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Ultra HD : Highly Recommended
Ranking:
Sale Price: $19.5 Last Price: $34.99 Buy now! 3rd Party 12.95 In Stock
Release Date: October 3rd, 2023 Movie Release Year: 2007

Stephen King's The Mist - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Overview -

Frank Darabont and Stephen King prove once again they’re a match made in cinematic heaven (or hell, if you will) with the chilling and unrelentingly bleak The Mist. King’s short story comes to life with a great cast led by Thomas Jane while Darabont dares to go the distance for one of Horror’s most notorious endings. On 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from Lionsgate, both the Color and Black & White cuts see welcome improvements with Dolby Vision HDR and excellent Atmos audio tracks to match.
Highly Recommended

When a mysterious mist, and the supernatural creatures within, falls across their town in the wake of a violent storm, a group of local citizens must fend for themselves while trapped inside a local supermarket. They soon begin to realize that the real danger. may not be from the monsters outside, but from tension and mistrust within. Based on the novel by Stephen King.

OVERALL:
Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
4-Disc 4K UHD + Blu-ray + Digital
Length:
126
Release Date:
October 3rd, 2023

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

When I finally made the big aggressive move away from DVD and into Blu-ray, the Genius Productions disc of The Mist was one of the first discs I upgraded for. I saw the film in theaters and was floored by how horrifying, scary, and unrelentingly bleak it was and I needed to have the highest quality version available. It’s a film that doesn’t pull any punches and leaves you in stunned silence with one of the ballsiest down-note endings with some of the most haunting visuals in horror. And that was when it was in color! When Darabont unleashed his preferred version – essentially the same film but in black and white – the starkly grim themes, the sense of dread, and the terror all became more potent. In the years since I just haven’t been able to go back to that Color version for long.

How does The Mist hold up some sixteen years later? For me, it hasn’t missed a beat. If anything now that I’m a father, it’s become far more tragic and impactful. I think the worst-case scenario for anyone would be to get trapped in a life-or-death survival situation with a number of people you don’t know you can trust. The early 2000s were already fraught with that post-9/11 tension of second-guessing your neighbors and their motives. That seed of distrust has only grown in the recent post-Covid years and now cut down political lines. When you see simple local city council or school board meetings descending into the same madness and chaos of the characters trapped in a small town grocery store, it’s impossible to understate the lasting resonance of this film. 

With that, The Mist is certainly not for everyone. Even removing any symbolic association to past or current political world event circumstances, the film is just so damn unrelentingly bleak. I’ve seen it a dozen times, at least, and every time I have to follow this up with a chaser of Three Stooges shorts. I have to program my viewings because I can not go to bed with this film running in my head. I did that once and don’t recommend it. And to that point, the ending is something I either feel is bold and exciting or just an over-wrecked gut-punch to an audience that has already endured so much. Could it have been stronger if Darabont kept to King’s original vague but implied ending? Maybe, but we'll never know. This round I came away on the side of bold and exciting. I appreciate Darabont saw an opening and just went for it and didn't hold back. It's a trait he brought to his first seasons of The Walking Dead and helped make that show a hit. 

Check out our original Blu-ray review for another take on the film.

 Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
Frank Darabont’s chilling Stephen King adaptation The Mist invades 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from Lionsgate with a 4-Disc 4K UHD + Blu-ray + Digital set. Lionsgate thankfully gives both the Theatrical Color and Director’s Black and White the full treatment in 4K and 1080p. Both 4K versions clock in with BD-100 discs with BD-50s for each 1080p release. The discs are housed in a multi-disc case with slipcover. 

Video Review

Ranking:

Back when this film first dropped on Blu-ray, I remember feeling like it was a pretty great upgrade. Not the best disc in the early years of the format but pretty damn good. The color version was overly hot saturation leaving everyone looking way too flushed while the black and white version just looked flat. Both had issues with smoothing with some scenes looking pretty great but others having a waxy varnish. With a new scan and a dash of HDR, I’m very happy to say that both versions of The Mist see lovely Dolby Vision 2160p upgrades that easily outpace the old discs. 

Before diving in, I’m going to restate what I said in the main review that I much prefer the scarier Black and White cut of the film and that’s carried over here. The Theatrical Color version does look great easily seeing notable improvements in fine details, fine film grain, and colors. For this edition over the old Blu-ray, the fact that our human characters no longer look like they’ve been running the marathon in the full Florida sun in July is a big help. The image is overall cooler-looking, blues have a bit more prominence, but not pushed so hard to go full teal. With HDR the primaries have lovely pop but again not oversaturated. Black levels and whites are strong and healthy with deep blacks and ominous shadows and the titular Mist displays an ethereal glow without being blown out or too bright. My only real lasting gripe with the Theatrical Color is the CGI creature effects that already looked a little dodgy can look a little extra weightless. When a character is sucked into the mist early on, the shot never looked great and the extra color and resolution don’t help matters. 

