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Subject: The Mist, Stephen King & his influences rss

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Matt Tonks
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So I bought 'The Mist' on DVD last week here in the UK because it got some good reviews on British press, despite apparently being rubbished by the US media.

Firstly, I really enjoyed it, even if the CGI wasn't always the most convincing for one reason or another; slowly racking up the tension & claustrophobia (especially with deranged Mrs Carmodie inside the supermarket!) & not being able to see what was in the mist.

The ending was also fantastic; out of the blue, extremely depressing & gut-wrenching... relax, I won't spoil it here !

Anyway, I didn't post this for some kind of mini-review but after I finished, I started wondering about potential influences for The Mist. It felt as though there may be some Lovecraftian nods; a mysterious mist, bizarre creatures & rumours of other dimensions, etc. Does anyone else know if it's on the record that King was imnspired by HPL?

I also spotted the painting for the poster of John Carpenter's 'The Thing' at the start of the film; was this also another potential nod to a source of influence for The Mist?

Cheers,

Matt...
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Andrew Goenner
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This has always been one of my favorite Stephen King short stories. I have yet to see the film because I didn't want to be disappointed...that and my wife isn't a big horror fan.

Anyway, I can't say much for the movie, but as far as the actual story goes, it doesn't feel in the least bit Lovecraftian. Not to say King wasn't influenced by him, I do know he's read Lovecraft. It's just this tale seems pretty King-like to me. A lot of his stuff is about how people turn on each other when faced with a darkness they can't see through.

As for being inspired by Carpenter's the Thing, the poster may have been a nod in his direction, but I think it would be more likely (if he was inspired by the Thing at all) he would have been inspired by the original film and not Carpenter's remake (which is one of the best horror films of all time, IMHO).
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Matt Tonks
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But the monsters & dimensions could be influenced by HPL...? Not the storyline or how the people turn on each other, etc...?

I agree about most likely the original The Thing rather than the remake; the remake is perhaps more recognisable & hence perhaps that's why it was used.

Also agree that Carpenter's remake is a classic horror film, possibly it's my favourite that I've seen so far. Just awesome how it was all done real-life with no major CGI.

PS - I recommend seeing The Mist; it feels very original compared to the gore-fests of the Saws, Hostels, etc of the current day. It also sticks true to King's original novella, except the ending... which is possibly better in the film
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Gary Heidenreich
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I could be mistaken, or talking out my ass, but I thought I read somewhere that The Mist was a nod to Lovecraft (ala King).

Man, I kill me.

Anyways, I love the story and wouldn't watch the movie either because of it.

Skeleton Crew is my favorite King book.
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Gudjon Torfi Sigurdsson
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The Mist is one of my fav as well, really believable (well, as far as possible) and nerve-wracking. But this is funny, because I was telling my girlfriend about H.P. Lovecraft and soon afterwards I thought of how The Mist's theme was in many ways similar to HPL's stories!

Cheers,
Xelforp
 
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Michael Pennisi
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Well the movie actually has an ending which makes it better than the short story which leaves everthing up in the air. I prefer happier endings but it was pretty good.
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Andrew Goenner
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My previous post could well have been wrong, I really don't know. To me the Mist just didn't feel like the Lovecraft stuff that I've read, but that doesn't mean it wasn't an homage. The creatures themselves were definitely of the level of Lovecraft, and the fact that they're fairly indescribable would fit that as well, I suppose.

I'm glad to see some positive reviews of the film, especially from people that enjoyed the original story. It's definitely on my "must have" list now.
 
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Andrew Goenner
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fizzix wrote:
Well the movie actually has an ending which makes it better than the short story which leaves everthing up in the air. I prefer happier endings but it was pretty good.


That's the one thing I HATE about film adaptations of King's stories. They always change the ending. And it's not even changing the ending to make it a happy ending! Sure, if there's a not-so-happy ending, they change it to give it a happy ending. That annoys me, yeah. But they go and change every ending of King's work (except with the tv mini-series for some reason). The funniest in my mind is

Spoiler (click to reveal)
in Secret Window. The story itself actually ends with him being caught. They change the ending in the movie to him getting away.


It's like they change his endings just for the sake of changing them or something.
 
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Michael Pennisi
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MasterGeek wrote:


That's the one thing I HATE about film adaptations of King's stories. They always change the ending. And it's not even changing the ending to make it a happy ending!


I agree. Most Steven Kings films have lousy endings. Then again, most Steven King stories have pretty bleak endings and I'm not sure that most moviegoers would enjoy them as written. It does seem like the film makers don't bother to change the ending in a way that makes sense. The Mist was definitely one of the better endings to a Steven King movie.

Endings I have enjoyed in no particular order

Maximum Overdrive
The Stand
It (I for one am glad they got rid of the Cosmic Turtle. Cosmic Turtle? WTF?!)
Salem's Lot (David Soul Version)
The Mist
Misery
Creepshow 1 & 2
 
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Andrew Goenner
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fizzix wrote:

It (I for one am glad they got rid of the Cosmic Turtle. Cosmic Turtle? WTF?!)



I had no problem with it being out of the movie, it wouldn't have made sense in context. But the turtle thing is a direct tie-in with the Dark Tower series. A huge percentage of King's novels have some tie-in or other with the Dark Tower (which if you haven't read, you need to. My favorite King stuff there).
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Marc P
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King actually wrote a story or two in the world of the Mythos. "Jerusalem's Lot" from Night Shift was the most blatant. He also tied in his meta-universe (which was based on literature) with the Mythos, including references in the Dark Tower series and It.

Anyone remember the Thing Under the Castle? Brrrr.

edit: italics
 
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Michael Pennisi
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MasterGeek wrote:
fizzix wrote:

It (I for one am glad they got rid of the Cosmic Turtle. Cosmic Turtle? WTF?!)



