It’s always seemed odd, the way that very few excellent adaptations of the literary work of Stephen King have been created. Despite the fact that the author is a prolific writer of some deeply profound, horrifying tales, capturing that essence onscreen has thus far been an astonishing rarity. One such example is his story, The Mist, which – despite being published a number of times – has only produced one extremely disappointing film adaptation in 2007. This could be about to change, however, with the imminent arrival of a television series from Spike that uses the basis of The Mist as a premise for an ongoing story – and its latest trailer certainly does not pull any punches.
The source material for The Mist is the horror novella of the same name that originally appeared in the 1980 Stephen King anthology, Dark Forces. It takes place in the small town of Bridgton, in Maine, and sees a number of residents trapped inside a supermarket the morning after a huge thunderstorm. As consumers shop, a strange, thick mist rolls into town and it gradually becomes clear that it contains a number of very large, very deadly creatures that begin to lay waste to the local population in gruesome fashion. There’s intrigue surrounding the fact that a nearby military base houses something known as The Arrowhead Project, and a highly religious Bridgton resident – Mrs. Carmody – takes the opportunity to build a following, by preaching apocalyptic notions that call for a human sacrifice.
The 2007 feature film adaptation – directed by Frank Darabont, and starring Thomas Jane – is infamous for the fact that it changed what’s a fundamentally hopeful ending to the source material, and created a tale that ended with futility. The Spike television adaptation takes an altogether different approach, however – albeit one that makes changes to the original story. In order to transform the claustrophobic narrative of The Mist novella into an ongoing narrative with unlimited potential, series creator Christian Torpe (Rita) has reinvented the cast of characters and expanded the scope of the tale.
The latest trailer for The Mist gives a greater glimpse into the levels of horror that can be expected from this TV show. Starring, among others, Alyssa Sutherland, Isiah Whitlock Jr, Morgan Spector, and Golden Globe winner Frances Conroy, the DNA of the original story can clearly be seen, but the emphasis seems to have been shifted away from shrouded monsters, and toward the horror that people inflict on each other.
This specific promotional footage focuses very heavily on the character played by Frances Conroy, who would appear to be a version of Mrs. Carmody from the source material. Such a reveal teases the presence of an epic villainess in the midst of the carnage being wrought upon Bridgton – not only by the mist, but by the residents themselves. That carnage, flashed across the screen in short bursts, features a great deal of body horror, in addition to the obligatory sex scene. The important thing to note, however, is the sense of creeping terror that slowly builds throughout – with the calm, sinister performance of Frances Conroy providing the perfect counterpoint.
Do we have a successful Stephen King adaptation on our hands? We’ll have to wait until The Mist arrives on Spike – on June 22nd – to find out, but we definitely feel optimistic.
Source: You Tube