So, I made a mistake last night.
I was tired, and looking to relax, but I also wanted to rent a dvd. Unfortunately, all the movies I have wanted to see recently but haven't yet are depressing or dark: The Mist, Sweeny Todd, and I Am Legend are examples.
I went with The Mist in keeping with my tradition of Friday-night horror. Dumb. Dumb dumb dumb.
I thought, hey, it's a supernatural flick with critters in it. I knew it was a smarter-than-average horror flick, but hoped it wouldn't bum me out. Anyone seen it? Yeah, well you know where I'm going with this.
Imagine my distress when it turns out actually to be intellectual in nature; crittery, certainly, but with the character sketches including a hyper-religious nut (and those terms are mutually exclusive, please don't get me wrong) and the "shocking ending" being hopelessness, well...I wasn't best pleased. Every time Marcia Gay Harden's character was talking, I kept coming up with reasonble and Christian responses to her, like "Why doesn't somebody point out how satanic she's being, with all of her self-pride?" Fight zeal with counter-zeal, you know? Or, "First pull the plank out of your own eye, before you try to help your brother with the speck in his eye," which is a paraphrase of Luke 6. No one even tried that approach.
I was also left sort of wondering what the point was, and after a moment early on in the movie when I said to myself, "There was a transition just now where I was supposed to suspend my disbelief and I didn't" I hoped for a bigger payoff. I don't even remember that moment clearly, just that this is what I thought. I found the crucible compelling, and if I were in the mood for this kind of film I might have been all over it (Crash comes to mind as another example of story-of-human-condition that leaves me deflated, except that it's also offering redemption, which The Mist doesn't. Schindler's List is another example.). I think, anyway--I don't know if "look how awful we all are" is really sufficient justification for a movie. But still, I label this my mistake. Combine that with the fact that I didn't watch it until LATE, after a whole string of Comedy Central Presents and Whose Line Is It Anyway? and you know I went to bed annoyed.
So, The Mist, I was hoping for something else from you, and I'm not sure how I feel about you, but I do know I won't buy you, no matter how cool your creatures were, because I just don't see myself watching you again.