I had no problem with it being out of the movie, it wouldn't have made sense in context. But the turtle thing is a direct tie-in with the Dark Tower series. A huge percentage of King's novels have some tie-in or other with the Dark Tower (which if you haven't read, you need to. My favorite King stuff there).


Well I guess that might explain a lot. I have read most of his stuff but I skipped the Dark Tower series.
 
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Andrew Goenner
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fizzix wrote:
MasterGeek wrote:
fizzix wrote:

It (I for one am glad they got rid of the Cosmic Turtle. Cosmic Turtle? WTF?!)



I had no problem with it being out of the movie, it wouldn't have made sense in context. But the turtle thing is a direct tie-in with the Dark Tower series. A huge percentage of King's novels have some tie-in or other with the Dark Tower (which if you haven't read, you need to. My favorite King stuff there).


Well I guess that might explain a lot. I have read most of his stuff but I skipped the Dark Tower series.


Ohhhh...you are missing out! The Dark Tower, definitely his best works. At least for me they were. Typical King, mixed with western/medieval? Can't go wrong.
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Ed Browne
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bop517 wrote:
I could be mistaken, or talking out my ass, but I thought I read somewhere that The Mist was a nod to Lovecraft (ala King).

Man, I kill me.

Anyways, I love the story and wouldn't watch the movie either because of it.

Skeleton Crew is my favorite King book.


Yes, Stephen King admitted that "The Mist" was his tribute to Lovecraft. I can't remember if I read it in his book "Danse Macabre" or the forward to another book (either "Skeleton Crew" or a Lovecraft book?). Or maybe even an article on modern horror writers about Lovecraft as an inspiration. I do know he said it however. And I think I remember the film makers saying something about being inspired by Lovecraft for the film as well. I haven't seen the film yet, though.
 
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Ed Browne
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To those wondering if the film has a Lovecraft feel to it, I read that Guillermo Del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy), who has a "At the Mountains of Madness" project on hold while he does a couple hobbit movies for Jackson, said one upside to putting that project on hold was that "'The Mist' did a lot of what I wanted to do with ATMOM."

I hope he goes back to the project, though. I was looking forward to it.
 
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col_w
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The Mist was one that I'd wanted to see adapted into a movie for years, and I thoroughly enjoyed it at the cinema. But I read somewhere that Frank Darabont (the director) had wanted to relase it in black and white, but was prevented from doing so by the studio. I'd really like to see a B+W version, somehow it just seems to fit with the story. Also it may make the special effects look less obviously like special effects (which apparently bothered quite a few viewers, can't say it did me). The B+W version is supposed to be available on some versions of the DVD, so if you've got it and seen it I'd like to hear your thoughts on how it compares to the colour version.

Oh, and also Half-Life was directly influenced / inspiredby The Mist.


 
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Andrew Goenner
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col_w wrote:
The Mist was one that I'd wanted to see adapted into a movie for years, and I thoroughly enjoyed it at the cinema. But I read somewhere that Frank Darabont (the director) had wanted to relase it in black and white, but was prevented from doing so by the studio. I'd really like to see a B+W version, somehow it just seems to fit with the story. Also it may make the special effects look less obviously like special effects (which apparently bothered quite a few viewers, can't say it did me). The B+W version is supposed to be available on some versions of the DVD, so if you've got it and seen it I'd like to hear your thoughts on how it compares to the colour version.

Oh, and also Half-Life was directly influenced / inspiredby The Mist.




What the whole
Spoiler (click to reveal)
secret government experimental facility tapping other dimensions
thing? Nah, no similarities there!
 
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Paul DeStefano
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MasterGeek wrote:
They always change the ending. And it's not even changing the ending to make it a happy ending! Sure, if there's a not-so-happy ending, they change it to give it a happy ending.


King is the worst writer of endings ever.

The Mist (the movie) has an absolutely vile ending. If King wrote endings like that, he would get a lot more respect.
 
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Andrew Goenner
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Geosphere wrote:


King is the worst writer of endings ever.


yuk Not a chance.

Geosphere wrote:
...he would get a lot more respect.


Why would the most popular/widely respected horror novelist (although surprisingly few of his books should really fall under that title) of a generation need to change his perfectly acceptable writing style in an attempt to get more respect? That's like dying and going to heaven, only to find out if you'd been even nicer on earth, you'd go to extra heaven.
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Matt Tonks
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col_w wrote:
The Mist was one that I'd wanted to see adapted into a movie for years, and I thoroughly enjoyed it at the cinema. But I read somewhere that Frank Darabont (the director) had wanted to relase it in black and white, but was prevented from doing so by the studio. I'd really like to see a B+W version, somehow it just seems to fit with the story. Also it may make the special effects look less obviously like special effects (which apparently bothered quite a few viewers, can't say it did me). The B+W version is supposed to be available on some versions of the DVD, so if you've got it and seen it I'd like to hear your thoughts on how it compares to the colour version.


I picked up the DVD edition with both the colour & BnW version of it. The BnW version is identical to the colour version & looks gorgeous in places; it certainly helps with regards to the special effects & making the whole atmosphere that extra bit more chilling. I had a small hope you would see blood in dark crimson, like in Sin City, which may have been all the more cool. But, no, it's all BnW - I liked it better than the colour version though.
 
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Matt Tonks
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Geosphere wrote:
King is the worst writer of endings ever.


Erm, I'm a bit surprised I can see where you are coming from with a couple of his endings, but to say he's the worst is a bitfar-fetched.

Geosphere wrote:

The Mist (the movie) has an absolutely vile ending. If King wrote endings like that, he would get a lot more respect.


I'm not sure vile is the right word - depressing & traumatic, yes. But, vile? Nope.
 
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