By now, horror fans are very familiar with the short story by Stephen King and the very highly praised Frank Darabont film starring Thomas Jane as lead character David Drayton.
When the announcement for “The Mist” television series dropped, fans all over were both excited and dubious. Questions arose like: Will this just be a lengthy re-hash of the movie? Will such a brutal story transfer well to basic cable, with a TV-14 rating?
The answer to both questions is a solid NO! Put all expectations for “The Mist” aside and welcome yourself to the new rendition of the now classic tale. Welcome to a “Mist” where instead of a tightly woven town with believable relationships, audiences get a town where all social tropes around race, sexuality and gender equality are basically thrown out the window in a flaming paper bag and then stomped on like an animal’s excrement.
Eager to see a new version of the Draytons? Look into some good fan fiction because you won’t find a scrap of the titular family in this version of the story.
Sure, we get the references to Arrowhead, the religious freak, and the actual Mist that overtakes the town. After looking past that, the story in the series premeire is very slow, poorly written, and has the direction of a bad B-Movie.
I think the biggest disappointment in the pilot episode was the trauma centered around a sexual assault that occurred off screen within the first ten minutes of the show. This has NOTHING to do with “The Mist” as a story and really felt like the showrunners were taking some major liberties in a poor attempt at thinking a rape storyline is something audiences want. Yes, this is something to be expected from premium channels like HBO, but please, this is a TV-14 rated show. Even TV-MA hit shows like The Walking Dead have narrowly avoided such plot lines. The worst part about this all being involved with “The Mist” is that it is very obvious that most of the character development is going to center on this issue.
Ok, off my soapbox now, and onto the characters themselves. I’m not even going to get into any character names because for the most part, they were all so poorly developed that it wasn’t worth remembering the names. Even Frances Conroy wasn’t able to save her character from being a cliche we’ve seen a million times before.
The point is, don’t follow in my footsteps and waste an hour on this show. I tried to like it, I really did, but the whole point of it all really ends up getting lost in the mist.