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[Review] “The Mist” Weaves a Web of Drama and Paranoia

[Review] “The Mist” Weaves a Web of Drama and Paranoia

Dimension and Spike TV’s “The Mist” opens with a shot of a spider, which is a metaphor for the web the residents of Bridgeville, Maine are trapped in. It’s also instant foreshadowing that becomes a reoccurring theme throughout the show.

“The Mist”, adapted from Stephen King‘s novel, spends the opening moments of the series intercutting between a soldier and the residents of Bridgeville. The soldier awakens with amnesia but catches a glimpse of a terrifying fog rolling into town. Meanwhile, Eve (Alyssa Sutherland) and Kevin (Morgan Spector) Copeland fight over letting their daughter, Alex (Gus Birney), attend a party.

The pilot takes its time introducing the town’s characters and setting up their series arcs. Penned by Amanda Segel and Christian Torpe, “The Mist” fights hard to wedge in social commentary, from drugs to bullying, sexual preference, and even rape. Yes, the major conflict in the first episode begins when Alex alleges that Jay (Luke Cosgrove), the town football star, raped her. A rift is formed between her parents being that Kevin allowed her to go to the party behind Eve’s back. While the social commentary is commendable, I see many having an issue with how it’s presented; not only do the locals not believe her, but the show eludes to the idea that maybe she’s lying. This, of course, isn’t socially acceptable, yet it’s impossible to know where the writers are taking this arc over the course of the season.

But I digress, the point is that the writers are working overtime to insert drama, conflict and add more than one dimension to a story that needs to be more than a horror show. That’s the difficult task at hand; how do they expand on King’s story without blowing the load too early? “The Mist” is more about people being monsters than the show’s creatures. This hearkens back to George A. Romero’s initial zombie trilogy, especially Dawn of the Dead.

Once the mist actually rolls in, the town’s people are caught in a web and unable to move. One group find themselves trapped in a mall, where they’re fighting fear and paranoia, while unseen horrors outside drive their insanity. Here, shit hits the fan, and it never slows down. Those hoping for monsters are going to have to wait being that it appears the first season will torment the town with “normal” insects. Still, these bugs are vicious as they devour anyone who crosses their path; it’s violent, bloody and absolutely bonkers. The hope is that the filmmakers are able to continually deliver the goods over the course of ten episodes, which will have to be deluded by more character work.

Speaking of, Frances Conroy‘s performance is enough to warrant a weekly return to Bridgeville. She’s being set up as one of the town’s antagonists and single-handedly elevates the quality of the pilot episode. Just wait until you see what comes next…

And while the debut does a solid job of setting up various mysteries, the one thing that bothers me is the opening sequence with the soldier and his dog; it’s a constant reminder that the military has something to do with the mist. With that said, “The Mist” is a beautiful blend of drama and horror that delivers on its immediate promise. Feeling like an episode of “Friday Night Lights” with man-eating insects, “The Mist” is as dense as it’s terrifying and promises to be one of the best new genre shows on television.

“The Mist” premieres Thursday, June 22 at 10 PM, ET/PT on Spike.



  • Cheddar Hayes

    Any truth that this series is a Venom origin story Brad?

    • Saturn

      Enough of that already – it’s not a Venom origin story at all! You’re just being naughty.

      You know as well as I it’s a secret, game changing, Blair Witch sequel!


      (sorry Brad! we love you really).

      • Smith Mitchellman

        Some bugs have venom. Show has bugs.

        …it’s gotta be a Venom origin story.

        • THE God


        • Saturn

          I reckon you may be on to something there…..

  • The Drucifer

    So…new Mrs. Carmody and a lack of budget and a general tone of Walking Dead ripoff…I’ll check it out despite my misgivings, I love the source and he film too much not to try.

