The Mist premieres June 22, 10pm on Spike TV.
By Jack Faivish
More than anything else, The Mist is a character study. It’s another fast-paced Stephen King horror adaption, which pits man against nature in an attempt to see how we would react.
The show’s pilot provides viewers context for future decisions these characters will make. We get a glimpse of the people and relationships in the little town of Bridgton, before “the Mist” changes everything. There is the over-protective father, the rebellious daughter, the drug-addict, the soldier, the sheriff and the star High School football player. The main story revolves around a rape allegation by the protagonist, Kevin Copeland’s daughter, against the star quarterback. Then things take an even darker turn.
When the Mist first appears, most of the characters are bewildered yet comfortable, noting the beauty of it. Someone even stops to take a selfie inside the big cloud of smoke. We see him later in the episode as a mutilated, insect-infested zombie.
The killing powers of the Mist are incredibly strong, and the terrifying scenes with the victims of the phenomenon are fantastically surreal. Similar to the Black Monster in Lost, the origins and abilities of the Mist are a mystery. It also appears that there are various dangerous and deadly creatures living inside the town-covering cloud.
The show is reminiscent of another Stephen King novel-turned TV show: Under the Dome. In that series, a town is completely enveloped in a colossal, indestructible dome, denying them access to the outside world. The man versus nature motif appears in both shows, and even more importantly, the man versus man battle that exists within the factions of those stuck in the town.
The show’s central theme is using the situation to create scenarios to show character attributes. For example, we see that Kevin has a clear head and is able to make rational decisions in a time of crisis, whereas other leads would stand back and play a more recused role.
The Mist is Under the Dome with a smaller ensemble, better writing, and a genuinely scary threat.
I give The Mist a B.