Some of the best horror, both in literature and film, uses the supernatural to dissect the human instinct of survival. What will we do, both to ourselves and others, when faced with monsters in the flesh?
This theme has been incorporated throughout the history of horror, with contemporary works: George A. Romero’s zombie films; books and film adaptations of Stephen King’s The Stand, Needful Things, and The Mist; Clive Barker’s Nightbreed, The Hellbound Heart, The Great and Secret Show, and the film adaptations of the former two; Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comic book and television series. What we, as people, are capable of can be just as scary as the monsters that inspire us to act on our impulses.
The 2007 film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Mist was in line with this theme, but made sure that the monsters were as prevalent on the screen as the madness that they inspired. Now, Spike TV prepares to launch and entire television series for The Mist. By the looks of the trailer, the show may be more focused on the madness than the monsters, and I’m okay with that.
If you watch the trailer, you should notice something, or notice something missing: the creatures. There are no swarms of flying demon-bugs, or giant, octopus-faced elephants. There is just the mist, and the characters’ reaction to it. It feels like a darker version of the CBS series, Under the Dome. Considering The Mist will be on cable television, this isn’t a far stretch. Cable television has been continually able to push the envelope on adult content. Under the Dome made do with its prime-time limitations, but The Mist promises to expand those boundaries.
The Mist television series launches on Spike TV on June 22, 2017.