What Lies in the Mist?
The first Stephen King story I ever finished from beginning to end was the Horror Novella, The Mist. First published as the longest story in the 1980, Horror Anthology, Dark Forces. It was edited and rereleased in Stephen King’s Skeleton Crew in ’85. And then to coincide with the film’s release it was rereleased once more as a separate novella, The Mist (2007).
When I was in middle school, I tried to read Cujo but found the story too convoluted for my age. The Mist on the other hand gripped me from beginning to end, granted I was much more mature and prepared at that point in my life. Nonetheless, I really dove right into the plot as well as the characters.
The film version was also released in 2007. The Mist was a pretty faithful King adaptation. For the most part I was very pleased with the changes that were made. Nothing too out there or crazy except for the ending. Where the book left it ambiguous and mysterious, the film ended in a very finalized and heart wrenching manner.
I won’t go into details, but I have two different reactions to this ending. On the one hand, I was extremely disappointed and saddened by it. I wanted the more ambiguous approach. But from an artistic point of view, I can appreciate the darkness. Mainstream films don’t usually end like that.
It’s kind of like the ending of Se7en. Do I wish everyone lived happily ever after? Yes, of course I do. But from a plot standpoint, it’s better to be faithful to the story. And unfortunately life isn’t always happy endings.
Director, Frank Darabont is best known for writing and directing The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. Darabont was adamant about the ending he felt the original was too ambiguous and gave the story an ending which Stephen King hints at in the novella. Darabont asked King about the change to which King responded that he wished he would have thought of ending the story in that way.
King also said that the adaptation genuinely frightened him, to which Darabont replied as “the happiest moment of his career”.
Thank you for Reading!