The Mist

THE MIST is called THE MIST because it’s a cool and refreshing vapor of soothing horror quality in a sea of crappy bombast. Also because it’s about a mysterious mist that surrounds a small town and when they go into it there’s monsters. The small town is Castle Rock, Maine and you know what that means: based on a Stephen King story. The weird thing is the hero, Thomas Punisher Jane, is not an alcoholic writer, he is a guy who paints movie posters exactly like Drew Struzan (he even painted the poster for THE THING, just like Drew Struzan did, and came up with the same poster). So this is real new territory for Stephen King.

After a storm wrecks Tom Jane’s painting, his window, his boathouse, and his asshole neighbor’s Mercedes he takes his son and the neighbor (the great Andre Braugher of TV’s HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET) to the Food House grocery store. The place is chaotic with everybody stocking up in case of more storm and you can imagine how much worse it gets when The Mist traps everybody inside. By the way, even though this is Stephen King the grocery store is not possessed, not even the mist is possessed, it’s just mist that happens to surround monsters, which may or may not be possessed. I’m not really sure if monsters can be possessed or not, I have not considered this before.

The MistThere’s kind of a microcosm thing going on here. The story shows how people turn on each other due to fear. At first they band together and they trust the authority of the guys in uniform (strangely I’m talking about the guys with the Food House aprons, not the three uniformed soldiers who happen to be there). But as things get crazier tensions rise, they argue, they split into teams. Working class don’t trust college boys. Locals don’t trust out of town vacationers. Out-of-towners think locals are talking shit about them. The biggest split is religious when Marcia Gay Harden believes these are the end times, starts preaching, develops a flock.

This is a good movie but not a perfect one, and this religious part is the most not-perfect part. Leave it to the one Oscar winner in the cast to stink up the joint with overacting. I guess she’s subtle compared to Piper Laurie as Carrie White’s mother, but not by much. Luckily I expected worse based on the trailers so it didn’t ruin it for me. But I think this “crazy religious lady who thinks she’s a prophet” cliche should’ve been left in the book. It would be way scarier with some rewrites and re-acts so she’s not completely nuts, she’s not cruel or evil, she just has extreme religious views that endanger the people who don’t agree.

There are other bumps here and there – Jane goes from telling people not to go outside to wanting to go outside himself a little fast, his son has some corny dialogue, the feisty old lady using hairspray as a blowtorch is a little too much – but overall this is a solid, well told horror story. There’s nothing shockingly original about it, but there are many points when it avoids the obvious turns. For example, Jane and some other guys are in the back room when some tentacles reach in from outside. They try to tell the others about it but nobody believes them and at first they won’t even come back to look at the piece of tentacle Jane hacked off with a fire axe. When they finally convince somebody to go back there it could be an “I swear, it was right here!” moment but instead the tentacle is right where they left it and they even poke it with a stick and make it wiggle. Yep, it’s a tentacle.

The craziness of the Mist escalates and the people witness various strange and scary creatures. Giant bugs may or may not be involved. The creatures are well designed and look pretty real. There are some good scares and few cheap ones.

This is a great setup for a Romero style horror movie – a good location, lots of character tension, good monsters and a device to keep them out of sight and mysterious. It’s rare these days that a movie takes a good, simple premise like that and follows through with it, but this one does. And they have a secret weapon in Tom Jane. He is the protective father, the take charge hero, the nice guy talking common sense, the macho guy ready to take a risk, all wrapped up in one guy. Director Frank Darabont (co-writer of ELM STREET 3) said he wanted to give Jane a role that really took advantage of his talents. I guess he must not know about STANDER. But this is a good role for Jane.

Although the theme of how fear divides people obviously applies well to post 9-11 type America, this movie feels timeless. There’s nothing tying it to modern pop culture or current film trends. Except for the digital effects it almost could’ve been made any time from the ’70s until now. In fact it’s so old school that on the DVD Darabont includes a black-and-white version of the movie – I’ll have to try that out next time I watch it.

“The ending” seems to be controversial partly because it’s different from the book. I can see the complaints, there are other directions it could go which could be interesting. But man, the way it ends is such a punch in the balls I had to kind of admire it. You like Tom Jane and wish things could work out for him, but it looks bad for him. Then his fate turns out worse than you could have guessed. Film buffs usually have a kneejerk reaction against happy endings (for example I can’t talk about Spielberg’s WAR OF THE WORLDS without somebody saying the whole movie is worthless because the son survived at the end). It’s funny for once to see people mad because an ending is too darked and fucked up. You don’t get that too often.

