David Drayton and his son Billy are trapped at a supermarket along with other inhabitants of their small town when the mist rolls in, bringing with it a succession of horrors and deaths. They can see only a few inches outside the supermarket, naturally all the phones and radios are also dead. As the deaths continue, some survivors turn to religion led by local eccentric Mrs. Carmody and begin to turn on the others.
The Mist is an adaptation of a Stephen King novella. Thomas Jane plays David Drayton, a small town father and artist who is first seen painting an illustration of The Gunslinger. The film is full of biblical themes such as the Revelations end-of-days prophecies, also several of the ten plagues make cameo appearances. It's intense, claustrophobic, gory and shocking, which are all good things. However I thought the ending, which differs from the novella and draws on Job, was painful and perhaps unnecessary (I also think this about Job.)
In early scenes there's a lot of melodrama and hamming, although acting improves a great deal as the movie becomes more intense and the tone darkens. The exception is Marcia Gay Harden, playing the religious and possibly mad Mrs. Carmody, who is convincing and mesmerizing from start to finish.
This is not a simple horror-entertainment movie, particularly given the ending which left me feeling unsettled. There's a lot of cynical religion-bashing and you might think this was the point. However in a short, unexplained scene Mrs. Carmody faces her death but is spared. When Drayton tries to convince the employees of his hunch about danger, they argue against it from a position of rationality. Jumping to conclusions and misplaced conviction is the common thread: the survivors who accept Mrs. Carmody's prophecies, Drayton's ill-fated decision to venture out to the pharmacist which leaves several of his party dead, or his final, terrible choice, Amanda's belief that people are basically good and won't turn to human sacrifice within hours of the siege.
Certainty is the killer whether religious or rational - you can only see a few inches in front of your face, so however sure you feel in your convictions, you can still be wrong, and knowing the limits of your own knowledge is what might have saved you.