A fog settles over the land, covering everything in its wake and clouding the earth, obscuring people's sight. Hidden within this strange mist are creatures, and where they have come from is anyone's guess, but they are vicious and attack without mercy. One thing comes to mind during all of this, as people begin to cower in fear, lashing out in different ways: "This is how the world ends." No mercy, no quarter given, a menace completely inhuman and uncaring. In this universe, you die in multiple horrible ways, all of them ending with you screaming as your flesh is torn apart by monsters from somewhere unknown. One thing is also certain: when people are cornered in a small area, things will escalate rather quickly no matter how many sane or rational folks are present. This is a rather cynical viewpoint, yet unfortunately as darkly noted by the film's characters in a scene where they acknowledge how easily humanity unravels in a crisis.
Some have made note of how this movie is a post Sept. 11th commentary on America and the lines that divide us. That is certainly notable, particularly since one of the characters brings up race and others mention religion and politics. One would hope that in a situation as presented in The Mist that they would be rational, however too many people would end up freaking out and responding wrongly to the problems at hand. Furthermore other elements of horror movies are at work here, particularly the original 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead, and also John Carpenter's The Fog (1980), and their influences are rather noted, in addition to many past monster movies-since after all that's what The Mist is, a well made modern creature feature.
A man is forced to make a choice, and this decision will haunt him forever. A people give into a fanatic who ends up almost destroying them all, leaving them to wonder how they could ever let someone like that brainwash them. The skeptic doesn't get beyond the parking lot, making the audience wonder about said person's fate in addition to what happened to the group that was foolish enough to follow that person into the white murkiness that has enveloped the area. All drawn together by a situation appearing to be really outlandish yet oddly believable, existing in the realm of the possible however impossible it may be. This is really the magic of Stephen King, melding reality with fantasy, fact with fiction. The best adaptations of his work, such as this one, meet that requirement head on. 95