In the Stephen King movie hierarchy, well, this is not a masterpiece like CARRIE or THE SHINING. But it’s on the tier just beneath those, the good solid movies destined to maybe be a little underrated and forgotten but definitely be pulled out every couple of years and enjoyed.

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 27th, 2008 at 11:29 am and is filed under Horror, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

33 Responses to “The Mist”

  1. Yes, this movie is awesome, and the ending is the must fucked up fantastic possible one

  2. Anyone else think Jane is really in Hell at the end of this? That’s my theory at least. I mean look at the evidence. SPOILERS AHEAD!!! The lady from the beginning of the movie who left the store because she was worried about her kids is in the truck of survivors with her kids. Now as we learned later on in the film when Andre Braugher’s character tried to leave he barely made it 300 feet before being eaten and he was with a grup of people. Therefore it seems very unlikely that a single lady traveling alone could have made it all the way home by herself. I just don’t buy it. Also when he gets out of the car after the mass suicides you definitely hear a roar from a mist monster. It doesn’t sound anything like a tank. I always thought those two things coupled with the implausibility of the ending itself was a giant clue left by Darabont as to the true nature of the ending. Or….maybe not.

    Also while we’re at it anyone think MacReady killed Fuchs in The Thing? I mean the evidence is all there.

  3. Awww damn it. My catching up on classic horror films’ great run of classics has come to a screeching halt with “The Mist”. File this one under the category heading labelled “Great idea, good intentions, but nothing worked.”

    It’s almost worth suffering this (and I do mean suffering) just because it’s such an unusual film in many respects. But the plot depends on pretty much an entire shop full of people turning into religious maniacs within forty-eight hours of being hit by one helluva shock. Maybe I’m biased because I’m an atheist in a country of people who are largely agnostic, but I do not believe that one day and two nights of hardship and hopelessness would turn what appears to be seventy or eighty previously rational people into religious bigots. Nor do I believe that someone who is widely accepted as a lunatic one day would be accepted as a prophet the next, merely because of what happens in this movie.

    Oh, and you remember Hilary Hahn in M. Night’s “The Village”? And how she’d add soaring dramatic violins to every scene that was clearly meant to be light and humorous, and make the dramatic scenes seem ridiculous? “The Mist” goes for most of its length without any kind of soundtrack. And then, what SHOULD be a great ending is spoilt by a sub-Vader example of Mega-Acting, coupled with one of the worst musical beats I’ve ever heard in a film. (Regular viewers will know that I’m the guy who finds parts of E.T. unwatchable because of John Williams’ over-sentimental orchestral score that proves that if you attempt to tug the heartstrings too hard, you’ll just end up ripping the soul out of your film. Williams’ score is bad. This is worse.)

    On the plus side, it’s not as bad as some of Darabont’s other films. (And I haven’t seen “Shawshank” or “The Green Mile” either, so I can’t claim to have seen his “good” movies.) But once again I’m getting a Tony Scott-kind of feel here. Frank Darabont + Idea that looks great on paper = run for the hills. And the worst part is that it’s by no means bad on a technical level. Darabont clearly knows how to direct, and his actors do a fairly good job at least trying to make their characters’ actions plausible. (They fail, but it’s not their fault.) For the most part, this film fails only in the portrayal of its story and its characters. The trouble is that it’s a story-driven movie about character clashes.

    I would like to see the central premise of this film done right. Let’s have an apocalyptic movie where the human conflicts between desperate people are examined using believable characters who act in ways human beings would act. “Open Water” largely got it right IMO, but that was a film about two people only. This tries to do the same thing on a larger scale. So did “28 weeks later” and the ending of “28 days later”, which also failed badly. Hell, so did the raider sequence at the end of the original “Dawn of the Dead”, and that’s my least favorite part of the whole damn movie. Is this such a hard concept?

    Dammit guys, I’ve just seen “Kairo”. I’ve seen “Open Water”. I’ve seen “The Host”. Admittedly these three films between them set the bar quite ludicrously high, but this is not the experience I wanted. Just from the reviews I’ve read, it seems that this film is generally a helluva lot more popular than “Open Water”, if not the other two. How the fuck did that happen?

  4. Addenum – or if you want to see a genuinely good story-driven horror movie about character clashes during an apocalyptic event, with very little soundtrack and a disliked matriarch that doesn’t stink up the screen like Marcia Gay Harden does in this one, just watch Hitchcock’s “The Birds” again. THAT’S how you do a film with this central premise justice. Freakin’ awesome film.

