‘THE MIST’ Had Stuff In It That Happened

Damn you, Stephen King adaptations of all shapes and sizes. You all have that special something. Amidst overtly long movies with wonderfully over-acted or poorly explained characters; There’s usually a creepy Halloween-ish undertone lurking betwixt micro-naps. I’m speaking mostly of the bad King movies and mini series, rather than the classics. The ones we watch on rainy days as though they were horror-snuggies; Oddly comforting and stupid looking.

That being said ‘The Mist’ film adaptation was one of the good ones. Showing King’s creations of small town personality turning normal assholes into dangerous ones while monsters lurked just outside.

The show that aired on Spike TV tonight sort of did that????Thus begins my confusion. Was ‘The Mist’ entertaining? Not to a mass audience. There’s no ‘Walking Dead’ or ‘Lost’ possibilities for mass consumption as the show doesn’t sniff anything groundbreaking or viral. There’s going to be a lot of “Meh, I didn’t care for it” around the water cooler tomorrow.

That leaves the horror/sci-fi/Stephen King crowd holding the show’s future in our blood soaked hands. Is it entertaining to us? Is it worthy of a cult devotion? That’s uh…..foggy at the moment. (hardy har)

We open on a soldier who wakes up with amnesia and a dog named Rufus. What happens next would be scary in real life, sure. It would freak you out and you may even pee a little. What I don’t think you would do is suddenly turn into the “THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE MIST AND YOUR ALL GONNA DIE!” guy. It feels false and forced and premature. Never once in this pilot do they circle genuine fright; Just loosely visceral surface scares that aren’t the worst.

What horror fans will enjoy watching are the town a-holes gettin’ what’s comin’ to em’. The death scenes are sudden, a bit cheesy (because of poor CGI) yet creative enough to make you curious about who’s getting it next and how. There’s some flaming hot douche-bags running around this town playing okie-dickhead and you my friend are going to want to see them eat it.

There’s a big fat ‘Friday Night Lights’ story line running at the heart of ‘The Mist’ where our central family is at-ends with the townies after something horrible happens to their teenage daughter. Everyone in the town handles this as though someone pissed in their Fuckhead Flakes and you find a character to root for in the poor girl (Gus Birney). Her dad is far too timid and unsure of himself to be the guy we can truly get behind but the mom (Alyssa Sutherland) has bad-ass Thomas Jane type character potential and I’m telling you there’s a chance, Lloyd.

The only other character I managed to find interest in beyond cardboard cut-out status was Frances Conroy from American Horror Story. That is until the Season preview gave up her entire story halfway through the show. So much of this premiere’s roll-out felt clunky.

There were enough esoteric horror moments to lend hope ‘The Mist’ could eventually be worth it but nothing really felt like it truly mattered. Just some stuff happening. I’ll keep watching for now, but this is your pilot episode for a well marketed show…..shouldn’t it be your best pitch? So far, I’m more scared of what a lazy episode looks like than I am of anything in the mist. 6/10