I hate how The Mist ends so much. Why? Because it’s unearned cheap manipulation. It tells the audience how to feel, and it shoves bleakness in their face. Granted, it’s been a long time since I saw the movie, but I remember nothing in it foreshadowing that ending. It’s there to shock. To that end, it succeeds. But it’s cynical nonsense.
How could the ending have been effective or earned. First, set up the choice earlier. Second, have the final shot be of the Jeep. We hear gunshots and see muzzle flashes. Fade to black. We wouldn’t know who lived and who died. It’s still bleak, but it leaves us wondering. Or don’t even have the gunshots, just the Jeep.
I hate how the Mist ends: it’s cheap emotional manipulation. It says, if he would have just waited, things would have been okay. Moreover, it says, if they had left in the beginning with Carol from the Walking Dead, everything would have been okay. Having the Mist dissipate is dumb to me.
I don’t mind dark and bleak endings. I especially didn’t mind them when this movie came out. But, I feel they need to be earned. They need to mean something. They can’t just be bleak for bleakness’s sake. Cynicism is not thought provoking or powerful. It’s cheap.
I know King says he wishes he would have written that ending, and fine. I prefer the ending he did write. That one is just as bleak, but it’s not as cynical. Sure, people are still alive, but it’s not a happy ending. The Mist is there. It’s everywhere. It ends on the chance at hope: maybe we’ll find a safe place, but don’t bet on it. Lots of people like it, but I do not. What are your thoughts?