  5. Yeah I gotta side with Paul here. I mean I know Darabont is to a fault a King fan, but fuck that was his fault here.

    As said elsewhere, King is a wonderful outlet for plot ideas and crazy things that one doesn’t necessarily cook up first but seems like they should have been much earlier.

    But as a writer, he’s prone to being lazy with cliches, thinly characterizations, and lets admit it, many of his plottings depend on people suddenly conveniently acting stupid or go crazy or whatever for shit to go on. Sometimes that isn’t so (like his original short story 1408) and other times its like he’s daring you to hate him (CUJO the book)

    So in a way, he is the modern H.P. Lovecraft. I know King wouldn’t like that label in my context, but so what?

    I just think its no coincidence that the best King adaptations aren’t as holy to the Pope King’s writings are those productions that are faithful.

    As I said elsewhere recently too, which version of THE SHINING do people remember more, and remember more fondly? Kubrick’s movie or that TV mini-series?

  6. I could not disagree more strongly with you to about this movie. Paul’s complaint is that he didn’t buy that reasonable people would respond to the events the way these guys do, to which I would ask: What is the rational reaction to suddenly having tentacle monsters, freakish bugs and birds and gigantic killer spiders? What would ‘normal’ people do? I don’t think it’s the gigantic stretch that you do that those people would immediately glob onto whatever person could offer them some kind of explanation and an out. Marcia Gay Harden gives reason to the unexplainable, and people are so desperate to put a face and a purpose behind their torment that they’re driven to do terrible, awful things. It’s happened over and over again throughout history on btoh intimate and international situations, and I think Darabont explores the microcosm thing as well as could be done.

    And Paul, how can you accuse Darabont of that Tony Scott condition when you’ve only seen, what? MIST and MAJESTIC? I think if you can watch SHAWSHANK and GREEN MILE and not declare him a master on multiple levels, you and I have different standards for what makes a good movie.

    And Paul, what exactly is it that you found so disagreeable? You say the movie has a great ending, is technically well made and acted? So your complaints boil down to the soundtrack was overdone in the two moments in the film that had music and that you disagreed with Darabont and King’s central idea?
    Well man so do I, and I also disagree with many, many horror movies and what they have to say about human nature and my country and my faith. But I can still appreciate the films and the strength of the filmmaking and the way those filmmakers mounted their cases.

    So no, I can’t really relate to you guys not digging the flick.

  7. Brendan the reason I’ve written so much about this flick (as opposed to “Street Fighter”, say) is because it’s clearly got everything going for it. If you like, it’s worthy of it. Darabont is a respected director, not a hack. (Like I said, I’ve not seen his best work, so like you said I’m hardly qualified to judge him overall here. I’m just going on what I know. I know a couple of people who say Shawshank is their favorite film ever.) This was obviously a labor of love, not a commercial tie-in that was churned out to take advantage of the latest fad or crazy. The actors are for the most part very good. Everything about this film screams that it SHOULD work. It’s all the more disappointing, then, that it doesn’t. It comes SO close as well. So close.

    But unfortunately that doesn’t cut it. With “Kairo” (which I suspect will be my de facto comparison for horror flicks for quite a while) I was right there, with the characters, rooting for them, even though I surmised early on that most of them probably weren’t going to make it. That’s called “immersion”. “The Mist” has none of that quality. It looked good, up until the end it sounded good, it was pretty well acted by most, some of the main characters were likeable. And yet it had zero immersion. None. I didn’t believe anything I was seeing after the first fifteen minutes or so, nor did I ever “forget” that I was watching a movie.

    Ah well, I’m glad one of us enjoyed it anyway. Just because I didn’t like it (and as I said, there’s a lot of good stuff, technically speaking, in it) doesn’t mean that others won’t. Vern obviously did, you did. I wish I did, but what the heck.

  8. Jareth Cutestory

    July 8th, 2010 at 6:44 am

    Paul: I’m always glad when someone finds KAIRO and enjoys it. We’ve been recommending that film to Vern for over a year.

    If I was making a list of great horror films, I’d include SUICIDE CIRCLE (sometimes called SUICIDE CLUB).

    Also, I don’t want to sound like a killjoy, but I think that SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION is maudlin and heavy-handed. I guess Brendan is right that the film is well directed, but it employs such familiar visual tropes from classic Hollywood pictures that I think at this point anyone could have made the same film. Hell, FAMILY GUY uses the same tropes for satirical purposes almost every week. Personally, I think it leans way more toward THE NOTEBOOK than it does ROAD TO PERDITION.

