Show And Tell
The Waiting Room
The Devil You Know
Over The River and Through The Woods
The Law Of Nature
The Waking Dream
The Tenth Meal
Its rare that a film adapted and re-imagined as a TV show is successful. Twelve Monkeys did a good job of bucking the trend but unfortunately The Mist just can’t follow suit. With unlikable, contrived characters and a slow-paced story, The Mist feels like a missed opportunity. There are certainly glimmers of brilliance hidden in the show; spikes of dramatic tension and fantastical horror elements are well shot but sadly few and far between. Its a shame that these elements aren’t fully realized, overshadowed by a poorly written script despite The Mist improving toward its climactic end.
The story focuses on a band of characters in a small town that are forced to work together when a deadly mist blankets the entire area. Locked in various buildings dotted around the town and with something mysterious in the mist killing anyone who steps out into it, the show focuses its attention on the residents of the town. In an effort to make this a character driven drama intent on showing the lack of humanity inherit in all of us, the show slows to a crawl for large patches of its episodes. It makes for a tough watch as the characters sit around twiddling their thumbs, trying to work out what the best cause of action to take is.
With such a slow pace, the problems the show has are accentuated and actually made worse the longer the show goes on, despite the pacing improving somewhat toward the end of the series. There are plot holes riddled throughout and the inconsistent writing around exactly how the mist moves muddies the concept. We learn early on that windows and doors must be kept shut otherwise the mist will get in and consume that area. Later on, characters burst through doors and rooms originally full of the white, deadly clouds only to shut the door behind them and find the room now safe because the mist has disappeared. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t be this picky but without spoiling anything, it plays a major part in some plot developments late on that feel incredibly poorly managed and confusing given the lack of clarity around this.
Perhaps some of this could be overlooked if the show had an interest set of characters to root for but sadly The Mist doesn’t. A few of the supporting cast do have interesting sub plots, including an amnesiac man who awakens in the middle of a forest with no knowledge of his actions and mad as a hatter Mrs. Raven are endearing characters but the rest of the cast fall into bland archetypes or worse, are actually unlikable. There’s a forced gay relationship, a subplot around a potential rape with an emotionless, monotone teen and tensions between characters are exacerbated as a result of the mist. Whilst the ideas are nice in theory, their execution leaves a lot to be desired and as such, makes the show feel unnecessarily bloated and pushes the threat of the mist more to an afterthought.
Having said all of that, The Mist has an interesting concept but its never full realized. It feels like a pale imitation of the film its based on, attempting to be clever with a “humans are the real evil” theme that just doesn’t work. The script does the characters no favours and the plot is riddled with issues that are more obvious than they should be due to the slow pace the show adopts. The horror elements and some of the scenes set within the mist are really well done, with a great understanding of horror and tension but the real horror here is how much time we spend with characters that, quite frankly, just aren’t that endearing or likeable. There’s certainly potential, but its wasted in a show that spends more time on its meaningless subplots than focusing on whats in the mist which makes for a frustrating watch in a show that doesn’t really have much going for it.