Frank Darabont's 2007 horror thriller The Mist is often highly ranked among Stephen King fans for its largely faithful adaptation of the literary horror master's 1980 novella. There is one very different change in the big screen adaptation, however, as the movie's twist ending was written specifically for the film version. Now, as Andrés Muschietti's IT makes its debut in theaters this weekend, King himself reflects on the ending of The Mist. He explains that, despite not being in his original story, the ending of the movie is one of which he's very fond. He says:
When Frank was interested in The Mist, one of the things that he insisted on was that it would have some kind of an ending, which the story doesn't have -- it just sort of peters off into nothing, where these people are stuck in the mist, and they're out of gas, and the monsters are around, and you don't know what's going to happen next. When Frank said that he wanted to do the ending that he was going to do, I was totally down with that. I thought that was terrific. And it was so anti-Hollywood -- anti-everything, really! It was nihilistic. I liked that. So I said you go ahead and do it.
The Mist stars Thomas Jane as David Drayton, a father living with his eight-year-old son in a small Maine town that becomes the source of a horrific disturbance in the fabric of reality itself. As a quiet mist rolls into town, it brings with it ever increasing hordes of otherworldly beasts. Trapped in a local supermarket with other people from his town, Drayton faces not only the dangerous creatures, but a growing tension among the survivors that threatens to turn neighbor against neighbor.
At the end of the film -- and yes, we are about to get into spoilers -- David is in a car with a few other survivors. As they drive, they can see that the world is filling with monsters and the decision is reached that it's better to die than to keep fighting. David winds up executing everyone, including his son, only to discover a terrible twist. Moments after he kills his own son, the army arrives and begins to defeat the creatures, taking back the world. It also means that David's incredible sacrifice was for naught.
It's not hard to see why Stephen King's comments to Yahoo! Movies express such a fondness for The Mist's ending. One of the story elements that factors into the film's conclusion in an interesting way involves Marcia Gay Harden's human antagonist, the unpleasant Mrs. Carmody. In the supermarket, she insists that a human sacrifice is what is required to drive the monsters away and she even attempts to execute David's son herself. As it turns out, the death of the child does indeed occur right before the creatures are defeated. The idea that Carmody may have right all along adds an extra level of horror to The Mist's chilling finale.
Fortunately for Stephen King fans, IT seems to be getting an even stronger critical response than The Mist did ten years ago. In fact, an IT sequel is pretty much a sure thing. Be sure to check out details on the flick's upcoming sequel IT 2right here.