  9. Jareth – I can’t comment because I’ve never actually seen Shawshank, but a couple of my friends say it’s their favorite movie ever. I’ll reserve judgement until I see it. Besides having an excellent reputation though, it’s not the kind of film I’d go out of my way to see, so that might not be for a while.

  10. Paul – I’ll start off by saying I love The Mist. It’s certainly not perfect – a bit clunky in places, even – but it’s among my group of friends’ most rewatched movies of recent years.

    I think you may have had the wrong expectations coming into this film, as it’s by no means meant to be realistic and that may be where you lost a chance at immersion. This isn’t supposed to be a modern film but an episode of the original Twilight Zone (the special edition DVD even includes a black & white version of the film and deleted scenes showing 1950s-style scientists opening the portal to the other dimension). As a modern film the dialogue is weirdly direct and the performances are oddly stiff (you say you’re not from the US so if you watched it with subtitles or dubbed then this effect may have been lessened), but they make perfect sense in the context of a horror film from the golden age of Hollywood.

    Like many Twilight Zone episodes, the characters are representative of larger groups. Drayton being the everyman, Norton representing militant atheism, Mrs. Carmody representing fundamentalist religion, Myron, Jim & Norm representing blue collar workers, Ollie and the store manager representing the positive and negative sides of the establishment, the soldier representing military presence (particularly the military presence often present in small town America), etc… Their actions may not be entirely realistic for what an individual would do in such a situation, but they are typical of what their representative groups have done in similar situations throughout history.

    As for your criticism of the musical choices in the film, I don’t know of anyone else who shares your opinions of the ET score. Maybe sensitivity to melodramatic scoring is more a pet peeve of yours than a legitimate problem with the film (although I hate the music at the end, too).

    Then again, I may not have any room to talk as apparently I’m the only person in the world who really disliked The Host. Though your comments have put Kairo on my Netflix instant queue.

  11. Dr Mambo – I think I notice scoring more than others, yes. It’s why I didn’t like the “classic” scores of “The Village”, “ET” and “The Third Man” – none of which really “fitted” the films they were in, even though they might have been good on their own. (I will stick to my guns to the death about John Williams’ horribly over-rated sentimental claptrap though. He’s never been more bombastic than in “ET”. I liked his scores for other films – “Jurassic Park” is a great example – but “ET” is just far, far too over-the-top, to the point at which it becomes so ridiculous that it destroys the emotion of the film for me. I could write long, long essays on why Bernard Hermann was the greatest soundtrack artist ever or why the minimalist soundtracks of “The Dark Knight”, “The Thing” and “Psycho” work far better than any amount of overblown orchestral rubbish from generations of films, but I’ll spare you that. Suffice to say I think the score of a film is generally speaking the most important “neglected” element of it, and has far more impact on a film’s tone and mood than most people ever give it credit for.)

    I’ve never seen “The Twilight Zone”, it was before my time. I knew almost nothing about “The Mist” coming into it except that it had had a couple of glowing reviews on sites like AICN. And of course I know of the pedigree of the director and some of the other talent involved, which is why I was so disappointed that it didn’t work for me.

  12. Oh, and “Kairo” is nothing at all like “The Host”. It’s slow, somewhat introspective, atmospheric, and incredibly engrossing IMO. It’s also one of the creepiest films I’ve ever seen in the “you know it’s not real but you can’t stop looking at the door in the background” kind of way. It’s not about a family, and indeed most of the people in it are fairly isolated – it’s largely about the fear of isolation, and of being lost in the dark with something that wants to cause you harm. I’m describing it REALLY badly, but I would recommend it wholeheartedly to someone whose tastes are similar to mine (although maybe that’s not you!)

  13. Mr. Mambo it was my understanding that the scene with the military guys opening the portal was cut before the movie was filmed. Are you sure that scene is on the dvd? What edition do you have?

