My unlikely double feature has a central theme of Earth invasion. Invasion can come in many forms. In this case, the invasions come from an un-Earthly dimension and from the stars. Get ready for a double bill of horror and superheroes. Kick back for about 4-5 hours and enjoy.
The first film comes from the horror genre in 2007's, The Mist, an adaptation of a Stephen King novella. U.S. Army scientists, looking to tap into other dimensions, inadvertently open a doorway into one that unleashes a thick otherworldly mist on a nearby small town that's filled with horrifying beasts with only one thing on their minds. Snack Time!
The most interesting takeaway from The Mist is not the ghastly creatures themselves. It's the human dynamic that develops in the local supermarket among the town residents that have been trapped inside. As terrible as the beasts in the mist are, there are religious fanatics inside that are just as bad, if not worse, than what's outside who now "rule" the makeshift "community." And woe to anyone who doesn't agree with their fanaticism.
It's a fascinating statement that shows us that when the chips are down and teamwork becomes the key to survival, humanity might have just as much to fear from itself as it does the outside forces that are trying to destroy us.
And the ending of The Mist. Oh, that ending. It's such a downer. A highly intriguing, thought-provoking downer. But, a downer nonetheless.
My second feature is a rollicking little gem from 2012 you may have heard of at some point. You know the story. It's the culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's assault on Hollywood. Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye finally come together to face a common threat, namely, a massive alien invasion from the Chitauri.
Why is this a perfect compliment to The Mist? Remember how horrible I said humanity was in that movie? Well, it's the opposite here. Although it isn't easy for them and they don't necessarily care for each other, the Avengers put their differences aside not only to stop an alien threat, but also to survive. They represent the best of humanity (well, Thor, isn't human, but you get the meaning).
Gruesome death awaits several characters in the previous film. When the invasion begins this movie, you have to assume some died, but, it's nothing that you see in graphic detail. Even though the situation is dire, the lack of shredded bodies makes for a tone a little lighter in nature.
The other reason this is good compliment? After the gut punch ending of The Mist, it's nice to see the good guys win on occasion.