From Page To Screen (57) The Mist

For this weeks From Page to Screen I have decided to cover The Mist by Stephen King.

First let's discuss the book.
The Mist is a novella written by Author Stephen King. The Novella was originally released in the Dark Forces Anthology (Published by Viking Books) and was the Collections longest story. In 1985 Stephen King published a slightly edited version of the novella in his short story novel Skeleton Crew (Published by Putnam Books). After the film rights were sold it was decided that King would rework the story yet again to make it a full length stand alone novel. This was published October 2, 2007 to coincide with the films release.

Let's take a look at some of the characters.

David Drayton- David is a moderately successful commercial artist that lives in the town of Bridgton, Maine with his wife Stephanie and son Billy. He is the narrator of the story.

Mrs. Carmody- A middle-aged townswoman with a borderline reputation as a witch and a fanatical belief in God. She actively thrives on the helplessness of those trapped in the grocery store and uses this to her advantage.

Brent Norton- David's neighbor and a widower. He refuses to acknowledge the things happening outside in The Mist and eventually convinces a  small group of survivors to leave the grocery store with him. His fate is unknown. Brent accompanies David and Billy into town after his car was smashed by a tree the night before.

Ollie Weeks- The assistant manager of the supermarket. Ollie remains among the most sane of the survivors, accepting the truth about the mist and the creatures lurking within it.

Now let's discuss the movie.
The Mist was directed by Frank Darabont and was released November 21, 2007 by MGM.  The Mist cost $18 million to make and went on to earn $57 million worldwide.  Darabont conceived a new ending for The Mist after deciding that the original didn't fit with the overall theme of the story. Stephen King noted that Darabont's new ending would be unsettling for studios but that he liked it. King said, "The ending is such a jolt—wham! It's frightening. But people who go to see a horror movie don't necessarily want to be sent out with a Pollyanna ending."

Major Differences Between The Book Film
Drayton dreams that God destroys the area surrounding his home, leaving thick smoke behind.                                              This is omitted.
Drayton's life at home is set up quite a bit.This is barely touched upon before the main plot begins.
This doesn't happen.Amanda tries to befriend Mrs. Carmody but is nastily rebuffed.
Drayton is aware of the Arrowhead project and discusses it with the townspeople believing something must have gone wrong.One of the soldiers explains that a project has gone wrong.
Mrs Carmody is a generally odd woman who runs an antique store. She is witch like, performing folk remedies. It is also noted that she is religious.Mrs. Carmody is less witch like and simply an extreme religious fanatic.
Amanda warned David that if the other people in the market were pushed to the breaking point, Mrs. Carmody could get them to turn to human sacrifice in an act of desperation. David and a couple of other characters agree that if pushed to much the group could turn to human sacrifice. It is Amanda who insists this is unlikely.
Doesn't happen.Even though she believes most will die in hellfire Mrs. Carmody prays to God asking how to lead the survivors.
Doesn't happen.One of the soldiers has a relationship with the checkout girl.
Drayton and a girl named Amanda have sex. This doesn't happen although it is hinted that the pair do have an intense emotional relationship.
Doesn't happen. An explosion causes baby spiders to hatch all over the pharmacy.
One Pterobuzzard and one Scorpion-Fly get into the store; the former is burnt to death right after killing Tom Smalley, while the latter is killed by Ms. Reppler with a can of Raid. Five Scorpion-Flies and two Pterobuzzards break into the store.Tom Smalley and a girl named Sally are killed in the attack.
When the young checkout boy Norm is taken by some tentacled creature the character Ollie just stares in shock. Ollie and David try to rescue Norm from being taken by the tentacled creature.
A bloody nosed man runs into the supermarket screaming that a creature has taken John Lee. He is unknown.The bloody nosed man is the character Dan Miller.
This doesn't happen. While driving through the mist David and his group discover a school bus that had been attacked by Gray Widowers which had killed and cocooned all the children on board.
Drayton can't reach his wife leaving her fate ambiguous.
 Drayton's wife is found to have been killed by Gray Widowers.
After stopping for the night David hears the words Hartford and Hope on the radio. The group then keeps driving through the mist into an uncertain future.
The group keeps driving until the car ran out of fuel. Out of all hope David uses the last four bullets in Amanda's gun to kill the people in the car. Minutes later, a military convoy carrying survivors (many from the supermarket) passes by, leaving David screaming on his knees at the realization that he killed his own son and three other people for nothing.

The above mentioned are the major changes I noticed when the book was taken From Page to Screen. For the most part the novella and the film remain quite similar. So the film is certainly a faithful adaptation if anything. Which however do I prefer? This week I have to go with the film. While I certainly love the slow burn of the novella it is just so nice to see the monsters in the flesh so to speak and plus I simply love Marcia Gay Harden as the crazy religious lady. She pulls it off brilliantly. Definitely check out the novella if you want to read the story as intended but don't discount the film due to the changes in the end. While I prefer the way the novella ends the changes Frank Darabont made do work and come off quite shocking.

Still not convinced? Check out the trailer below!

Well that about wraps up this weeks From Page To Screen. Have a recommendation for an upcoming From Page To Screen, let me know in the comments below!

Have you read the book or watched the film? 
Which did you like better? Why? 
What is your favorite quote or scene from The Mist? 
If you've seen the film did you notice all the eventual casted Walking Dead actors in it?

Leave your answers in the comments below, I love to read your responses. Like what you see? Please share!


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