  14. There’s an article over on the AV Club that mentions THE MIST; in particular, it seems to single out the main thing that bothered me about it. I liked THE MIST, but that ending left a bad taste in my mouth, but not for the reasons you might expect…

    “Or for a better example … I’m about to spoil the hell out of the ending of The Mist, so if you haven’t seen it yet (and you should, as it’s one of the best horror movies to come out in the past decade or so), better skip to the next paragraph. At the end of the movie, Thomas Jane, distraught over the loss of his wife and the apparent destruction of his entire world, shoots his companions, including his own son, to save them from a more horrible death at the hands of whatever monster lurks around the next turn. He then walks around for maybe three minutes, screaming for something to kill him next, because he’s all out of bullets. Then the mist clears away, and the military rolls by, carting survivors from the town he just left, the world restored to some relative version of sanity. None of the individual pieces of this ending are unworkable. Given all the ugliness that happens over the course of the movie, it’s possible to accept that he and the others might be driven to group suicide. The arrival of the army, the sudden reveal that everything’s okay after all (except for poor Jane, who probably sucks a shotgun 30 seconds after the scene fades to black), that’s not inherently bad either. The problem is the abrupt conjunction of the two and the way it forces us to re-examine the shootings in the car. In order for this ending to work, we need to believe the trap that Jane and the others are in almost as much as they do. Given the rush of the rest of the film, we’re in the moment when it happens, but by having the rescue arrive less than 5 minutes after the deaths, the scene becomes less about Jane’s awful mistake and the way fear corrupts our judgment, and more about how obvious the strings are. Whether or not the characters in that moment would’ve believed they were trapped, we no longer believe they were, and it becomes nearly impossible to empathize with their choice. Instead of walking away shell-shocked, I kept making jokes about how the next time I shot my son in the face, I’d wait 5 minutes first.”

  15. It seems to me like that’s the whole point of the ending. It works because you’re totally with the decisions Jane’s character makes, and change perspective at the exact same time as the character does. So, you completely understand why he does what he does, and then also understand his horror at realizing he was completely wrong. I don’t see why learning new information at the same time the characters do makes it harder to empathize with them; indeed, I think it highlights the horror and helplessness of the character, since he and the audience can only judge in retrospect. It’s a total sucker punch, and maybe dues ex machina enough to take some people out of the film, but if you walked away from that shit making jokes, you just might be a horrible person.

  16. No, my point is that it’s a great ending, but having the mist clearing MOMENTS after killing them is too soon. Had you a slightly longer scene of Thomas Jane wandering through the mist, a slower build-up to the sound effects of monsters/tanks, I think it would have had the same impact, but without making the manipulation of the script so obvious (and thus, pulling you out of the movie and reducing its weight). You’re right in that it’s a sucker punch, but personally, I reckon THE MIST should have feinted first.

  17. Shit, I should point out there are some Mist SPOILERS if you read below on the Recent Commentary and Jibber Jabber quotes, so avert your eyes, Mist-virgins.

  18. I still think it’s the best ending a horror movie ever had but I’d agree that letting it play out a little longer might have cut down on the kneejerk laughability factor that some viewers experienced.

    Also Da Vinci should have painted the Mona Lisa’s legs because why the fuck not? Definite room for improvement there.

  19. Mr. M-You should definitely be writing these clever lines down as someday you might be able to produce an amazing coffee table book.


    Jam — yeah, that I get. The idea that its just too ridiculously brutal to be real — that he didn’t have to stick it out five years, he had to stick it out like a minute and a half. Like I said, I can see the duex ex machina of that coincidence being too much for some people to take. The AV club article seems to be arguing, though, that once you know the truth its hard to identify with Jane’s situation, which I call bunk on.

    What happens to Jane is so over-the-top awful that it does approach dark comedy, but only BECAUSE you’re with him all along up to that point and get an almost equal dose of having the rug pulled. I suppose I can see how it would be impossibly convenient for some people, but then again, its not like the movie is particularly interested in realism anyway. Dragging it out might make it more realistic but it would also way diminish the impact. I mean, if he had to wait it out for years he probably wouldn’t have felt quite as bad about what he’d done because fuck it, how could he have known? The fact that everything changes literally less than a minute after his big decision makes the whole thing that much more cruel.

  21. My favorite part of the Mist is the making of featurette where you get to see how they did all the amazing practical effects that movie had.

    Oh and this is a good a place as any, what did you guys think about that first episode of The Walking Dead? I was amazed at just how good it was and how faithful they were to keeping it a very character driven story. Meaning I felt the emphasis was more on showing these peoples relationships develop in this crazy scenario than just throwing as much blood and zombie mayhem at the audience as possible. I’m curious to see how the rest of the series holds up though because Darabont only directed that one single episode I guess.

    Kind of an amazing year for film nerds when we get both Scorsese’s involvement in Boardwalk Empire and now Darabont guiding this project.

