I’m always appreciative when a movie or TV show makes an effort to build their characters beyond simple, horny, teenage meat sacks or any of the other outrageous standard stereotypes. Sometimes though, rather than letting our imaginations fill in the blanks, writers go too far – or in completely the wrong direction. Fear the Walking Dead and Under the Dome suffered the same issues I felt existed in the first three episode of the new iteration of King’s The Mist; over complicated characters and backstory when the plot itself is far more powerful and potentially poignant.
The whole family-focused drama completely set the wrong tone for what’s supposed to come. Small town gossip and their conservative views on sex are incredibly boring when compared to the phenomenal sub-plot of the twisted and evil fabrications of religion which permeated the 2007 film. While others may claim The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, The Shining, or even It as the greatest adaptation of King’s written works, my personal favorites will always be The Mist and Secret Garden.
The Mist managed to check all the boxes that make a horror great; memorable characters, a fantastic narrative, cool monsters, and just enough philosophical discourse to make the film intelligent but not preachy…not to mention that powerful ending. It really is a masterwork; something very difficult to live up to, which is why I was both looking forward to and nervous about the new television series. It seems as though my fears were sadly warranted.
The original story, which featured in King’s Skeleton Crew, was the highlight of the book and really played on primal fears. The inability to see more than a few meters in any direction, creepy crawlies bigger than a car, existential dread; you know, the really scary stuff. It also gave us characters that had their personalities molded, shaped and formed by the evil, changing world around them. King’s novels are brilliant and The Mist was no exception.
The series, however, failed to check a single box (except maybe for the soldier). This is meant to be a horror series, a show about (spoilers) the atmosphere of another world entering our own after a failed (successful?) experiment to open a door between our world another plane of existence or a parallel universe of something equally as sciency. Instead, we get fiftyish minutes of marital arguments, dick cops, football jocks roofying high school girls, gay-bashing, bitchy soccer moms…It was more like an episode of Dawson’s Creek than a horror film….but at least Dawson’s Creek had Pacey.
Now, this is merely a rant based purely on the first few episodes; perhaps we are in for a far more terrifying experience down the road. The old lady winding up in the church makes me think that they may be preparing for the whole judgment day subplot, but one can only hope. Hopefully, we can mosey away from the family drama and perhaps focus on the horror. Maybe? Fingers crossed.
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.