Tuesday, September 2, 2008
2007 pairing of writer/director Frank Darabont and novelist Stephen King that tells the story of a small Maine town that's suddenly besieged by bloodthirsty monsters, who descend on the town via a strange mist following a storm. This is the third pairing of this creative duo and the results are at best disappointing. The movie seems thrown together, with none of the visuals gripping or characters engaging. It almost seemed like they just tossed the flick together last minute and you can see this most clearly in the visuals and the reliance on tired horror story devices. Aw, there's a cute kid caught up in it. There are horny teenagers who sneak off to make out and, surprise, it doesn't end well. Some of the people want to go out and face down the monsters. Some want to deny they exist at all. Others think it's the wrath of god and, don't be shocked now, the hero is the person/group that wants to think things out and take the 'rational' approach. It all feels very cliche and it didn't surprise me at all to learn that the visuals were done entirely by the A and B units from the TV show The Shield while they were on a brief break from the showfor a few days. That's how it felt, like a pre-formed group of professionals were poured into another mold for a few moments. For example (and it's a big one), everything that was computer generated looked computer generated. The CG, the angles, the layering, it all looked like something made for the Sci-Fi channel, in other words, rather than a Darabont and Kingfilm. And that was a big let down for me. The last two outings of these two were The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption. These movies are fantastic and their great precisely b/c they don't feel like they just plopped out of a cookie-cutter mold. They were great b/c they came across as heartfelt pieces of old school American cinema. Those movies, especially Shawshank, seem like classics, while this movie seems more at home in television re-release. One feels cinematic, while the other seems like TNT. I wanted to like this movie, but I just flat didn't. It never felt scary, never engaging and not worth your time.