On the other side of the coin, we see the Director’s Black and White cut coming in looking much cleaner and clearer, with a more natural and healthy grayscale than the old Blu-ray. Like the Theatrical Color, details are sharper than before with the film grain structure looking more natural and cinematic without the signs of smoothing or compression issues of past discs. The past Blu-ray felt like whites were just a bit too hot and bright, that’s been pulled back giving the image a much stronger shadow gradience from true white to black. The Dolby Vision HDR may not be applied too aggressively in that arena but it’s nice to see the image go from deep inky blacks to bright brilliant whites without issues. That opening thunderstorm is a key example there, but the trip to the pharmacy later in the film is a great example. Where I also like this version is that some of the dodgy CGI creatures and effects I feel like they blend in a little better. Some of those CGI spiders for example don’t pop with the color now and look more otherworldly as they hide in the shadows more. Not to say this is 100% perfect, there are still plenty of weightless effects shots, but when you start cataloging those issues it’s just nitpicking. 

I’m just happy that regardless of which version you want to watch, Color or Black and White, both look tremendous in 4K Dolby Vision easily surpassing any release before. It’s a great, creepy, atmospheric flick that deserves to look this good.

Audio Review

Ranking:

On the audio side, each version of The Mist, Color or Black and White 4K UHD, comes rolling in with a wonderful Atmos audio track. The improvements over the older Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix are immediate. The rumble of thunder and pelting rain during the opening storm scene is a terrific indicator of things to come. Later when everyone is looking over all the storm damage, the sounds of the lapping waves on the shore or the rustling leaves in the wind lend to the mix’s immersive qualities. In these moments even the height channels see specific activity beyond just adding to the sense of spacial atmosphere. Everything ramps up at the grocery store and those first warning sirens start their wailing. For a modern horror film, it knows how to exploit quiet to build dread and suspense, and that carries through into this atmos track. LFE gets plenty of attention with a stronger rumble in the subs than the previous mix. Throughout, hearing dialog is never an issue even though the more active and horrifying moments. Mark Isham’s score is an excellent accompaniment to the rest of the soundscape, and that final run of The Host of Seraphim is especially haunting. For the Blu-rays, the same solid Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track returns, which isn't a bad thing but missing out on Atmos is a bit of a shame there. 

Special Features

Ranking:

On the bonus features section, we see all of the previous materials return - which isn’t bad at all. Any time you can get Darabont talking about making a movie, it’s a great day so that commentary is very welcome, as is his conversation with Stephen King - especially since the pair go back a long way. That said, I would have loved to see some new extras attached here. A cast retrospective of some kind would have been very cool considering this film’s reputation and enduring legacy. 

Color / Black & White 4K Discs

  • Audio Commentary featuring Frank Darabont

Color Blu-ray Disc

  • Audio Commentary featuring Frank Darabont
  • Deleted/Extended Scenes (w/ Optional Commentary) (SD 14:47)
  • A Conversation with Stephen King and Frank Darabont (SD 12:17)
  • When Darkness Came: The Making of The Mist (SD 37:27)
  • Taming the Beast: The Making of Scene 35 (SD 12:10)
  • Monsters Among Us: A Look at the Creature FX (SD 12:44)
  • The Horror of it All: The Visual FX of The Mist (SD 16:02)
  • Drew Struzan: An Appreciation of the Artist (SD 7:31)
  • Webisodes (SD 10:13)
  • Trailer Gallery (HD 7:16 Total)

There’s horror and then there is The Mist. There have been plenty of great horror flicks over the years, with some modern classics coming in to challenge the top spot, but there are few as bleak and unrelentingly nihilistic as Darabont’s chilling adaptation of Stephen King’s story. This film doesn’t pull punches, if anything it works hard to repeatedly sock the audience in the guts as hard as it can. I loved it in theaters, DVD, Blu-ray, and now I get to love it in 4K. Lionsgate has done a masterful job with this release. A 4-disc set, we get 4K and 1080p versions of both films with lovely visual upgrades for both the Theatrical Color version and the Director’s Black and White complete with a terrific Atmos audio upgrade. It doesn’t leave fans behind in any way so if you prefer one version over the other you now have the best release of both to choose from. Bonus features are carry-overs from past discs, which is great to see again, but I can’t deny I would have loved some new extras. It might not be for everyone but fans will need this set in their collections. Highly Recommended

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