance breaks down. Dan (Jeffrey DeMunn) arrives bloody-nosed and stunned, announcing, "There's something in the mist!" The camera turns to show the scary, opaque wall rolling in. It brings monsters -- tentacled, big-jawed, and prone to ripping people apart. Afraid of what they can't see, the trapped shoppers begin to blame each other, looking for order in end-of-days pronouncements (courtesy of a local fundamentalist played by Marcia Gay Harden) or in secret experiments conducted at a nearby military base. Tensions rise and paranoia grows as the confined characters argue, plan, and worry about their homes and families. David reluctantly takes charge of one group of survivors, but he's got his work cut out for him as more and more terrified individuals make bad choices and turn on one another.

Is it any good?

The Mist's moral and physical geographies are familiar, if excessively literal. Divisions occur between inside and outside, good and deranged. David's choices at each moment are shaped by his belief in what he sees and his distrust of other people's rationalizations. He's the film's most reliable guide, showing how fear makes populations strangely obedient, willing to accept any explanation that exonerates them and blames someone else. Though The Mist indicts blind belief (and features a stunning ending that differs from Stephen King's source novella), it remains burdened by generic clichés.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how people respond to being scared. Why do you think the characters react the way they do? How do you think you'd react in a high-stress situation? And, speaking of being scared, why do you think people are drawn to scary movies? What's the appeal of being frightened in the theater? What's scarier -- threats you can see, or those you can't? Why?

Movie details

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