Monday, October 17, 2011

Movies You Might Have Missed Monday

OK, no one will be able to argue with me on this one. This is a truly scary movie, the story written by scare-master himself, Stephen King. It’s The Mist.

I admit, I’ve never actually read a Stephen King novel. Shameful, I know. But remember that little issue I have with fear-adrenaline? I think the scariest thing I’ve ever read was The Oath by Frank Peretti, and I wouldn’t even read that after dark!

Additionally, the only story of King’s I’m really familiar with is Shawshank Redemption, not exactly your typical horror flick (but darn-good storytelling for sure!).

So… how in the world do I know anything about The Mist?

Well, I’m shocked I went to see it all. Don’t remember my motivation. The weird thing is, it was the exact story I needed to hear at that time in my life because it taught me a valuable life lesson in the process.

The plot is not rocket science. An unusual mist has rolled into small town USA, casting a murky pallor over its innocent inhabitants, including Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden and some other recognizable faces. But it’s not the mist that has the folks running. Monsters live in that mist, and citizen after citizen is getting snatched, drug away and presumably killed.

Most of the movie happens at the local grocery store where a handful of brave people have barricaded themselves inside, hoping their defenses keep the monsters out long enough for the mist to roll along. Too bad for them, the monsters are hungry and find ways to penetrate their forces, including luring lone prey out into the open.

It’s an interesting study on the psyche of fear as the community reacts to this siege. The part that made such an impact on my life, however, comes right at the end. Thomas Jane’s character, David, along with four other people including one child who happens to be David’s son, decides to make a run for it. They make it safely to a car. They are terrified, but they’ve seen what happens to people left behind getting caught by these monsters, and they are determined for that not to happen to them. Immediately, the monsters pursue them. It’s a pretty even cat and mouse game, but alas, it gets to a point where it looks like the monsters are going to win.

SPOILER ALERT – because I just have to share why I like this flick so much…

At that moment, the one gun in the car is brought out. Five people, four bullets. The one doing the mercy shooting will have to face the fate of the monsters. David volunteers, but that means he’ll also be shooting his own son in order to save him from the horrors of the monsters. Shockingly and devastatingly, he carries this heinous act through.

The ring of the gun has not stopped echoing when David hears something else – the rumble of heavy machinery. He steps outside of his truck, where the bodies of his loved-ones lie, and sees National Guard tanks and soldiers marching up the road, spreading some sort of fog that drives back the mist. The monsters are defeated and must move on.

So the irony of this is the big whack meant for good storytelling, especially in King’s fashion of turning your guts inside out. The impact it made on me, however, turned on the light of hope.

See, I was facing ‘monsters’ in my life that had me afraid, hurting, hopeless and desperate. My Daniel and I were on the brink of even losing faith, I think. It was at one of those despairing moments we saw this movie. And immediately I realized… it’s always too early to shoot yourself (or anyone else) in the head. Not literally, of course (though I can’t say it never at least joked about in our depressed state). In other words, it’s always too early to give up. Rescue is right around the corner.

God promises. He won’t give us more than we can handle. He gives us everything we need to live according to His will. When the going gets tough, His Word is full of promises of comfort, strength, perseverance, rescue and joy. When life seems like a dead end, we have to remember that the very next second could be our second of redemption. If not that second, maybe the next. If not that one, the next.

In The Mist, they felt like they had run out of seconds, only to find out too late that the next second would have been the one to drive away the monsters.

I’ve had friends and acquaintances who have felt like they’d lived all their seconds up to a dead end and did not wait for the next one to receive their rescue. Please, my friends, no matter how bad it looks, don’t give up. It’s always always too early to give up.

Be blessed, Dry Ground friends!!

(photo by