Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Mist: Another Argument for Human Sinfulness

The film doesn't offer a traditional or standard argument for sinfulness or depravity, mind you. But on artistic grounds, the film (I just saw it tonight) is painful and horrifying. As Stephen King once said in a recent interview, the film adaptation doesn't leave you with a 'Pollyana' ending. As one reviewer of the film opined: "it provides food for thought with its downright vicious assertion that humans are equally as monstrous as anything supernatural." Exactly. After watching the film and seeing the absolutely brutal ending, I was left thinking to myself, "This is a very worldview-oriented movie." But at the same time, it was so postmodern and full of grey-areas that I have given up being able to glean anything helpful from it except for its horrifying depiction of what people will do when fear takes over.

The film is an interesting study in mob-mentality and in what people will do when they believe they have lost all reason for hope. Some will act against hope and try to create a solution (pragmatism), and some will look for hope in a supernatural source (religion). Of course, in typical Hollywood fashion, the people who turn to a religious answer end up looking like total monsters, but then again, so do their pragmatist counterparts, as it turns out. By film's end, everyone has compromised themselves, everyone has given up hope, and everyone has behaved monstrously. Since the film condemns everyone, essentially, we are left with skepticism and nihilism when all is said and done. We as Calvinists are in the pleasant position of being able to use the film as an object lesson of what humans, left to their own devices, are capable of - and also what they are incapable of, as well (self-salvation, for example).

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