Friday, July 7, 2017

The Mist ~ Early Review

After three episodes of Spike TV's adaptation of the The Mist it's clear this is a very different beast from the one Stephen King wrote. In fact, only a few plot points are the same: the fog, a military installation, and sequestered folks. The characters run from bland to blander (although I love Frances Conroy), and the non-action is split into two locations, a church and a mall (is that supposed to be an allegory?). And unfortunately, it doesn't appear that we will get any of the fantastical monsters from the novella (and brilliant 2007 movie) as I fear that the mist itself is "the monster" as some sort of ecological terror.

The mystery seems less interesting this time probably because so far not much has happened. I'm not certain that this particular story lends itself to episodic and compelling storytelling, and the format is making it crawl along at a snail's pace. Already I see the strain of the Under The Dome curse (taking a singular incident and prolonging it regardless of how little sense it all makes). But to its advantage this story is more open ended. I can see the mist traveling to different locations with different casts each season. Of course, how do keep it from being repetitive? (Maybe for season two, the mist could descend onto a convent and a strip bar?)

Clearly the biggest hurdle is getting over the expectations of what came before and allowing this incarnation to develop its own identity. It's a sticking point for me to remake a story for the sake of using a well known name and not improve or expand upon the original. What's the point then? Also, it doesn't have compelling characters you can empathize with which is needed for terror/dramas to work. And the pace has to pick up – the fog cannot be the fastest moving thing on the screen. Right now the mist is most captivating character since it appears to be like the judgy smoke monster from LOST.



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