It is hard to see clearly what is going on with The Mist, which premieres on Spike on June 22. Based on a beloved novella by Stephen King from the early 1980s, this latest adaptation initially plays on the horror of the cloud that envelops a Maine community adroitly, but also quickly becomes bogged down in small-town stereotypes.
Unlike the 2007 big-screen version from now ex-The Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont, this updated to 2017 Christian Torpe-created small-screen Mist lacks the necessary sharpness and traffics in far too many clichés, at least from what I’ve seen. As I say in my video review above, in attempting to shine a spotlight on the divisions, conflicts, assumptions, misconceptions, violence, politics and prejudices that seemingly define the residents of Bridgeville, Maine, the pilot of this The Mist blurs a well-crafted King trope.
Now maybe that will all become clearer as the 10-episode season progresses, the body count rises and the rules of modern society crack and eventually collapse – but it is difficult to envision from a mainly weak beginning to the series. Starring Morgan Spector, Alyssa Sutherland, Gus Birney, Isiah Whitlock Jr, Russell Posner, Okezi Morro and a strong Frances Conroy, The Mist centers on the frictions, tragedies and bond of Bridgeville’s Copeland family. Although Spector, Sutherland and Birney put in a team effort, the emphasis is misplaced, at least in the lingering pilot.
With that, as much as you can (and it is hard), resist the pull of comparisons to the now-canceled and much stronger-starting Under The Dome, which had a somewhat similar premise and was also based on King’s writings. Unlike that CBS show, this Spike straight-to-series effort uses the freedom of its cable perch to really let the blood flow – which is what you need to make a show like this find traction. Unfortunately, even as everything falls apart and people who really don’t like or trust each other are forced to band together, the threat level is high but the narrative execution is not – and that’s where The Mist really gets lost in its own fog.
Take a look at my video review for more of my take. Millions have watched the trailer for the series since it was dropped April 11, so will you be watching tomorrow night?
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