Reviewbr> "I'm telling you there was something in the mist!" - Bryan Hunt
Bridgeville is small town middle America but is starting to fray a bit at the edges. Eve Copeland, teacher at the local high school, has been stood down due to teaching some sex Ed that is beyond the School Board's comfort zone. Her daughter Alex hits the after game party, gets wasted, and is basically raped by the team half back superhero. And adding to the fun and festivities a local drug chick has killed a farmer, admittedly in some sort of self-defence. Oh and a soldier wakes up in the woods with no idea who he is but he does have a dog named Rufus, well until Rufus gets ripped up in the Mist that is preternaturally descending through the local foothills.
Naturally with tensions rising in hometown U.S.A the mist, which is like a fog bank really, remains hardly noticeable as it engulfs the town and the death rate ranks up surprisingly quickly. Survivors are trapped in the local shopping mall, the police station, the library, and a church. Something or somethings are in the Mist, and they have a hunger for human flesh. Grab the popcorn we're in for ten episodes of Stephen King at his finest.
For anyone reared and raised in a remote part of the world, perhaps Adelaide for example, The Mist is based off the Stephen King novella of the same name, but doesn't have much of a relationship to the characters of either the novella or the Frank Darabont movie made in 2007. Did we ever review the movie? Digressing, I know, back on target we get a ten episode first season from the folks at Netflix and judging by the pilot got to say we're in for some fun gory times, the Director pulled the trigger with a couple of kills and I have to say we're not pulling punches here.
Like all first episodes in a series the one kicking off The Mist has to spend some time introducing the major characters and perhaps even a few that won't be making it to the end of the season. I would imagine the Copelands are going to be our focal family, there's certainly a local nutter that is going to play a big part, and the obligatory gay character is involved to keep the PC crowd tuned in and bushy tailed. There are of course a few characters here and there that are being setup to fill mild antagonist roles, not sure if this series will involve itself in anything like redemption, and to be honest it isn't something I'm overly worried about. A couple of other characters can swing in either direction; the jury is currently out on them.
Hey another cool horror show hitting the screen, bring it on baby!
There are some nice touches going down that had me ticking a couple of appreciation boxes. While we wait for the mist to descend, and it's sort of looming out there throughout the first block of the movie, director Adam Bernstein drops a few insects on us in a sort of plot foreshadowing of what might be out there waiting for chaos to descend. Naturally we don't have to wait for the next episode to discover how vicious some entomological species can be, witness one deputy who comes to grief in pretty explicit terms. Bernstein keeps hinting that here there be monsters but isn't about to show us anything freaky just yet, he is gradually tilling the soil for some late blooms of horror in future episodes. And I got to say this particular death was pretty shocking and ensures a general rating is out of the question, gore hounds are going to be braying at the moon tonight!
Guess I should mention the other major gore scene, which just pops up out of nowhere as Bernstein Ju-Ons it with some jaw effects. While I wasn't shedding a tear for the character in this scene the death still lingers in the mind as a hint that this season isn't going to pull any punches or indeed skint on the effects. Bloody, shocking, and gruesome come to mind, got to love that in a horror outing. So if you don't like your horror tinged red then this might just not be the series for you, and no doubt you don't get out much in television land given the modern deluge of blood drench horror shockers that has us happy as lambs in clover or something.
Yes I know top question on your list is how well are the creatures conceived, i.e. how real is the CGI, and do they stack up against the Darabont movie. Well, some bad news folks, besides some beetles going The Nest on us we don't get that much in terms of creature feature, damn! There are enough foreshadows going down to have us believing some creature nastiness is coming our way in future episodes, but talk about foreplay with no final delivery! Okay I'm good with this, too much delivered up front takes out the impacts later and all, fingers crossed for some creepy crawlers next episode. There's something in the mist, is it overly coy? Now okay slight confusion here folks, and I'll admit to still being shaky with the details, but are the creatures somehow your average garden insects that are going to be mutated by the mist? Guess that might give us some explanation that neither Stephen King nor Frank Darabont thought was worth their while spending time on.
So I had a hell of a good time with the opening salvo of the television adaptation of King's phenomenally good B movie novella The Mist. We get introduced to the major characters, thinking some of them aren't going to make season end, and for sure have survival horror being set up in no uncertain terms. This is horror as it should be, real people in chaotic situations who had lives before they were thrown onto the grinder, you know you're going to be hoping one or more of them are going to go bat shit crazy as things deteriorate, probably drastically over the next few episodes. The production values are high, the acting is top notch, and the special effects have a certain wow facto to them. What more do you want, high recommendation, I've found a new series that is must watch television, thank you Netflix. Hey you know I couldn't resist it all review, there's something in the mist and won't be gorillas.