  22. dieselboy: I dug it, but I’m troubled by one thing: the dialogue sucked. That opening conversation with the two deputies? That shit was rough and it wasn’t helped by the utter inability of the two actors to pull off convincing Southern accents. This wasn’t a dealbreaker for the episode, because so much of it was done in silence and small exchanges as opposed to extensive conversations, but from the looks of things and from what I’ve heard about the comics, it gets really ensemble heavy and that could be an issue.

    You’re right though, TV is evolving into a beacon of creative freedom and expression for film people. Not just Scorsese and Darabont, but a show like F/X’s TERRIERS takes it’s visual and narrative cues from 60’s and 70’s cinema and has boasted Rian Johnson and John Dahl as directors, and every season of Eastbound and Down is essentially a three hour long character study cut into six bits. We’re seeing a shift in the way art is expressed and explored and distributed and it’s fairly exciting to watch and be a part of.

  23. Kind of reminds me of John Carpenters THE FOG. Maybe I´ll check this one out.

  24. I just saw The Walking Dead on Hulu and it was pretty damned good. I need to find out who that black guys is though, he’s really great in that episode and I hope he shows up again. I’m guessing he will.

  25. Hamsline- That guy is really good, I agree. He’s actually playing a pimp on this season of Hung on HBO. A show that Thomas Jane also stars in.

  26. I’m sure nobody will see this comment, as I’m only about seven years late to this review.

    Just bought the packed Mist bluray and plan to dig into the special features this weekend. I never loved this movie, just liked it a lot. The King novella is one of my favorites of his.

    I have to say though, for an above average horror film, this movie has a ton of moments that I remember vividly and that have stuck with me. As many horror movies that I watch, I often find myself mistakenly watching a movie a second time, forgetting I have already seen it.

    Obviously the ending speaks for itself, just impossible to forget it. Love it or hate it, it sure is something to see.

    But for me, the best thing about this movie is the monsters are just really, really nasty. And they hurt people, bad. The tentacles that pull the kid out of the back don’t just suck him out of the door: the tentacles have teeth. The wasp thing that flies in and stings the one woman, causing her to blow up/have the world’s worst allergic reaction? Ugh. These monsters hurt people.

    But the moment I come back to all the time is the introduction of the spiders in the drugstore, particularly the soldier who is filled with them under his skin. Every time I see a spider I think of that moment. As numb as I have become to horror movies, I guess it is saying something that all these visuals have stuck with me for years.

  27. Yeah the monster stuff in this one isgreat. It’s so good it overcomes the so-so to bad CGI.

    Did you watch the director-preferred Black & White version? I really like it and agree that it plays better without the color (unlike MAD MAX: FURY ROAD where I’m in the middle on color vs black & white versions). Kind of wish other movies would get to be in black & white more, I can think of a few that still would not be ‘good’ but think they would play at least a bit better without color. That said I still don’t think I’m ready to go all-in on Roger Ebert’s strong-held belief that black & white is superior to color.

  28. You guys realize you can turn any movie black and white by just adjusting the color setting on your TV, right? I’ve done it with a couple of retro 50s sci-fi pastiche movies that obviously wanted to be in black and white but the distributors wouldn’t let them, and it worked just fine.

  29. It’s like ice cream not from an ice cream truck, man… it’s just not the same…
    -but yeah, I admit to doing that with VAN HELSING and a few others.

  30. Does it make VAN HELSING watchable?

  31. No :(

  32. Yeah, and colour grading is just slapping a transparent layer in blue, green, yellow or whatever on the movie in post production.

    I’m too old for that shit.

    Recently I wanna give this movie another chance, mostly because many of the bit player in it were unknowns for me back then, but became over the years actors who I really like to see. But then I remember why I hate this movie so much. The shaky handheld camera, the cheesy “Humans are the REEEEEEEEEEAL monsters” subplot, the unintentionally dark-humored TALES FROM THE CRYPT ending, etc. So I guess I will wait another 9 or 10 years or so.

  33. Sometimes I like to turn down the colour on my TV and watch it in black-and-white too. It’s not quite the same as watching things made for black-and-white because there’s not as much contrast and the composition wasn’t chosen with black-and-white in mind, but it’s still a fun experiment. It’s also great for defying the tyranny of everything being in a washed-out blue filter nowadays. If I can’t make the thing natural-coloured I can at least deny them the colour they imposed on me.

    And it is a very accurate re-creation of what it was like to grow up in the 1980s when most households only had one TV and if your parents had a second TV it was the old black-and-white TV they had left over from before, and sometimes you’d be home sick from school and your parents would bring the old black-and-white TV into your room and give you some plain toast and ginger ale. Good times.

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