    • A2VL

      Frances Conroy can be gold though! Even if she is kinda of a Mrs. Carmody rip off

      • The Drucifer

        She’s a fantastic actress no doubt but claiming you want to do your own thing and then lift a character wholesale from the source material is a hilariously shaped pill to swallow. I hope it’s good and isn’t just a Walking Dead ripoff

  • J Jett

    “…the point is that the writers are working overtime to insert drama, conflict and add more than one dimension to a story that needs to be more than a horror show”…

    ugh…that sounds awful. why can’t this be just a good horror show without soap opera melodrama? the whole “the humans are the true monsters” riff is tired.

    • But “the humans are the true monsters” is the central theme of the original story, so it’s not as though it’s being shoe-horned into this. Taking that element out would be like Kubrick with his, “I did not want to make a movie about a haunted hotel” take on The Shining–interesting movie, but not an adaptation of the actual book.

  • Dave Galloway

    Sounds like complete and utter nonsense. Reminds me of the ridiculous plotlines of FTWD. Absolutely unwatchable drivel!

    • Smith Mitchellman

      Your comment is complete and utter nonsense. Until you see the show, please shut the f*ck up with these piece of sh*t comments.

      • J Jett

        Smith you obviously must work on the show. what other explanation is there for why you are so sensitive about anything negative said about this show? go to any site with an article on this show and it’s almost unanimous (in the comments sections) that this show is sound more and more like total shit. i hope i’m wrong and it’s actually a good show but much of what is being revealed about it sounds terrible.

        • Smith Mitchellman

          That’s a stretch. Yeah, I don’t work for the show, but I am tired of you guys complaining about things you haven’t seen. That’s 1 million times more plausible than working for a show. Good try though, Alex Jones. Instead of hoping to enjoy another adaptation of a good novel, you poopskies tear it down before it even has a chance. Who cares about how “it sounds,” lol, until you’ve seen it you have no room to complain. Unanimous hate from comments sections means nothing at this stage and all it shows are a bunch of pessimists content to hate the world. By the way, I can’t even believe you just used the word obviously before claiming I work for the show. It’s obvious?!?

          • Melissa Sharp

            FTWD has been amazing this season. I am actually excited to see where this season is going. I wasn’t fond of the first two seasons but the last half of the second season was decent. This season has been stellar. I am so glad I stuck it out.

          • GunsOfNavarone

            Yeah to be really honest, I don’t get all the hate for it. Sure, the first season was a bit lackluster. But if you want true boredom, all you need to do is watch TWD, season 7 was one of the most boring seasons of a show I’ve had the misfortune to watch.

      • Dave Galloway

        Not going to waste my time.

        • Smith Mitchellman

          Well you’ve wasted enough of it already complaining, so I suppose that makes sense.

    • American Atheist

      FTWD has become abysmal. Madison is the worst character. They kill off my favorite character and now the show is going to revolve around her? Nope. I’ll watch a couple more episodes out of curiosity to see if the guardian angel appearing at the end of last week’s episode can redeem the show. I doubt it. I can’t stand Madison.

  • RKSDooM

    “The hope is that the filmmakers are able to continually deliver the goods over the course of ten episodes, which will have to be deluded by more character work.”

    I assume you meant “diluted” not “deluded.”

    Although the latter is pretty funny.

  • Frank Gambino

    anyone know if this will be on netflix, hulu, amazon etc?

  • jacobia

    From what I’ve seen of the trailer, and from what I’ve read about this show, I think I’m going to really like it. I know some of you folks don’t appear to like the human drama building this show may have, but I really like it (like I do with TWD). I think that if the relationship stuff is well acted/directed, it facilitates empathy when the sh1t hits the fan with the horror stuff. And it’s a series, so for what the show may be trying to portray, I don’t think they can blow their load too quickly. It needs pacing. Obviously, I don’t know because I haven’t seen it, and I don’t know when or if it’s coming to the UK.

  • KSE1977

    No complaints from me. I will actually give this 2 or 3 episodes and then decide. I loved the novella and the movie version and obviously making this a series is going to be different. So I will give it a shot before I shoot it down.

  • Charles Cumella

    Well, I just hope it’s good. I honestly thought The Exorcist was gonna be crap but I stood corrected, so, no assumptions here.

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