Remember Stephen King's movie/story The Mist? Despite it being horror, despite it being King, people were still pissed because they wanted a more pleasant, hopeful ending, a Hollywood ending.I thought I'd comment with an opinion on this. But knowing that it wouldn't be a short one, and not fair to Nordette (who I have a lot of respect for as a blogger/writer/poet) to wax on lengthily in the comment section of her blog on one movie/book reference (and not the gist of her excellent post either), I thought it better that it be a post here. So, with love and respect, Nordette, here goes:
I'm likely one of those that meets the pissed criteria when it comes of the movie adaptation of The Mist, I thought I needed to offer an contrary opinion on that. King's original story in that novella (from the book Skeleton Crew, some decades old now) did not have the ending that director Frank Darabont added to his film adaptation. Insert Spoiler Warning Here ;-).
The Mist has long been a favorite of many a Stephen King fan. And for the longest, the story's other dimensional, sci-fi-flavored horror aspects warranted special effects (for any worthy movie treatment) that only in the last decade of CG development was capable of delivering upon. Darabont, he of Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile fame, also seemed a great choice to shepherd another popular King tale to the big screen.
Where he went wrong, IMHO, was to add his take on what was the logical conclusion to King's very good, but wildly macabre story. And he sought King's blessing, it is said, beforehand (which King says FD was braver than he re: what he wrote back then, but he gave it his okay, anyways). Stephen's original ending, though not a clear cut one and very Hitchcock-like (see The Birds), just fits better. I think those that admired it (like me) gave King credit for this. Plus, the novella has stood the test of time with its popularity among the author's and the written work's fans.
Darabont's more bleak culmination (with its decidedly more bitter and cruel irony) doesn't work because the audience's empathy and identification has been effectively built using the author's original trajectory of the piece--that of the father character (actor Thomas Jane) fighting to save what's left of his family, his son, under the most bizarre of circumstances. Only now with the movie version, the director chooses to kick the chair from under the audience at its conclusion (and Darabont seems utterly surprised that he wasn't lauded for it). King's original ending is open-ended, and still far from the happy Hollywood ending.
We just disagree, Nordette. Thank you.